To all of us who live in countries where the temperature regularly jumps over 100, an Air Conditioner is an essential requirement to preserve your strength and sanity.
Hot and humid weather brings with a load of problems which are at best, inconvenient like the non-stop sweat and clothes sticking to your body like glue.
And at worst, the heat and humidity are totally soul-sucking, leaving you drained of all energy and lifeforce, desperately trying to find a way to cool yourself down somehow so you can get yourself a good night’s sleep.
How To Survive The Summers Without an AC
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In my opinion, the Air Conditioner is definitely one of the greatest inventions of modern times and is 100% worth the money. But it still feels discouraging when I look at the electricity bill at the end of the month, which is twice as higher than what I usually get.
Thus, if you want to get through the summer without breaking the bank, you must know a few hacks. This is your holy grail to keeping yourself cool, calm, and comfortable.
How To Cool Your Body
Even if you don’t have an Air conditioner, experts say that you need to start thinking of your own body as an air conditioner. No matter how hot your surroundings are, you can use these tips to cool your body down.
Your body is 70% water. Sweat dehydrates you and makes you feel even hotter. The only way to prevent that is to drink plenty of water. The more H20 you have in your tank, the easier it will be to beat the heat.
There really is no such thing as too much water, just make sure you don’t go overboard right before you go to sleep. No point disturbing your sleep in the middle of the night, it’ll be yet another battle to fall back asleep in the heat.
Take a bath
This is an absolute no brainer, no matter how hot it gets, or how humid it is, there’s no way you’re going to feel anything other than absolute bliss under a cold, cold shower.
Just make sure you don’t take a shower right before you sleep as for some people, it makes them more active.
Get acquainted with your body’s cooling spots
Who amongst us hasn’t held up a cold water bottle up to our forehead on a sweltering summer day? Holding it up to your forehead might feel good, but it’s still not the most efficient cooling spot in your body.
When you touch a cold object to your body, you basically need to touch the pulse points in your body as these are the best at cooling down your body. Your neck, your wrists, your elbows, knees, and even the inner thigh are the best cooling points. The most effective is your neck, though.
You feel hot because of course, it is hot – but it’s still just a feeling! Just think of all those friends you have who always feel less hot than you.
Sometimes, the answer is to have a calmer mind. If you keep thinking about how uncomfortable it is, you are bound to feel uncomfortable, and you’ll sweat all the more.
Get into a regular meditation practice to learn how to control your thoughts and not let them run around at a thousand miles per hour. Meditation has also been proven to lower your resting heart rate. The lower your resting heart rate, the less hot you’ll feel.
Give up smoking, caffeine and drink sparingly in the summer
Smoking not only jacks up your heart rate and blood pressure, but it also sends your body a signal to sweat. We know how hard it is to quit smoking, but quitting could dramatically reduce how hot you feel. The same goes for coffee, energy drinks, and all other stimulants.
I know, it’s really tempting to kick back and end the day with an ice cold beer. However, you need to know your limits. One drink a day can lower your resting heart rate and calm you down, but any more than that and you’ll be sweating like a pig well into tomorrow. If you do drink, stick to beers or have your drink on the rocks or instead of with sodas.
Watch what you eat
Remember that time you had that Mexican restaurant, and you started sweating in the middle of your meal? Certain food items can definitely jack up your body’s nervous system and get you sweating.
Stay away from chilies, excessively spicy or flavorful foods and definitely take it easy on the red meat. The more vegan you go, the better. Fewer steaks, more fruits, and more vegetables.
All those metabolism-boosting supplements you’re using to lose weight also need to go. Certain antidepressants and heart disease drugs can also make you feel hotter, so make sure you get all your medications reviewed by your physician.
Wear cotton clothes in light colors
If you absolutely do have to go out in the heat, make sure you are dressed for the weather. Light-colored, loose-fitting cotton clothes are the best. Just bring to mind how nomads dress in the Arabian desert. White, long and loose fitting clothes.
Keep Your head covered as well, not with a cap, but something which ideally has a bit more volume like a headscarf or a bandana. There are also caps with fans in them. Solar panels on the cap power the fan but they will only work when you’re directly under the Sun.
How To Cool Your House Down
You could do all of the things we mentioned above and still get drenched in sweat. So you really need to find a way to cool your house down. So here are our tips.
Keep the blinds closed
A huge amount of heat comes in through your windows. Getting yourself a set of curtains can lower the temperature in your room by up to 20 degrees.
There are plenty of different types of curtains out there, but the general rule is the darker, the better, the thicker, the better. In fact, we would suggest roller blinds for homes simply because they let no amount of sunlight in. Investing in blackout roller blinds will block all sunlight into your room and definitely make it a much cooler place.
Not to mention, roller blinds look swanky as hell and can be operated via remote control as well. They also give you the added benefit of opening or closing only partly so you can decide the amount of sunlight you want.
Let the Heat Out After Sundown
The heat that has come in will stay in that room unless it’s got somewhere to go. If it’s begun to get cooler outside open the curtains for a bit and let the warm air out.
Cold air from outside creates an air current that pulls the hot air out. Keep the curtains open at night time, and you’ll get rid of the heat in no time.
Even if it’s hot, the wind will cause your sweat to evaporate, making you feel cooler. Normally it’s a good idea to keep all doors and windows open so that you get cross-ventilation.
But sometimes some rooms get so hot, it’s best you don’t open those doors at all. If one of your windows faces West, it’s going to bring in a ton of hit. So, therefore, ventilate, but with caution.
