Tips Tuesday – Stay cool and green!
I Found some great ways to keep cool this summer, it looks like it will be a hot and hazy one! Many of these tips we use @HHDS & @ Home! If you have more great ideas on how our followers can stay cool this summer in a ‘Green’ way please share your ideas on our Facebook page!
If you’re looking for green ways to keep cool this summer — with little or no air conditioner — you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve gathered a variety of eco-friendly tips that either don’t use an air conditioner or help you use your air conditioner more efficiently.
Yes, it’s true you can stay cool without harming the environment.
To keep you and the planet healthy and to save money on your energy bill, here are 20 green ways to help you keep cool when summer heat threatens to get inside your home and under your collar.
Avoid the dry cycle and plan ahead. Allow dishes to air dry in your dishwasher. And, wash dishes late at night or early in the morning so you can keep the dishwasher door closed for several hours after the wash cycle completes to avoid hot air from spilling into the room.
Check refrigerator settings and coils. Set your refrigerator between 37 to 40 degrees and remember to keep the coils clean. Dirty coils make your refrigerator work harder and run longer, which heats up your kitchen.
Open windows and doors in the early morning. Allow early morning cool air to circulate throughout your home.
Close windows and coverings mid morning. Shut windows, blinds, shades, shutters and curtains later in the morning to stop afternoon heat from getting inside.
Drench your extremities. Run cold water over your hands and wrists, soak feet and ankles in a tub of water, splash water on your face and ears.
Dress for the heat. Wear loose or lightweight clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton and linen (rather than synthetic materials), including sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts, shorts, capri pants, skirts and dresses. Rotate your shoes or sandals, so you’re never wearing shoes that are damp from sweat. Go barefoot when possible.
Eat smaller amounts of food. Your body produces less heat to digest small amounts of food than compared to large amounts of food.
Freeze a wet a towel. Allow the towel to thaw a little and then place it on your forehead, stomach, or feet to lower your body temperature.
Notice outdoor temperatures. Open doors and windows when the temperature drops down outside.
Practice green bathing habits. Open the window and close the door when showering, so hot steam doesn’t reach other parts of your home. If you don’t have a window in the bathroom, remember to turn on the fan to vent hot air.
Service your air conditioner. If you must use an air conditioner, make sure it runs efficiently by keeping filters clean and using the right amount of coolant. To help your air conditioner work better, use a fan to circulate the cold air. (If you can live with without using an air conditioner, do it. Use an air conditioner only during the hottest part of the day.)
Shut off heat-producing devices. When not in use, unplug or turnoff electronic devices such as computers, televisions, stereos, and incandescent light bulbs.
Sip cold beverages and eat chilled foods. Drink cold beverages, like ice water with a squeeze of lemon, or eat cold food, like chilled strawberries and blueberries, to lower your body temperature from the inside. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol, since both can lead to dehydration.
Sit under a tree. Hang out under shady trees where it can be up to 10 degrees cooler.
Spritz with water from a spray bottle. Mist your face or feet with water to cool off. While still damp, sit in front of a fan to get even cooler.
Take cold showers or baths. Lower your body temperature by cooling off your body from the outside.
Turn on fans to circulate air. Turn off the fan when you’re not in the room. For a short-term treat, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan to move colder air.
Use a microwave or toaster oven. Cook food in a microwave or toaster oven, since both produce less heat and cook foods faster, which keeps your house cooler.
Visit the library, mall, grocery store, movie theatre or gym. Go to public places where many people can be cooled by air conditioners at the same time.
Wash and dry clothes before or after hottest periods. Do laundry early in the day or late at night when it’s cooler. Use a clothesline when possible or at least air dry part of the load. (Not everything may need to go in the dryer, especially items made from synthetic materials like workout clothes, blankets, and fleece jackets.)
Swap your sheets.
Not only does seasonally switching up your bedding freshen up a room, it’s a great way to keep cool. While textiles like flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler. And as an added bonus, buy yourself a buckwheat pillow or two. Because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows, even when packed together inside a pillow case.
Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
Whether you know it or not, your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests “feel” cooler.
Focus on the temperature in your body, not the house.
If your ancestors survived without air conditioning, so can you. From sipping tasty iced drinks to applying a cold cloth to strong-pulsed areas like your neck and wrists, cooling yourself from the inside out is not a bad idea. Other tricks include being smart about your clothing choices and telling your partner you won’t be cuddling until the leaves start changing color.
Turn on your bathroom fans.
…or the exhaust fan in your kitchen, for that matter. Both of these pull the hot air that rises after you cook or take a steamy shower out of your apartment.
Heat-proof your bed.
Go straight to the source, and put a cool-inducing Chillow under your head while you sleep. For feet, fill a hot water bottle and put it in the freezer before placing at the foot of your bed. And it sounds strange, but slightly dampening your sheets before bedtime will majorly help you chill out.
Let the night air in.
During the summer months, temperatures may drop during the night. If this is the case where you live, make the most of these refreshing hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed. You can even create a wind tunnel by strategically setting up your fans to force the perfect cross breeze. Just be sure to close the windows (and the blinds) before things get too hot in the morning.
Ditch the incandescent lights.
If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, this is it. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill.
It’s obvious, but we’re going to say it anyway: Using your oven or stove in the summer will make your house hotter. If it already feels like 100+ degrees in your home, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Besides, who doesn’t want to get more mileage out of their outdoor furniture and seasonal accessories?
Make a few long-term improvements.
If you’re really, really committed to the whole no-AC thing, you can make a couple changes to your home that will keep it cooler for seasons to come. Insulated window films, for example, are a smart purchase as they work similarly to blinds. And additions like awnings and planted trees or vines on or in front of light-facing windows will shield your home from the sun’s rays, reduce the amount of heat your home absorbs and make your investment nothing but worthwhile.
‘ Install white drapes and awnings, says Scott. “They won’t absorb the heat and will reflect it back out,” he says. Coulter says window coverings can block 65 percent of the heat that comes through windows. You could also opt for light-coloured shingles on your roof.
‘ For days when you need AC, set it to 25 degrees Celsius.”It’s just as comfortable as 21 degrees Celsius,” says Scott. If every Canadian household did this, imagine the impact on the Earth.
**Some info from “Turn off the AC!” in the Summer 2011 issue of Best Health.