Who ever thought summer would finally come? After such a horrific winter, one would think we would welcome the sweltering days of summer. But, nature being what it is, we are all too forgetful, and as soon as the temperature goes up, we crank up the AC, and push the upcoming expensive electricity bill out of our mind…until we remember how shocked we were at its size last summer. This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?
Here are some tried-and-true favorites. Try them out and let me know what you think! I guarantee that you’ll be as cool as a cucumber in no time.
- Drink iced water, lots of it. My favorite method is to keep a rotation of half-filled frozen bottles of water in the freezer, and top them off with cool water. The ice keeps the water cold, and I’m still able to drink some right away.
- Place an ice pack on your pulse points, such as the inside of your wrists and elbows, neck and behind your knees. The back of your neck lets your body know how hot you are, so keeping that specific area cool can trick your body into thinking the rest of your body is too.
- Wear more clothing! Yes, that’s correct. Long skirts and sleeves made from lightly-colored, thin fabrics actually protect your skin from the harsh sun. Wet the hems of your clothing and let a stray breeze cool you off.
- Keep grapes, bananas and watermelon in the freezer for a healthy icy treat. To make healthy and cheap popsicles, freeze juice overnight, and then let it defrost slightly. Blend the juice and refreeze for a delicious and chilly sorbet. The same trick works for plain yogurt flavored with vanilla and honey.
- When you or the kids come home after a long day, turn on the sprinklers for an instant cool-down! Pass out water guns and water balloons, sit back and relax and let your children cool you down for once.
- Turn off all unnecessary lights and appliances, such as computers, coffee makers etc. They all give off trace amounts of heat. Make sure your refrigerator, stove and dishwasher are tightly sealed.
- Delay doing heat-producing chores such as washing dishes and cooking until later at night.
- Plant trees, lots of them. It may take a couple of years for you to enjoy the benefits of your new landscape, but trust me, it’s well worth the effort. The combination of shade and wet clothes from the sprinkler (see tip 5) will make you feel actually cold.
- Keep your window shades down during the day to limit sun exposure. When the interior of your house is cooler than the exterior, shut the windows. Leafy houseplants at the window will help keep out the sun as well.
- Take a cold shower. It will cool down your core body temperature for hours afterward, and wet hair helps maintain that state.
- Fans can do a great job of cooling a room at a fraction of the cost of running an air conditioner. If you have a standing or window fan, place a bowl of iced water in front of it so that the fan can blow the cold air across the room.
- Want to cool the bed down? Fill a standard hot water bottle with ice water. Use it to cool your ankles and the back of your knees — it works. You can also try bagging your sheets and tossing them in the freezer for an hour or two before bed.
- If you must have the air conditioner on, consider raising the thermostat a few degrees. You might not feel the difference on your skin, but you will see the difference on your utility bill.
About the Author: Pnina Baim is the author of the Young Adult novels, “Choices,” “A Life Worth Living,” and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, “Sing While You Work.” The books are available at amazon.com.
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