When August finally rolls around, it can be hard to remember that you were wishing for this heat in January. A hot day on the beach is nice, but the humidity in summer leaves you sticking to your chair. If you find yourself longing for the chilly days of winter, check out these ways of staying cool in summer before you resort to that in-office water balloon fight.
1. Keep hydrated
This is probably not news to you, but it bears repeating: keep hydrated during the hottest days of summer. Dehydration is one of the easiest ways for a fun vacation day to turn into a dangerous situation.
Drinking enough water will beat heat-wave lethargy, as well as keep your body temperature down. Keeping hydrated means sipping water throughout the day, not gulping it down all at once.
- Staying cool in summer is as easy as keeping a pitcher of ice water in the fridge, or taking water bottles with you on the go.
- Try filling water bottles halfway, then lying them on their sides in the freezer. When you’re ready to use one, fill the bottle the rest of the way up with water. Turning the bottle on its side means the ice won’t block the water as you sip, but will keep your water cool.
- Get even more water into your diet with smoothies and fruits like watermelons, cantaloupes and peaches, which make staying cool in summer a treat.
2. Cool off with a DIY spa
Thinking about a spa might have you imagining hot stone massages and sweaty saunas. Relaxation can just as easily be cool, however.
- Make yourself a chilly retreat with an ice bath in a foot tub. There are a lot of pulse points in your feet, which means a soak in ice water will cool off your whole body.
- Double the power of a nice breeze coming in the window by hanging damp linen or cotton curtains in front of them.
- Where’s the best place for a nap on a hot day? In a hammock! You get the cooling benefits of air circulation all around you, instead of trapping the heat in a mattress or pillow.
- Sleep under a sheet dampened with cold water, and you’ll be staying cool in summer nights.
- Sip cucumber water or a mango smoothie to complete the spa effect.
3. Keep aloe or lotion in the fridge
You’ve just come back from a long day outside and realize that you have a sunburn. The first thing you’re going to want is some aloe gel or oil-free lotion, to cool the burn and reduce redness. But if your tube of aloe has been in your beach bag all day, it could get as hot as the beach. No amount of roasting aloe gel will soothe those sunburns.
Instead, leave the lotion behind in your freezer, or better yet just store your aloe in the fridge, so it’s always nice and cool when you need it. This will help sunburns stop hurting and fade faster, and help with staying cool in summer sunshine.
4. Turn off the oven
Firing up the oven is the last thing you want to do on a hot summer night. When people think about staying cool in summer, they often forget about how much heat it takes to cook. Adding cooking heat to your building will make your air conditioner work harder too.
Avoid baking yourself along with your dinner, by ordering out or by preparing fresh no-cook foods that don’t require the heat. Dishes like salads, sandwiches, and cold soups are all good choices. Try buying precooked meat to make your regular dinner recipes with. Grilling also keeps the heat outdoors where it belongs.
If you have to use heat-producing appliances like the oven, dishwasher, or clothes dryer, try to save it for night time when the temperature is cooler.
5. Make your office cool
Everyone wants to work in a cool office, and in summer, that means temperature control. Ever heard of the lazy days of summer? Heat is a productivity buster that you’ll want to manage.
- Small efforts towards staying cool in summer months at the office can go a long way. Make sure windows are outfitted with blinds to keep the sun out during the hottest parts of the day. Installing high-efficiency light bulbs like LEDs not only make your office more eco-friendly, but also produce less heat.
- Here’s another good office tip for staying cool in summer: keep ice in the office freezer and provide chilled drinking water to promote hydration.
How cool should your office be, exactly? Read more about it here: What Is the Ideal Office Temperature?
- You’ve likely heard the dreaded phrase, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” one too many times before. Consider getting a dehumidifier, or even some potted plants. Keeping indoor plants such as garden mums, bamboo palms, and aloe vera will help reduce temperature and control humidity in summer.
Does your office need more help staying cool in summer? Learn more about how humidity affects you here: Is Too Much Humidity Hurting Your Health?
- If you want to invest in a more long-term solution for staying cool in summer, painting the building roof a light color will reflect a lot of heat from the sun.
Kids know that staying cool in summer means one thing: chasing down that ice cream truck for an ice pop. If you haven’t already, the tail end of summer is a great time to invest in a popsicle mold. You could also freeze juice in paper cups that can be peeled off once your popsicles are frozen.
Not only are popsicles a nostalgic summer dessert, they are great because the ice and water content will help you keep cool and hydrated. Try freezing vanilla ice cream and root beer to make a classic root beer float even cooler. Other great options include fruit juice, coffee, yogurt and your favorite summer fruit, or even cereal and milk. (Who says popsicles can’t be for breakfast?)
7. Get an HVAC maintenance plan for staying cool in summer
You won’t have to fret about the heat when you can rely on your air conditioner for staying cool in summer.
All summer long, your HVAC system is working hard to maintain a cool refreshing temperature. Give it the care it needs with a preventative maintenance plan.
Did you know that regular HVAC maintenance prevents breakdowns and service interruptions by keeping your air conditioner in good condition? It also helps it provide more consistent temperatures and control humidity in summer.
BONUS: preventative maintenance also increases the efficiency of your air conditioner, which saves energy and lowers your electric bill!
Read up about your options for a maintenance plan here: HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contracts: How to Find The Right One For Your HVAC Infrastructure. Then you don’t have to rely on back up plans for staying cool in summer. You can rest assured your AC won’t quit on you during the hottest days of the year.