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Twenty-one Natural and Cheap Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

Updated on July 26, 2018
Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe knows how to cool down in the summer. Some of these cost-effective ways were tried and true to beat the heat.

Cool Down When It Gets Hot

Summer is officially here. The temperatures will be high with unbearable heat closer to the 90s. Your health could be at risk, if you don't protect yourself from the sun's burning ways. To help prevent dehydration and from receiving other ill health affects, stay hydrated and cool all season long. Don't let them sweat when they can cool down. Check out these twenty-one cheap and natural cost-effective ways to stay cool without paying high amounts on your next utility bill.

Draw Your Blinds at Night

How to Cool Down Naturally

1. Expand Fan Base and use the AC

Moving air accelerates sweat evaporation when fans are most effective for cooling people directly. Don’t overlook your open basement doorway as a fan location, although ceiling and window units do the job. Place a fan facing your living space to fill cellar air into the floor, unless your home has high radon levels or mold. (Note: When the heat index “feels like” and reaches 99 Degrees Fahrenheit, fans stop being effective.) Fans help circulate air and make you feel cooler, even in an air-conditioned house. Be sure to clean fans regularly, if you’re bothered by allergies or asthma. If you have more than one fan, and it’s cooler outside than inside, position two fans in your windows, so one pushes hot air out, and the other brings cool air in. To decrease your energy bill between 6-18%, set your AC at 78 degrees instead of 72; if 78 sounds warm to you, don’t worry since it’ll be plenty cool when it’s hotter outside or 90 degrees.

2. Use cooler light bulbs and replace them

An incandescent bulb radiating 90% of its energy as heat is a “little heater.” Replace them with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit 75% less heat. So whenever possible, switch electronics like computers to sleep mode, and realize that dishwashers, TVs, computers, and other applause generate heat, so limit their use.

3. Hit the Shower

Anything that puts water in touch with your skin cools you down, because that water evaporates, which stimulates sweating. Try taking a cool shower and then relax by drying yourself in front of a fan —but don’t towel off completely. Take frequent baths or showers with tepid or cool water. You can achieve the evaporating effect by misting with a spray bottle or applying a cool cloth on your neck.

4. Turn the tap on, bring water spray bottles, and use sports drinks

It almost goes without saying to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. So drink lots of plenty of water! If you’re tired of plain water, try infusing them with foods that contain water—a medium apple, a watermelon wedge, cheddar cheese, cooked broccoli, roasted and skinless chicken breasts, coffee and tea. You can make your own flavored refreshing drink by adding some fresh fruit slices, herbs, and veggies to your water. Orange with mint and cucumber with lemon are two refreshing combos, since infusing them in easy. Slice the elements you want for flavor, put them in a pitcher with water, and keep it in the fridge. Fill spray bottles with water and keep it in the fridge for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors. By drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes, combat dehydration.

5. Window Shields and Drawing Blinds

About 40% of your home’s heat comes in through windows, especially those facing east and west. Curtains, shades, and blinds should closely fit windows and be a light reflective color to block it. Try installing Energy Star windows with a low E-coating which deflects heat, or an easier more is to buy a clear, heat control window film from a home improvement store like Home Depot and apply it your standard windows. Keep the curtains drains and blinds down if you’re not at home—this stop sunlight from getting in and heating up your home. Simply drawing the blinds during the day can really cut down on heat inside the house— a simple fix that many people forget. White or light colored drapes are the most effective at blocking out head; so ditch the dark shades and get a lighter set for summer.

6. Cotton Bedding and Pillowcase Freezing

So keep cool with cotton sheets and loose-fitting PJs, since many of us have trouble nodding off in a room warmer than 75%F. If it’s still hot out, when you’re going bed, stick your pillowcase in the freezer for a bit before you go to sleep. That you’ll you’ll fall asleep on a nice, cool pillow.

7. Outdoor Exercise

Take advantage of cooler time (early morning/late evening) by altering your outdoor exercise patterns. Scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead of running or decrease the level of exertion, if you can’t change the time of your workout.

Open Windows for a Light Breeze

On the Cheap

8. Go to the Library

You can read free books, magazines, wifi, and surf the Internet with free air conditioning all day at the library than at home instead. If you have kids, check out programs your library has to offer this summer like story tome and book clubs.

