How to Keep Cool
It's over 90 degrees outside today and yet I'm feeling nice and cool inside the house, but I don't have any air conditioning. When we were looking for a house, air conditioning was a non-negotiable requirement for me. Didn't think I could make it without it. I'd still love a house with air someday but until that day comes I make the best with what I have. Here's how I beat the summer heat and how we keep cool without air conditioning.
- Leave the oven off. No more being tempted to make cookies in the middle of the day, baking is reserved for when the sun goes down and the temps drop. It will require a little more planning ahead but at least your house won't have to feel as warm as the inside of that oven! You could also use a crockpot or a toaster oven instead of an oven, less electricity and you won't heat up the house. And while you are at it, skip running the dryer or any other appliance that puts off heat during the day. Wait til it cools down in the evening. Also, plan to make "cooler" meals. When it's 100 degrees outside no one wants to eat a bowl of chili. Stick to a big slice of watermelon and a salad with all the fixin's. Here are some yummy no-cook meals to make in the summer.
- Think cool treats. Make homemade pop-sickles, freeze fruit, have plenty of ice on hand to make iced tea or ice water when you need it. If you need inspiration you can try these Strawberry Yogurt Frozen Pops or Homemade Fudgesicles. I also like to freeze grapes when they are in season (just wash and freeze) and you can make frozen banana pops buy sticking a stick in a peeled banana, dipping in chocolate and freezing. Or you can just do the frozen juice. Anything cool works! Here is a big list of healthy Homemade Popsicle Recipes to check out too.
- Invest in dark shades or curtains. I found heat blocking curtains on clearance at Shopko. They work great for my windows that face the south in the afternoon when the sun in beating in. Even a dark brown shade will work, anything to keep the hot sun out and keep the inside dark and cool. Don't have money to buy new curtains? Use old dark colored sheets! Or you can sew your own curtains.
- Fans, fans, fans. Fans are inexpensive to run and they provide relief from the sticky stiffness that summer brings. I have a ceiling fan in every single room in the house that I can to move the air around and keep it from being still.
- Think about a window air. We have a window air conditioner but it only fits in the bathroom window because of how the windows are in my house so it does do alot of good but if you have a house where a window air will fit, try Craigslist or Freecycle to find a cheap or free window air conditioner. Try to find one that is Energy Star approved so you won't rack up a huge electricity bill.
- Get a pool. No, you don't have to spend a couple hundred dollars on a pool that shoots glitter and fireworks. Last year we just got one of those little kiddie pools. Nothing beats the warmest days of the year like having a splash party with your little ones in the shade.
- Make your own air conditioner. Put a bowl of ice in front of you and put a fan behind it. Instant cool down while the ice melts away.
- Get a spray bottle or a water spritzing fan. Fill them with cold water and spray on to cool down.
- Dress the part. If you are staying home for the day, try and wear whatever will keep you cool. Go for loose, light fabrics. Also try and still with natural fabrics (like cotton) instead of artificial (like polyester), as they are more breathable and will keep you cooler. I find tank tops for less than $1 at rummage sales and stick to those most of the summer. If all else fails, pretend you are all the beach all day and hang out in a swimsuit.
- Stay hydrated. When your body is correctly hydrated you will stay cooler. Stay away from sugary summer time drinks and stick with good old ice water and plenty of it.
- Wear a necklace. No, not a regular fancy jewelry necklace. I'm sure you've seen those gel feeling things you wrap around your neck to stay cool. If you don't want to buy one you can make one by sewing a long skinny tube, filling it with rice and freezing it until you need it. And old clean sock work really well for this too! Just place rice inside and tie the end shut.
How do you beat the summer heat? Share your tips on how to keep cool!
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