While air conditioners are not a good product for the environment, climbing temperatures means a lot of people are using them for relief from the heat. But you can learn how to cool down without AC.
When temperatures are soaring and humidity is high, it can be hard to think about anything except how hot, sweaty, and downright uncomfortable you feel.
And, while it’s not possible to control nature’s thermostat, there’s a lot you can do to manage your own temperature when the weather takes a turn for the warmer – and it doesn’t have to involve sitting in the AC all day.
Here are 9 simple and eco-friendly things you can do to keep your cool when summer temperatures hit their peak:
1. Stay Hydrated
It’s basic advice, and you’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating that staying well hydrated should be your number one priority when it’s hot outside.
Sweat is the mechanism by which your body cools itself down in the heat, so be sure to replenish the fluids you’re losing.
Opt for cool drinks to keep your body temperature down, and avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine, which can dehydrate you. Water is your best option.
2. Avoid Turning on the Oven
Turning on your oven will heat up your kitchen unnecessarily, so save the baking and roasting for cooler weather.
Avoiding hot foods will help keep your body temperature lower, too. Salads, sandwiches, and cold soups make refreshing meals in the summer heat.
Or, if you don’t feel like eating cold food, take this as an opportunity to fire up the grill and cook outside.
3. Dress for the Weather
Choose lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that allows air to circulate around your body. Dress in layers so you can more easily control your body temperature throughout the day.
Check the tags on your clothes and steer clear of synthetic materials, which tend to trap sweat on your skin. Cotton and linen are better choices because they tend to be less clingy and wick moisture away from your body.
This goes for bedsheets, too – if you have a set of pure cotton or bamboo sheets, summer is a good time to get them out.
4. Keep the Air Moving
Turn on a fan when you’re inside. Air that’s moving helps sweat evaporate from your skin faster, cooling you down.
If it’s particularly hot and stuffy inside your house, try putting a fan in an open window, facing out. This will push out stale air and draw in fresher air from outside.
If your house is not air-conditioned, take advantage of windy days by opening the windows to create a cross-breeze inside.
5. Stay Out of the Sun
If you must be outside in the heat, try to stay in the shade, especially during the middle of the day when the heat is most intense.
You’ll feel ten to fifteen degrees cooler just by staying out of direct sunlight. If you’re inside, close your curtains to block out the sun and the accompanying heat.
6. Cool Down Your Pulse Points
You can quickly cool down your whole body by targeting your pulse points. Some common, easy-to-reach pulse points include your wrists, temples, inner elbows, and the backs of your knees.
Use a cool washcloth or an icepack wrapped in a towel on these parts of your body for some quick relief if you feel like you’re overheating.
7. Use a Dehumidifier
High temperatures feel more oppressive when the air is also humid. That’s because it’s harder for your sweat to evaporate in the air that is already wet.
A dehumidifier can help keep the air in your living space drier and more comfortable. Using dehumidifiers throughout your whole house may not be practical, so consider just keeping one in the room you spend the most time in throughout the day.
If you choose this option, keep in mind that it will use up energy, so is not the eco-friendliest choice for cooling down.
8. Take Cool Showers
When you just can’t take the heat any longer, step into a cool shower for some immediate relief. As a bonus, frequent cool showers in the summer will rinse away sweat and keep you feeling fresher.
No time for a shower? A quick sponge bath with a cold, damp washcloth will do the trick, too. And, it will conserve more water than a full shower.
9. Unplug Appliances and Electronics Not in Use
Your gadgets generate heat when they’re plugged into an electrical outlet, and when you’re in the middle of a heatwave, every little bit of extra warmth adds to the discomfort.
Unplug your TV, computer, and other appliances when you’re not using them. The same goes for your light fixtures and lamps: keep them off unless you need to use them.
Whether you love the summer or you’re already counting down the days until cooler weather returns, getting through the hottest and most humid days of the year can feel like a slog.
But you don’t need to spend all your time in the air conditioning to cope with high temperatures, and you can learn how to cool down without AC that’s hard on the environment.
By taking a few simple steps to maintain your body temperature and keep your house cool, you’ll have a better chance of enjoying the long, warm days of summer comfortably.