There’s nothing more infuriating than discovering that your air conditioner has broken down on a hot summer day. While a homeowner’s initial response would be to call his go-to HVAC technician, there may come a time when your man won’t be able to provide an immediate response to your cry for help. So, how can you keep your home (and yourself) cool and comfortable while waiting for reinforcement? Here are some of the things that you can do:
1) Change your linens
If you’ve been comfortable sleeping on silk, satin or polyester bed sheets so far, tonight may be the night that you have to take out your light-colored and lightweight cotton linens. Cotton fabrics are known to be more breathable compared to their counterparts.
You can also stick some sheets (properly sealed in plastic bags) in the freezer and take them out when you’re about to go to bed. Don’t count on this alone to get you through the night though as the sheets won’t stay chilly for long. Dampening a sheet or towel and using it as a blanket will also have a similar quick cooling effect.
2) Repurpose your winter warming equipment
There’s certainly no use for a hot water bottle this steamy season – but, you can always turn it into a “cool” water bottle by skipping the boiling water, and filling the container with tepid water and sticking it in the freezer (along with your sheets) instead.
You can also try out these tricks with your fan: 1) instead of having it circulate the warm air inside the room, you can point the device out the window so it can work like an exhaust fan that pushes the hot air out; or 2) you can create a cross-breeze by positioning a fan from across a window, and multiple others throughout the room.
3) Dress down
This certainly is not the time to be fancy, and while you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your values concerning fashion just to keep yourself comfortable, a loose, soft cotton shirt may very well be your only (reasonable) option. Some people would dress down to the extent of being close to pretty bare but it’s really all up to your preference.
4) Create a Do-it-yourself air conditioner
If you’re still up for some DIY – despite the blazing heat that is – you may want to work on this makeshift air conditioner project – a DIY AC. All you need are the following: an icebox (even just a simple cheap one will do); a small fan; a tube that you can use as the air vent; and a large chunk of ice that you can stick inside your final product. The tutorial even shows you how it can be more energy-efficient by turning it into a solar-powered device.
Although if DIY is not actually your strong suit, you can just place a bowl full of ice in front of a fan and enjoy the cool breeze.
5) Keep your body cool and hydrated inside and out
Take a cold shower to bring down your body temperature and rinse off sweat, and apply an ice pack or a cold compress on your pulse points (i.e. wrist, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees). You can also place a bucket of cold water next to the bed at night where you can dip your feet when the heat wakes you up.
Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially before going to bed, and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which may simply bring your body temperature up.
6) Swap your bed with a hammock
If it’s going to be hot, it might as well be vacation-island hot. Set up a hammock, or a cot, and give your bed a break! And while you’re at it, why not go all the way and make yourself some lemonade?
Keep in mind that warm air goes up, so set up your hammock as close to the ground as possible. This also means that if you have a multi-story home, you should stay at the ground floor, and if you’re open to moving the mattress from up the bed to the floor, you should definitely do so.
7) Minimize the use of heat-emitting appliances
Light bulbs give off heat, especially when left on for long hours, so for as much time as possible, keep them turned off and take advantage of the natural light that the sun gives off. This is also the perfect time to leave your stove alone and fire up the outdoor grill. As an added measure, make sure you unplug all unused appliances and devices before going to bed.