Staying Cool in the Heat

If you haven’t noticed, today June 21, 2012 is the first full day of summer and mother nature is giving us a full blast of hot humid air.  This time of year, you are going to hear about the elderly having heat strokes, infant and children left in cars, even pets can suffer from heat.  I hope to enlighten you about some of the ways you can cool off even without air conditioning.  As most of our grandparents would say, “back in the day there was no air conditioning”, well there are still a lot of older homes out there that either don’t have AC or the families living in them can’t afford to turn the air on.  So here are some tips to cooling off without touching the AC.

One of the biggest and easiest things to do is to invest in some ceiling or floor fans.  Position your floor fan so it sucks up the cooler air from the floor and blows it toward the ceiling.  For ceiling fans, make sure that the fan is not blowing the hot air down from the ceiling.  Another REALLY easy fix is to place foil on your windows.  This will help reflect the sun off of your house.  After a recent trip to Louisiana staying with a friend, I discovered just how well this works. She has all of her windows covered and you can feel the coolness in the house.  You can also freeze water in some 2 liter bottles then place those in a


 metal bowl in front of your fan causing the cooled air to blow your direction.

When the weather starts heating up early in the morning, the best thing to do is close your blinds and curtains.  Do this as soon as the sun hits your house and avoid opening them until the cooler hours of the evening or when the sun is no longer hitting your house.  You should also turn off all heat sources, including: lights, computers, TV and some power adapters.  Try to save cooking, laundry and running the dishwasher until late into the day.  We have all heard of brownouts and blackouts because the power company gets overloaded, the reason is all of the air conditioners running.  Think in terms of a power surge in your home when a circuit is overloaded.

Now for some tips on how to keep your internal temperatures cool.  Drink plenty of fluids.  Avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages.  For a quick cool down snack try freezing chunks of your favorite fruits. Can’t sleep at night due to the heat, try placing a small pillow in a plastic bag, and then place it in the freezer.  I know I am a fan of cool or cold pillows.  If all else fails, fill a bathtub with cool water and sit down slowly so your body can acclimate.  Remember that as you age, your body does not regulate temperature as quickly as it used to, even if you are physically fit.  A temperature of 104 or higher can be life threateni

ng.  Many people do not realize they are suffering from heat stroke. Some signs include, dizziness, clammy skin, slow or confused or if they claim to be cold. Getting them out of the sun and in an air conditioned room can save their lives.

I hope this has helped. Remember to stay cool and stay hydrated.

Happy Summer