9. See Matinee Movies

Movie theaters pump air conditioning. If you’re planning to see a new movie, see a matinee, when the tickets are cheaper. You’ll get out of the heat while the sun’s shining.

10. Wear Light Colors on Loose-Fitting Linen and Cotton Clothing (and Use Sunscreen)

Like dark colors do, light colors reflect light instead of absorbing it. So why sunscreen? While wearing light colors will keep you cooler with light-fitting clothing, they’re not as effective at blocking the sun’s harmful rays from your skin. Cotton and linen clothes will keep you cooler than synthetics, which makes you sweat. So you remain protected by considering applying a daily lotion that contains SPF 30 and dress accordingly.

11. Eat Strategically and Freeze Water Bottles

Drinking and eating cold things helps us cool down. If you eat spicy foods, it can also help chill us out, because they induce sweating. A few frozen water bottles in the freezer can do a lot. Put one in your bed with you, when you sleep at n right, and one behind your neck when you’re watching TV. Bring it to drink—if you’re going out and about—slowly, leaving you with something extra cold to sip on. You’ll have a supply of cold water with you as the ice melts.

12. Windows Open at Night and Cross Currents

Wait until evening to open windows to let cool air in, instead of opening them during the day, which makes your house hotter. Often people wonder why it doesn’t seem to help much on a hot day when you open the window closest to them. Opening windows across the room from one another, you can create a wind-tunnel effect that will cool you down, when one window will offer a slight breeze.

13. No Cooking in Oven and Cook Outside

Plan for meals that only use the stove top, microwave, or grill instead of using the oven, which can drastically increase heat in the kitchen. When you use your oven, it’s going to quickly transform your kitchen into a sauna. Consider cooking outside instead on hot days. Do you really need an excuse to fire up the grill in the summer?

14. Cold Lotions

To use on hot, overtired feet, try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the fridge.

15. Don’t Overuse the AC
The difference between a fan and an air conditioner are pretty dramatic, while a fan does use electricity. An average AC consumes about 900kWh per month, whereas a fan consumes about a tenth of that—a cost savings of more than $100 per month. Ask yourself, if flipping on a fan and putting on a pair of shorts will be just as good before you crank you the AC.

16. Good Thermostats
You’ll waste big bucks to cool your home when you’re not around with old-school thermostats keep the temperature constant all day long. Good programmable thermostats can let you set to turn the AC off when you go to work or raise the temperature a little after you’ve gone to bed. If you have one, take 10 minutes to set it up to save money. If you don’t have one, invest in purchasing one.

17. Portable Fans
Use small, portable battery-powered fans. There are versions that you can attach a water bottle to it to spray a cooling mist.

18. Ceiling Fans
Set up your ceiling fan correctly, since most fans have two settings. The first creates an updraft, which is useful in the winter months to displace warm air that has risen to the ceiling. The second for summertime use that pushes air down, creating a cooling breezing. Check to see if it’s the right setting during the summer months to ensure your fan is doing its job.

19. Garden Wisely
In the summer, you can use your garden to your advantage. You can shave a few degrees off your indoor temperatures by strategically planting trees to limit light through windows. You’ll provide a little buffer between your home and sun by allowing ivy to crawl across your walls outside, similarly. When the temperature outside gets too unbearable, a nicely landscaped backyard that provides plenty of shade will give you a cool place to retire to.

20. Send the Heat Somewhere

Your attic is probably full of hot air rising right now. It can cause your air conditioner to work overtime when a mass of hot air above your head can warm the upper levels of your house. A simple way to cool things down is installing an attic fan to exhaust this air.

21. AC Seals and Check-up

Don’t let the cool air escape. Your AC can do double duty in the summer with leaky doors and windows. An inexpensive way to trap cool air is caulking around windows and weatherstripping around doors. All sorts of gunk like leaves and dust can clog your AC over time. It can make your AC much less efficient when this debris can dramatically cut down on air circulation through the machine. For a checkup and cleaning every couple of years, take it into a repair shop to ensure that it’s running at its peak efficiency.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

This summer, you can beat the heat and stay cool all season long with these twenty-one cost-effective cheap and natural ways. It would help you save your life if you stay in the shade, let the breeze in, and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids. It would also save your money on your future utility bills every year. So why don't you give it a try, and don't sweat the small stuff today?


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