Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reminders for Staying Cool

(pictured in a photo with mild color saturation and tinting is my sweaty son M, working to stay cool while still having fun outside...yea, my camera seems to be working for now!)

It's hot where I am. Is it hot where you are? If so, I have some reminders for you. It's all common sense stuff that we all do, but its so easy to forget to do basic things like keep hydrated...which at best leads to headaches and stuff, and at worse, can make us sick.

Your Home

Have all your windows and shades/blinds/curtains open at night, and close them early in the morning. You can open them back up when that area is shaded for the afternoon, or once night falls.

If the hot air is already starting to come in when you go to close the windows in the morning, or if it is particularly stuffy or humid and you have some shade, close the shades/blinds/curtains but not the actual windows.

Thick blankets can also do the trick if you don't have shades/blinds/curtains or if they are too thin to make a difference.

Avoid opening and closing doors.

Don't use any electrical appliances during the day. Don't run a dishwasher, put in a load of laundry, or vacuum. Wait until night to cook, if you can't limit your foods to cold foods only. To the extent possible, keep computers turned off.

If you have fans and can afford to run them, run them constantly rather than turning them on and off. Place fans near open windows during the cooler hours of the day, so they draw in cooler air from outside.

When you have a window open, whenever possible open a window on the opposite side of the room for cross ventilation.

Keep all lights turned off during the day.

Shut doors to rooms you won't be using (such as bedrooms), if they tend to be hot rooms. Consider relocating your activies, including sleep, to your coolest rooms. Leave doors to cool rooms open.

Your Body

Drink TONS of water. Whether you realize it or not, you are losing a lot of water in this weather...way more than is obvious. If you don't like water, try adding a little lemon juice or something.

Cold water feels great in hot weather, but water that is closer to our body temp may keep us cooler for longer.

Limit any drinks besides water. They'll make you think your thirst is satiated, but they won't hydrate you as effectively. Do not drink caffeinated drinks at all if you can avoid it.

Do low-key activities during the day. Wait for the evening to do higher gear activities. Limit your time heading out of your house to the evening, or spend some of the day in air conditioned buildings such as a library (but remember that once you're cool in there, your home is going to feel much hoter!).

Consider getting cool with a cool shower or cold pool or sprinkler...the warmer the water, the sooner your body will heat up again. Consider getting yourself as cold as you can...and stay wet for as long as you can rather than drying off right away.

Carry some folded heavy paper or anything with which to fan yourself...with or without also carrying a spray bottle of water. Or get one of those personal fans, with or without a spritzer.

Minimize clothes. ;-)


boatbaby said...

Children + shade + hose = happiness on a hot day.

Masasa said...

Oh yeah, shade and hose is a FABULOUS combo!

Sara said...

Good tips. You know those reflective shades for cars work really great for south facing windows in your house too, although then you have the whole "wrapped in tin foil" look going on.

Masasa said...

Oh, Sara, that's good.

And the new blog looks good too, BTW. It's helpful for me to see someone take a new direction with her blog when I am in the midst of re-thinking mine.