Real talk. It’s hot. August in Texas is rough. Temperatures are at 100 degrees and humidity is at 100 percent. Just reading this is making you start to sweat. So what most Texans do to beat the heat is…stay inside! Maybe you noticed a huge spike in your electric bill this month, compared to the month before. For many, they have been staying home way more than usual due to COVID-19, and that means running the A/C non-stop. Here are some tips for how to keep cool as we count down to cooler weather.
Stay in the shade
You and your home can keep cool by staying out of direct sunlight. No, that does not mean buying a giant parasol to cover your home. Just close the blinds and pull the drapes closed. Invest in blackout curtains, as they keep up to 99.9% of sunlight out of the room.
Window films can be useful if you don’t want to block views since they are semi-transparent, or on windows that are difficult or expensive to fit with other treatments.
Turn on your fan
Here is some science for you. Fans do not lower the temperature of a room. Whoa! Then why do I feel cooler standing in front of one? They create a wind-chill effect, so you feel cooler. Basically, when a fan blows air around, it helps sweat evaporate from your skin, which cools you down.
Ceiling fans are considered the most effective because they circulate the air in a room to create a wind-chill effect throughout. But turn them off when you leave the room; remember, ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Switching off your lights and fans will save you money on your electric bill.
You need water
Your body needs water to deal with hot temperatures. When you get too warm, you start to sweat. The problem is that excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. And your body can become dehydrated before you notice signs, so it’s important you don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Kind of like your lawn. If you wait until your grass is brown to water it…it’s too late.
You can’t really water your house, but if you (and whoever else shares your home) is hydrated and sipping cold water all day, instead of say hot coffee, your internal temperature will stay cooler. This will insure that you won’t need to mess with the thermostat as much. Cool showers, cold wet washcloths and ice packs can help to keep you from getting too hot, as well.
You are what you eat…
…so be cool! Any food that doesn’t require heat to prepare is better since using the oven and stove can make you and your house even hotter.
Salads require no cooking and lots of vegetables contain mostly water which will help with hydration, as well. Watermelon is 90% water, vitamin dense, electrolyte replenishing and delicious! Mint, with its cooling sensation, is a zero-calorie addition that will freshen any drink or snack.
Bottom line, be mindful. Have your dad’s voice in your head, saying “Shut the door, don’t let all the air out, I’m not paying to air condition the outside!” (or was that just my house) Stay cool!
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