Kephart Living


Monday, June 28, 2010

Chill Out

Summer is here and in most areas of the U.S., it’s downright hot! Those of us who live in older homes without central air conditioning units can find it a bit challenging to stay cool and comfortable in the summer months.

Here are some simple and creative tips that keep not only your body temperature low but will also keep your energy costs down.

1. Drink more fluids often and don't wait until you're thirsty to do it. If you drink water upon response to thirst when it’s hot, you are probably already dehydrated. Find drinking water a chore? Try a fruit garnish or flavored ice cubes in frosted glasses stored in the freezer. If you exercise, drink two to four glasses of liquid per two hours.

2. Unplug your unused appliances. When you aren’t using your plugged appliances, they still convert power into heat. Unplug everything you don’t use on a daily basis and try switchable surge protectors for the ones you do use.

3. Consider installing a whole house fan. An attic fan gives pulls the cooler air from outside into the home. They usually only take a few minutes to cool down your entire home and are an inexpensive alternative to evaporative coolers and central air.

4. Wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Nothing traps heat more than dark clothing and synthetic fabrics.

5. Try eating smaller meals that consist of mostly fruits and vegetables. Minimizing high protein foods has a dual benefit. You will decrease you body’s production of metabolic heat and reduce the heat emitted in the kitchen from the stove or microwave.

6. Acclimatize. It takes as long as two weeks for the body to become adjusted to exercising or moving around outside in heat. Gradually build up the amount of time you spend outside performing activities compared to the time you spend in cooler months.

7. Go low. Heat rises so spend the hottest hours of the day in the lowest points of your house. I have recently converted my basement for this very purpose. Try moving your bedroom from the top floor to the main level just for the summer season.

8. Remember to keep the air flowing. If you keep the blinds drawn and the windows closed during the day, remember that temperatures usually go down at night. Take advantage of evening breezes and open those windows wide at night.

9. Dim the lights. Typically, the brighter your lights are, the more heat emitted to your space. You can try programmed dimmers, lower wattage bulbs or the new eco-friendly versions at most home stores. Turn out all the lights for movie or tv night at home.

10. Get out! If all else fails and you find the heat levels in your home to be truly uncomfortable, leave the house and take advantage of free air conditioning. Hit the mall, the local movie theatre or your favorite museum for some indoor relief.

Stay cool my friends!

posted by Custom Blogs @ 11:36 AM 

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