Do the dog days of summer seem more like wolves howling at the door? Is the electric bill double or triple the heat index? Even though it seems like we will never be cool again, one day the heater will be turned on and a sweater will become part of the wardrobe yet again. Until then, there are some things you can do to beat the heat this summer.
The first thing is to turn the thermostat up a bit. I’m not talking to 85 degrees, but don’t set it for 72. If you just can’t stand the thought of setting the thermostat higher, move it up one degree at a time each couple of hours until it is at a temperature that you can live with. Make sure to run ceiling fans that are turning counter-clockwise direction. This doesn’t necessarily cool the room but it creates air flow and a comfortable breeze. Floor fans can be placed in certain areas throughout the house. If you have air ducts that are low on your walls you can place a fan in front of the vent to help blow cool air throughout the room.
Keeping blinds, shades or curtains closed helps keep rooms cooler, and it will keep paint and furniture from fading due to the sunlight. Make sure to keep lights turned off during the day to save electricity.
Cook early in the day or later at night once or twice a week and simply reheat throughout the week, or eat foods that don’t require cooking.
It is better to do housework earlier in the day, when it is cooler. If you work up a sweat during the hotter times of the day, you will want to turn the air conditioning down to cool the house even more. A great way to stay cool is to take a lukewarm shower when you feel too hot.
Unfortunately, this year seems to be one that is going to be very hot for prolonged periods of time. Make sure to keep your air conditioning unit tuned up. There is an out-of-pocket expense for the yearly tune-up but it could help ward off any problems. If you have a yearly cleaning contract with a company, if you do have a problem, they do sometimes move you up on the list and give you a discount on the work that needs to be done.
Remember to stay hydrated. If you can help it, do not work outside during the hottest part of the day and, if you start to feel overheated, get somewhere that you can cool down.
I hope that you all not only survive, but thrive this summer and can save a little extra money by putting some of these tips to good use.