Like we said before the hot air has got to go. Hot air usually rises up and merely turning on the ceiling fan will just push it back down.
Exhaust fans near the roof of the housework are great at expelling the hot air. You could even set up a fan in front of the window, which is pointing outside as this will also take the hot air out.
If you can hack your ceiling fan to make it rotate counter-clockwise, even your ceiling fan will do a great job of expelling all that heat. As soon as the heat’s gone, switch the fan back to clockwise.
Establish a cross-breeze
A fan simply rearranges the air which is already in the room. To get the most out of it, you need to establish a cross-breeze cooling system. Position one table fan right in front of a window pointing inwards, and keep another in front of another window pointing outwards.
Loop in your ceiling fans and keep other windows and doors closed to create a localized space where there is a draft. That will be the sweet spot in your room.
Hack your windows
If you’ve got windows that are parted in the middle into a top and bottom section, make sure the top sections of all windows are open on the downwind side of your home and keep all bottom sections open on the upwind side of your house.
Hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window can also make for a chilly breeze.
You can make a number of modifications to your house to prevent the outside heat from getting in. Some of these methods involve putting up insulated window films, which work similarly to blinds and you can also put in awnings over your porch and roof.
Ice in front of the fan
If you’ve never seen mist fans before, here’s a small DIY project for you. Get a bowl or a shallow pan and fill it with ice from the refrigerator. Make sure the ice sticks out above the top edge of the pan.
Put this pan in front of your fan. The wind from the fan will pick up the cold water from the ice as it melts, sending a misty, chilly breeze your way.
Cool your sheets and blankets
It’s time to make your refrigerator pay off in dividends. Stick your blankets and sheets in your refrigerator for a while before you sleep on them. We would suggest keeping them in a plastic packet; otherwise, you’ll be falling asleep to the smell of leftover anchovies.
Choose the right sheets
Satin and silk sheets might feel like a million bucks in winter, but they just don’t have enough breathability as cotton. We would also recommend getting yourself a buckwheat pillow or two. Buckwheat mesh has a naturally occurring air space in them, which makes them more comfortable and much cooler.
Even 100% cotton sheets might not do the trick some nights, and on these sweaty, sultry nights, it’s time to embrace the dampness.
Although Egypt isn’t a particularly damp place, it is a tremendously hot place. So what they would do is they would just soak a large sheet or a blanket in cold water and then they would wring it dry, so it’s damp and cool, but not wet anymore.
They would then use it as a blanket. As the water evaporates, you’ll feel cool, but you won’t feel wet.
Ice Pack under the head
Another popular variation of the Egyptian method is the old ice pack under the pillow or below your head or on top of your wrists. If you don’t have that, a cold washcloth helps as well. Resting your face on a damp washcloth is also good for the skin as it ensures your face does not get overloaded with oils while you sleep through the night.
Keep your feet cool
The feet and ankles have a large number of pulse points; thus if you want to cool your body, you might as well start off with the feet. Keep a bucket of cold water beside the bed and dip your feet into it right before you go to sleep.
Another way to keep your feet cool is to wear a pair of damp socks. It might feel weird at first, but you’ll be surprised by how cool it keeps you. This is also the same reason why you’re advised to wear socks in winter while you sleep, because in winter works in reverse and hold on to the heat, keeping you warm.
Get a cooling pillow
There are certain pillows and sheets which will always keep you cool. The technologies vary from model to model, but most of them use cold water in some way.
Just do an online search for the Chillow. They can start off cheap at around $50 and go up to $500.
Stay as low as you can
Hot air rises up, and if there’s no place for it to go, it stays there. That’s why your attic is the hottest room of the house, and that’s also why it feels much hotter on the top bunk of a bunk bed as compared to the bottom.
Take your mattress out of the bed and lay it down on the floor. If the floor isn’t wooden but is made out of ceramic tiles, it’ll be a lot cooler anyway.
How about a hammock
Ever wonder how Tarzan could go to sleep in hot tropical rainforests – he had a hammock? A suspended hammock allows for airflow from all sides. Also, a hammock made of rope doesn’t retain heat like a puffy mattress.
It would be even better if you could hoist up the hammock on a balcony or the roof or in between some trees in your front yard where there is a lot of wind. What are you going to do indoors anyway – you don’t have an AC!
Turn off your lights
And I don’t mean just before you go to sleep. Incandescent light bulbs emit 90% of their energy as heat and only 10% as light. Not only does that heat up your room crazy, but it also hikes up your electricity bills something fierce.
If you were looking for motivation to switch to environmentally friendly CFLs, this is it. But it’s worth noting that even CFLs emit some amount of heat. Just make sure they are a good distance away from the bed before you go to sleep.
Hog the bed
Hot summer nights and cuddling definitely don’t go too well together. Although it might seem unbearable to stay away from your loved ones, summer is the time to put your hair down and take up your own space on the bed.
Lie with your arms and legs in a spread eagle position to ensure maximum airflow and a minimum of contact heat.
Turn Off All Your Electronics
Your laptop and CPU are one of the most significant sources of heat in your room, and they need to be shut down. Even your phone, kindle, etc. emit small amounts of heat, so keep them powered off or a good distance away from you.
Make long-term changes
I understand eventually, you’ll get yourself an AC. But there are other things you can do which will make your house cooler in the long run. The best thing you can do is plant more trees in your yard and vines in front of your windows. The tree leaves will block the sunlight from coming in and provide you with cool shade.
Well, that’s it from us today. This summer has been particularly hard on all of us, and it’s going to get worse soon. If you want to make it without an AC, this is how your grandparents did it, and this is how you could do it too.