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  • Staying Cool as a Cucumber on a Budget

Running your air conditioner all summer can get expensive, especially if we’re slated for heat late in the season (and we are). Keeping an up-to-date A/C system and servicing it regularly can keep the cool air flowing, but sometimes you need a cheaper alternative rather than suffer the pain of rising energy bill. These cool tips also help you consume less energy, so you can lessen your impact on the environment. It’s Win/Win!

Surviving the Hot Summer Nights

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Despite lowered temperatures at night, sleeping in the summer can be unbearable for most of us. Heat travels up, and our bedrooms tend to be on the top floor of our house. Together, it can make for a restless, tossing-turning, and sweaty sleep cycle that leaves us fatigued the next day. Instead of suffering in the heat, try:

  • Putting your pillow in the freezer. Cover it in plastic bags to prevent ice build-up.
  • Soak your sheet in cold water and lay it on top of a towel, then sleep on it. This is known as the “Egyptian Method” of sleeping.
  • Open your blinds and windows. The more ventilation you have, the cooler you’ll feel. Just make sure to close them in the morning to prevent heat buildup through the day.
  • Use cotton sheets. Cotton breathes better, and thus creates an all-natural ventilation.

hot guy in dehliMake Smart use of Your Water

Water is a godsend when the summer days are sweltering. But did you know you can do more than just drink water? Yes, it’s true! You can use water for all sorts of tricks that keep your body temperature low when the weather gets hot:

  • Get a spray bottle and fill it with half water, half rubbing alcohol. The alcohol evaporating removes more heat than just water, helping to cool you faster.
  • Soak your shirt in lukewarm water, wring it out, and wear it outside. The evaporation removes heat from your body. Don’t use cold water – it could be too much of a shock to your system.
  • Soak the radiant heat zones – your head, your hands, your feet, and your ears are where we radiate the most heat. Keeping these areas cool can lower your body temperature by 2 degrees for as much as an hour.
  • Go for a swim. Public pools in your area will be happy to have you, and prolonged soaking has an amazing effect in cooling your body and relieving some of the strain of radiant heat.

Take the Coolest Diet There Is

Popsicles and ice cream are heavy in sugars, creams, and other ingredients that can make you feel sluggish, meaning the cooling effect they have won’t last. Instead, eat these cool foods:

  • Mint. The more mint you eat the better. Mint provides a soothing effect for your skin and large amounts can lower your temperature. Mix it into water, eat it raw, or bake it into something. And your breath will smell great. Mint grows like a weed in Ontario’s climate, so it’s easy to grow at home as well.
  • Freeze your fruits. Grapes taste better than frozen pops when frozen, and have a fraction of the sugar. Also consider watermelon, pineapple, and bananas. Bananas frozen have a similar texture to ice cream, and cost almost nothing, so there’s always money in that.
  • Eat spicy foods. Curries, chutneys, and peppers. The hottest countries in the world have diets high in spice because they activate our body’s cooling mechanisms. If you can handle the spice, you don’t need to worry about the heat.
  • Put cucumbers on your body. Frozen slices of cucumber cool even better than ice packs, and can help soothe sunburns and refresh the skin. Try putting one in the center of your forehead.

Finally the Grand-Slam, Build a Localized A/C

This is probably one of the most refreshing tricks we know of. Fill a 2L bottle about 70% to the top with water, add 10% of its volume in rock salt, and freeze it. The rock salt makes the ice incredibly cool.

Then place this bottle in a bowl between you and a fan and let the fan do its thing. This creates a cheap air conditioner that can cool one room highly effectively at the energy cost of a fan – which is a fraction of consumption power.

The best part is, you can reuse your ice bottle as many times as you like, or use it as a cold pack or as a part of your cooler. Science is fun when you know the secret!

We hope you make great use of these cooling tips when your A/C breaks, isn’t enough, or when you’re just tired of paying too much for the power you need on a hot summer day.

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