It is hot outside. And it gets hot inside. GreenLeaf Electric wants you to stay cool and safe, therefore we will step out of our expertise and share 14 ways to beat the heat.
- Save your electricity.
We don’t mean: turn off your HVAC. NO! What we mean is use less energy to light your house, to charge your phones or simply watch TV. Electricity and light create Heat, therefore it gets hot inside your house. The less electricity you use for any other things than HVAC the better!
- Put up sunblockers.
Try a desert trick. When the air outside is dry and cooler than the air inside, hang a damp sheet in an open window. Incoming breezes are cooled by the evaporating water.
Block the sun. Closing curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Don’t blow hot air.
Make a makeshift air conditioner. If it’s hot but not humid, place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan and enjoy the breeze. As the ice melts, then evaporates, it will cool you off.
Give your A/C some TLC. Clean or replace the filter in room and central air conditioners about once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system’s efficiency by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with peelable caulking or a sealant strip. These steps help ensure good airflow and keep the coils cleaner, which means more efficient and more effective cooling.
- Close it down.
Close the damper. While running any kind of air conditioner, shut your fireplace damper. An open one, pulls hot air into your house instead of sucking it out. This is called flow reversal.
Close everything else, too. Whether the air conditioner is on or off, keep windows and doors shut if the temperature outside is more than 77 degrees Fahrenheit (most people start to sweat at 78). Whenever the outside air is hotter than the inside air, opening a window invites heat to creep in.
- Give a squirt.
Spritz yourself. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt. It’s all about thermal regulation. As the water evaporates, it cools you.
Fan strategically. If the day’s heat is trapped inside your home, try a little ventilation at night or when the temperature drops below 77. A window fan can help; the trick is to face the blades outside to suck warm air out of the house and pull cooler air in.
- Vent a lot.
Run a fan and an air conditioner simultaneously. You can use the air conditioner at lower power and still feel cool if the fan is blowing over you. That’s because the air conditioner removes humidity from the air while the fan helps evaporate sweat and moves heat away from your body. (Note: Fans don’t cool a room; they just make people feel cooler, so shut them off before you leave.)
Turn on the vent in the bathroom. When taking a shower, be sure to use the vent fan: It helps sticky moisture escape.
- Try air drying.
Skip the drying cycle on the dishwasher. Instead, leave the door open to let the dishes dry. And put off using the dishwasher until evening, when the air is cooler. Or simply wash your dishes the old-fashioned way: by hand.
Dress right. Wear one of the widely available synthetic fabrics designed to wick away sweat and that sticky feeling (examples include Coolmax and Nano-Tex); they’re not just for athletes anymore. If you prefer cotton, make it thin, light colored, and, most of all, loose. Loose, billowy clothes allow air movement next to the skin and help with evaporation.
- Lose the hot stuff. Shuck your shoes. As the sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools the skin and the blood in your feet. Blood vessels then whisk that blood to other parts of the body, so you’re getting a greater sensation of coolness.
Spice it up. As people who live in scorching climates, such as those of Mexico and India, know well, eating hot stuff can cool you down. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that helps us to perspire more readily. When this sweat evaporates, you experience brief relief.
- Stay hydrated.
Swig often. To replace the moisture that you lose as you perspire, be sure to drink. As you lose water to dehydration, your body temperature rises, so replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. Also opt for hydrating foods. Try a smoothie for lunch, and add more fruits and vegetables to all your meals. Watermelon has the greatest water content of any food out there.
Eat light. There’s a reason we reach for salads in the summer. They’re easier to digest than, say, a fatty hamburger, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are watery and help keep you hydrated (and cooler).
- Opt for a shutdown.
Give your oven a summer vacation. If you cook, use the stovetop, the microwave, or a barbecue. Grill some extra vegetables when you’re making dinner. The next day, mix them with a little Feta cheese and olive oil for a great, cool snack.
Shut the lights. Or change the bulbs: Long-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs produce about 70 percent less heat than standard incandescent light bulbs.
- Take some dry measures.
Give the clothes dryer a break, too. Hang a clothesline and let your towels and sheets flap in the breeze.
Make a cold compress. Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock with twine, and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Then slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period because it’s dense and starchy.
- Think cool.
Escape. Relax with A Winter’s Tale, The Call of the Wild, Doctor Zhivago, or Smilla’s Sense of Snow. Reading about cold can take your mind off the thermometer, evoking one’s own experience of ice and snow. It’s also a bit of self-hypnosis.
While the tips above are not our expertise, we think they can help you beat the heat and enjoy the summer. If you chose to ignore the tips and find some electrical problems bothering you, always count on us and contact us.
GreenLeaf Electric LLC is a Frederick MD electrical company providing highest quality electrical services to the residents of Frederick and surrounding counties.