During the heat of the summer months it can be difficult to keep cool and feel good, especially if there is no air conditioning or you need to be outdoors. At home you can stay cool during the day by blocking the entry of sunlight and avoiding activities that can increase the internal temperature of the house. When you are outside you can fight the heat by looking for some shade, choosing breezy spots and wearing the right clothes.
Keeping You Cool at Home
Turn off the lights. Incandescent lamps and even some LED bulbs produce heat when they are turned on. Lower the internal temperature of the house by using them only when you absolutely cannot do without them and by using other light sources, such as the telephone torch.
Also try to disconnect the power supply of lamps and electronic devices that you are not using. Sometimes these appliances, even in “stand-by ” mode, can heat up because they continue to receive electricity from the socket.
Keep windows closed during the day. Although it may seem contraindicated, open windows let warm air into the house. As soon as the sun rises, close them to keep the indoor air cooler.
If you can’t close them or you feel a passage of air even after they are closed, consider placing a towel along the part of the panel where they are open to block the air.
Block out the heat with blackout curtains or a parasol. Choose blackout curtains or place a car sunshade during the day. As soon as the sun rises, close the blinds completely or use the parasol to prevent the sun from heating the house.
Typically the car sunshade is made of a shiny material that reflects the sun’s rays and is suitable for even the smallest windows.
Blackout curtains absorb sunlight and are a great choice for larger windows.
Open the windows and use the fans to promote air circulation during the night. Once the sun goes down, put a large fan in front of an open window so that it will facilitate the passage of fresh air into the house. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on to circulate it throughout the room.
On warmer nights, grab a bottle of cold water and sprinkle it on yourself, then stand in front of the fan before going to sleep. This way you can lower your body temperature and fall asleep.
Buy a dehumidifier to limit humidity on the hottest days. Humidity can increase the perception of heat. Buy a dehumidifier for each room where you usually spend more time, such as the living room and bedroom: it will absorb the humidity in the air, making it less muggy.
Dehumidifiers are also useful if you have a window air conditioner because they eliminate moisture before it enters the appliance, increasing its efficiency. Without the dehumidifier, the air conditioner would be forced to cool and dehumidify the air.
Avoid turning on household appliances that can heat indoor environments. During the summer it is best to eat cold meals, use the microwave more or cook outdoors on the grill. Do not turn on the stove and oven on hot days to keep the internal temperature as low as possible.
If you can’t help but cook at home, consider using a griddle or sandwich press as they use less energy and give off less heat in the kitchen.
Even the dishwasher can raise the internal temperature during the summer. Try washing the dishes by hand to avoid increasing the heat and humidity inside the house.
Enjoying Summer Activities
Invent something to do indoors during the hottest hours of the day. From 10am to 4pm, outside temperatures can plummet. To keep yourself cool and avoid the strong sun, do not go outside or go to an air-conditioned place if your home does not have one.
For example, if you want an inexpensive alternative, you can study in the library or take a walk in a shopping mall.
If you want something more fun to do with friends, you can propose having lunch at a restaurant, visit a museum or go to the cinema.
Find a place to park in the shade if you spend a lot of time away from home. Avoid exposing yourself to direct sunlight for more than 30-45 minutes during the day. When doing an outdoor activity, find time to sit under a tree, relax under a parasol or take shelter in a tent to get your energy back.
If you go to a place where there is little shade, remember to pack an umbrella or awning. If necessary, you can even open the trunk of an SUV and take cover under the tailgate or sit in a car with the windows open.
Plan a trip to a cooler place if you want to enjoy the outdoors. The mountains, the dense forests of broad-crowned trees, the rivers and the valleys are breezy and extremely refreshing places thanks to their morphology. If you want to do something outdoors, plan a day excursion to a wooded area sheltered in the shade of trees, or take a walk along a river or stream to enjoy the coolness.
Remember that there is not always wind in these places, but they are generally more airy than in other areas.
Wear light, light-colored clothing to keep yourself cool. Light-colored and light-colored garments, such as white, light blue, beige, pale pink and pale yellow, are the best choice when you don’t want to feel hot. If you are at the beach or at home, you can uncover yourself a little more by wearing a tank top and a pair of shorts or a bathing suit. If you have to run errands or go to work, choose clothes made from lightweight materials, such as linen, cotton, silk, or other breathable fabrics.
When shopping, opt for items with soft and fluid lines, able to keep you cooler and less constricted.
Take a break if you start to feel bad. If you are away from home during the day and start to feel dizzy or weak, go to a cool place and try to rehydrate by sipping plenty of water. Try to rest for at least a couple of hours before going out again. Dizziness, headache, and nausea can be the first symptoms of a heat stroke that is likely to get worse.
Excessive sweating, slurred speech or slurred speech, seizures, chills, and vomiting are more serious symptoms. Contact emergency services immediately if you see anyone exhibiting these symptoms.
If you can’t cool off once you get home, soak in cold water or place ice packs in your armpits, neck and groin area. If the situation does not change after 5 minutes, call the emergency services for medical assistance.
Hydrate During the Summer
Drink at least 3 liters of water on the hottest days. Try to consume at least 250ml of water every hour when temperatures are very high to avoid the risk of dehydration. Drink water at the table and throughout the day to keep yourself cool and hydrated.
If you find it difficult to drink a lot of water, take a bottle with you during the day or replace a drink with a glass of water.
Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks. Coffee, tea, and sodas can be slightly dehydrating. So, try to limit yourself to one sugary or caffeinated drink a day, drinking water before and after.
If you love fizzy drinks, consider adding a fizzy powder to still water (you can buy it at the grocery store). This way you will get the benefits of water with the flavor of a sparkling drink.
If you like bubbles, try drinking sparkling water instead of a fizzy drink.
Drink a sports drink after a rather strenuous physical activity. When you sweat a lot – for example, when you run, lift weights, play other sports or garden – your body can become dehydrated quickly. In addition to a sports drink, consume at least 250ml of water to fully rehydrate.
Sports drinks contain a blend of carbohydrates, sodium and potassium, called electrolytes, which help restore minerals lost when you sweat and promote hydration.