With barely a few weeks left before we officially step into the summer of 2022, one can already feel the heat coming on. The bright mornings that make you excited to get up and the evenings that stay lit until well into the night—summer indeed has the best kind of days. But it’s also the time of the year when temperatures rise drastically and with each passing year, due to the climate change, summer tends to be more exhausting and excruciating. It not only takes a toll on our well-being but also our pockets. The rising electricity bills can sometimes make it hard to afford an air conditioner.
The scorching temperatures and humidity can make you feel uncomfortable, but you can’t possibly spend all your hard-earned money on an air conditioner and its bills. So, what are the best ways to beat the summer heat? Well, here are some tips and tricks that act as AC alternatives and help you reduce the use of the device.
1. Set up your fans the right way
First things first, if you haven’t already invested in a good ceiling fan, do it right away as they are one of the best alternatives to air conditioning. Make sure the fan blades are rotating anti-clockwise as you look up at them. This will push the air straight down.
Ceiling fans can merely keep the air moving—and this is where box fans come in handy. The positioning of your box fans is a crucial factor. Place them near the windows, hallways, or anywhere that allows access to the air outside. It will draw the cooler air from outside to the warm areas. This technique is one of the best alternatives to central air conditioning.
2. DIY air conditioner
It’s time to be a little innovative! Take a metal bowl and fill it with ice cubes. Place it near your box fans and turn them on. The chilly, misty breeze will make it feel like you have an AC running. Choose ice cubes over cold water because even after melting, the water will continue giving out the cool breeze.
3. Use your windows wisely
Open your window at night as the air outside tends to be cooler then. But keep your windows closed during the afternoon. As windows can let in 25% of the summer heat, make sure to block the heat using shades or blinds. If possible, insulate your windows with window films as they provide up to 98% infrared heat reduction compared to unprotected windows.
4. Don’t generate heat yourself
You might have heard your mom complain about how tough it is to cooking during summer afternoons. This is because cooking not only generates heat but also doubles the intensity of the heat. The same is the case with using any device that produces heat. So, it is better to do your house chores during the early hours of the morning or at night. Apart from this, turn the lights on only when it’s necessary and replace your incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs as incandescents not only consume a lot of power but also radiate a lot of heat.
5. Go green
Strategically placed plants, shrubs and vines can work as great air conditioning substitutes. Plant shady trees around your house to block the sun's rays. Green plants placed in boxes near the window (window boxes) can cool the air that is flowing into the house. You may also go for vines like ivy that grow rapidly.
Another way of going green is to introduce certain dietary modifications into your life. You need to keep your body cool from the inside as well. Avoid foods that generate body heat (red meat, mutton, fried food, etc.) and include more vegetables into your diet. Seasonal fruits like mangoes, watermelon, and grapes will help you stay cool and energized.
6. Breathable bedding and cooling curtains
Make use of cotton blankets and sheets as they are one of the most breathable materials. During the nighttime, cover the window openings with damp sheets. When the breeze hits the damp fabric, it brings in cool air, keeping the temperature down in your home.
7. Do it like the Egyptians
If you still feel hot while sleeping, follow the Egyptian method. Replace your blanket with a damp sheet. Cover yourself with a dry towel and place a damp sheet on top. It will keep you as cool as a November night. Make sure the towel is only slightly wet and not dripping wet.
8. Water is your best friend
It is important to stay hydrated during the summer. You sweat a lot during the hot months and if you don’t keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, you are going to suffer! Taking cold showers helps in cooling down your body.
By using air conditioners, we are also burning fossil fuels that will turn the Earth into an even hotter place. Apart from keeping your house cool and saving money, following these simple yet smart hacks will help in sustaining our planet.