Beat the Heat Without Cranking the AC this Summer
When the oppressive heat of summer is in full swing, it’s tempting to just turn the thermostat down to a frigid temperature and hide inside your homemade igloo. Those 95-degree days with more than 80% humidity can break even the most environmentally conscious among us. But that choice may result in a gigantic energy bill, particularly as the cost of energy continues to rise. With that in mind, we wanted to share some simple, fun ideas to stay cool this summer without asking your AC to push out subzero temperatures.
Take a Cold Bath or Shower
Taking a cold shower or bath accomplishes a couple of things. First, you reduce the amount of work your hot water heater is doing. A cold shower also helps cool your body by lowering your core temperature.
Close Your Curtains or Blinds
If you have windows that face the sun, close your blinds or invest in some blackout curtains to block sunlight from shining into the room and reduce temperature increases that happen gradually throughout the day.
Invest in a Good Fan
Keeping the air moving in your house can always provide some welcome relief on a hot day. Fans are an ancient technology that originated in Egypt around 4,000 years ago. They’ve come a long way in the centuries since. To maximize their efficiency, shut them off when you leave the room.
Eat More Sorbet and Popsicles
What’s the summer treat you think about when the temperatures go from warm to sweltering? We’re guessing it’s probably ice cream, and we can’t blame you. It’s tough to beat a delicious ice cream cone on a hot summer day, but it turns out there are better options. The high fat content in ice cream makes it difficult to digest. The next time you’re tempted to reach for a carton of cream to ease your summer sweats, consider a fruity sorbet, a popsicle, or an Italian ice instead. You’ll still get that sweet reward, without the extra fat content, and you’ll stay cooler as a result.
Cook Outside or in the Morning
Oven heat can spread throughout the house. Keep the heat centralized in one area, such as a slow cooker, or, even better, cook outside on the grill. Regardless of where you’re cooking, try to confine it to the morning, before the weather reaches peak temperature.
Take a Chill Pill
This one may not seem as obvious as some of our other suggestions, but staying cool may be as simple as taking a pill. Researchers at the University of Alabama found that vitamin C reduces the occurrence of heat exhaustion and prickly heat rash. Add this to the list of health benefits from increasing your vitamin C intake.
More important than just about any of the advice above, stay hydrated! If your body is suffering from heat and needs to cool itself, it simply can’t do it without enough moisture. So, drink plenty of water and seek out water-rich foods, such as watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, grapefruit and cantaloupe.
No matter which techniques you employ to beat the heat this summer, one surefire way to save on your energy bill is by enrolling in the PowerShift Wi-Fi Thermostat Program. This allows participating electric cooperatives to make minor temperature adjustments during times of peak demand. You’ll receive $50 just for enrolling, and another $25 at the end of the summer for participating. You probably won’t even notice the change, until you see the savings it provides you and your neighbors. Be sure to check with your local power cooperative to see if they’re participating in the PowerShift program.