Ten Simple Ways to Beat the Heat

Hot enough for ya? πŸ™‚ It felt like July this summer has been one of the hottest ever and it looks like August is going to be quite a scorcher, too. Thank God for fans and air conditioning! Besides those, here a some other things we are trying to stay cool:

1. Close some vents and open others. In a lot of houses, at least the ones I’ve lived in, the upstairs is usually hotter than the first floor. It makes sense, giving that heat rises. To counter that, we open wide all the vents on the second floor and partially cover (and in some places completely cover) the vents on the first floor. I got this idea from my father-in-law and at first I was skeptical. However, once I actually did this, I discovered that it actually does help.

2. Close the curtains. I love the longer natural light that comes with summer, but the burning sun can add extra heat to a house. To counter this, I close the curtains during part of the day and in some rooms, all of the day.

3. Shut the lights off. Light generates heat, so except for the light I need when I am in a given room, I keep the lights off as much as possible.

4. Don’t use the oven. I don’t have to tell you how much heat the oven can bring into the kitchen and possibly other rooms in the house. However, one can only eat so much salad. You can grill just about anything, so that’s definitely the way to go. πŸ™‚ If you don’t have a grill, you can just as easily throw something into your slow cooker for a simple and yummy supper.

5. Wash the dishes by hand. Gasp! Believe me, I *love* my dishwasher; but, on the hottest of days – like when it was over 100 degrees – I’ll wash the dishes in the sink. Washing the dishes isn’t my favorite chore, but it does help.Β  Better yet, get one of your kids to wash them. πŸ˜‰

6. Don’t use the dryer. Again, the clothes dryer, like the oven, can generate a lot of heat. That’s why I often use a clothes rack or line in the summer. I love the smell of clothes drying in the fresh air! If it’s not practical or you can’t use a clothes line for whatever reason, dry running the dryer in the early morning or later in the evening.

7. Give the kiddies a bath. When it’s too hot and humid to be outside at all – even at the pool or beach, I’ll turn the bathtub into a mini-pool. I’ll fill the bath with cool water and throw in a few beach toys. Then I’ll put on Andrew’s swimsuit and let him play in the water.

8. Have some indoor fun. When you want to get out of the house, but it is way too hot to be outside, then it’s time to resort to other indoor activities. We don’t have tons of disposable income at hand; so, we have been utilizing the library A LOT. Our local library has many different programs going on right now and we have been attending many of them. Other options would be free or discount days at a museum or going to a matinee at the movies.

9. Stay hydrated. We all know how important it is to drink lots of water. In the summer, it’s paramount. Drinking lots of water is important to avoid dehydration but can also helpΒ  you stay cool. Try and at least drink a glass of water every hour. Besides regular water, sucking on ice chips or using an ice pack on the back of your neck may help you stay cool.

10. Cover up. It sounds counter-intuitive to cover up with clothes to stay cool, doesn’t it? However, wearing light-colored cotton tops or clothes, particularly moisture wicking fabric, will actually keep you cooler when outdoors for long periods. The fabric provides a protective layer against the sun (and skin cancer!), and allows for your sweat to evaporate to help cool you off. (By the way, I’m not saying you should never wear short sleeves, or shorts or a bathing suit. I’m just saying that covering up is one valid way to help stay cool. πŸ™‚ )

What are you doing to stay cool this summer? Please share!

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)