By Kristen Rogers, CNN
If you’re one of the 20+ million people who are witnessing the Northwest heat wave, you may be wondering how to stay cool, especially when you don’t have air conditioning – or don’t want to keep it on all the time.
US cities and Canada have reported their hottest temperatures, some of which are still above 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
If at this point in the pandemic you are still not comfortable going to a swimming pool or air-conditioned public facility, there are ways to get comfortable without turning on or without the air conditioning. Here are more than 12 methods to cool your body and to buffer your home from the outside heat.
When you’re hot and red, hydration is the first and most important step in cooling down, said Wendell Porter, a senior lecturer in agricultural and bioengineering at the University of Florida.
The temperature of the water doesn’t matter as your body heats it up, he added. If your body is suffering from the heat and needs to cool down, it can’t do that without enough moisture, as the Body cools down by sweating.
Take a cold shower or bath
A cold shower or bath helps cool your body by lowering your core temperature, Porter said.
Try peppermint soap for an extra cool blast. The menthol in peppermint oil activates brain receptors that your body tell something you eat or feel is cold.
Use cold washcloths on your neck or wrists
Put a cold washcloth or ice pack (packs) place around your wrists or neck to cool your body. These pulse points are areas where the blood vessels are close to the skin so you can cool down faster.
Use box fan
Place box fans out the windows of the rooms you spend time in to blow out hot air and replace it with cold air inside.
If the weather in your area falls between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning and evening, opening the windows on either side of the house during these times can make it easier to use a cross-flow ventilation system. If you do, you may or may not use the fans, but the fans would help cool the house faster, Porter said. The outside area can pull the hot air out of your home and leave a cooler temperature or bring in the breeze. Just be sure to close windows when the sun comes out then open it when the weather is cool again.
Normally you normally don’t leave windows open for safety reasons, but if you’re more home anyway due to the pandemic, this method might be feasible, Porter said.
Resting near a fan would also lower your body temperature.
Close your curtains or blinds
If you have windows that face the sun from morning to afternoon, close the curtains or blinds over them to “keep the sun from coming directly into the house and heating (the) interior,” Porter said.
You can also install blackout curtains to isolate the room and reduce the temperature rise during the day.
When you turn on the air conditioner, do not adjust it keep it below 70 degrees Fahrenheit to cool the house faster, said Samantha Hall, executive director of Spaces Alive, a design research firm that helps create healthy, sustainable buildings.
“It just takes longer to get to that temperature and will keep going until you feel a bit chilly and then are hard to balance,” she added. Instead, keep the device temperature as high as possible while it is still comfortable.
Sleep in breathable bedding
Cotton is one of the most breathable materials, so cotton sheets or blankets can help keep you cool at night.
The lower the thread count the cotton, the more breathable it is, Porter said. That’s because higher thread counts have more weaves per square inch.
Sleep in the basement
If you can’t sleep through the night because you’re too hot, try sleeping outside of your bedroom if that’s an option. The heat rises, so if you have a lower or basement floor in your house, set up a temporary sleeping area there for cooler temperatures at night.
Do not cool or freeze blankets or clothing
Common pieces of advice for staying cool without air conditioning include cooling or freezing wet socks, blankets, or clothing, and then ringing the bell to wear while you sleep. But that’s not a good idea, said Porter.
“The amount of energy you can absorb from your body that night will have you warm in minutes,” he said. “And then you’d have damp stuff that would shape your mattress. So you definitely don’t want that. “
Close the doors of unused rooms
If no one is using a room with no vents or registers, close the door to that area to restrict the cool air only to inhabited areas of the house.
Use the exhaust fan in your kitchen and / or bathroom
Toggle the exhaust fan switch in your kitchen to draw in hot air that rises after you cook, or in your bathroom to let off steam after you shower.
Install energy efficient lightbulbs
Light bulbs generate a higher temperature than LED light bulbs. To make the switch, watch out for selling energy-efficient lightbulbs and then slowly replace the lightbulbs in your house, Porter said.
Changing lightbulbs can save money but not reduce a lot of heat in the house, Hall said. However, if you focused on changing lightbulbs in areas that you’re sitting near, it would make a more noticeable difference, Porter said.
Cook in the morning, with a slow cooker or outside
The heat from the stove can spread throughout the house. Keep the heat in one central area, e.g. B. in a slow cooker. Or cook outside on a grill to keep the heat out.
Enjoy frozen treats
It may help to have an ice cream or ice cream for a moment to cool off. But don’t overdo the sugar if you’re overheated or at risk of overheating, Porter said.
“Sugar would increase your metabolism and make you feel hot inside,” he said. “So the cool treat may be good, but the extra sugar might not be.”
Research what your state has to offer
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t beat the heat at home, then you can search online for local programs that offer ductless air conditioning.
Depending on your state, some cooling centers – air-conditioned public facilities where people can seek help in extremely hot weather – may be open and take precautions to ensure they are as safe as possible. You could start by checking with your local utility offices, as they would know who offers certain programs, Porter suggested.
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