With global temperatures continuing to climb, more and more people are suffering under scorching, and sometimes lethal, heat waves. You don't have to shut yourself indoors with a wet towel around your neck and the air conditioner on full blast in order to get through summer, however.
There are lots of ways to keep cool without central air, which uses a tremendous amount of energy, not to mention ozone-damaging chemicals. Ceiling and portable fans are one cheap and easy solution. Also give these time-tested techniques a try:
Close Your Curtains. Many people seem to think that curtains and blinds were invented just for privacy or to make rooms look pretty. But consider their alternative name: "shades." In the summer, put up light-colored window coverings, and close them when the sun is shining through. When the window frame is shaded, open them up.
Ventilate Smart. When the air is cool in mornings or evenings, open up your windows. Prop them open on opposite sides of rooms to promote cross ventilation, and use fans to alternately push or pull air from outside in.
Seal Against Drafts. A lot of people remember to mind the drafts in the winter, when you can feel the cold air thrusting through cracks like daggers. But it's also important in the summer to make sure your home is good and tight, especially if you run an air conditioner. Weatherstripping and caulking are easy and cheap to install.
Run Appliances at Night. Few people enjoy slaving over an oven when it's really hot. However, many of us forget that electric dryers, extra refrigerators, computers and unneeded lights all release considerable amounts of heat. Use them sparingly during summer's swelter.
More on the Blazing Summer/Global Warming:
Stories and Tips
Stay Cool Recipes Chilled Cucumber-Melon Soup with Radish Salsa
Your Photos Heat Wave Photos sent to Weird Weather Watch
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