According to my calendar, summer is officially (and finally) upon us. And thank goodness. As a Chicagoan who endured another brutal winter, the summer solstice couldn't have come soon enough. Bring on the sun and BBQs (20% off of Weber Grills + free shipping!!) and the beach and libations (15 bottles of wine for $90!!) and the baseball games that go on forever and sandals (and, for the love of all that is good and holy, toenail clippers) and fireflies and Slip ‘N Slides and the outdoor music festivals and fireworks and on and on. Oh, and lest we forget, bring on the inescapable, disgusting, overwhelming heat that manages to invade every inch of your life and then some. Time to bring on the sort of heat where walking half a block can leave you sweating so much that you’ll end up looking like a hungover and haggard Ryan Lochte after stepping out of the pool post-400m IM (minus the red, white, and blue grill, Olympic physique, and post-lobotomy eyes).
As someone who naturally runs about as hot as a communal indoor hot-tub, I've had to find, develop, and figure out a multitude of ways to stay cool when Mother Nature feels like proving Al Gore right by cranking up Earth’s thermostat to record-setting temperatures. Whether it’s taking the time to understand how a ceiling fan circulates air or simply running cold water over your wrists, there are plenty of quick, easy, and affordable (and often money saving) tips and tricks that will help you stay cool in spite of the heat.
- Increase airflow in your home by creating a cross-draft. Ever notice how opening a window never quite cools things off? Well, that’s because you need to utilize cross-draft ventilation. All you have to do is open one window, locate another window on the other side of the room, open that one as well and - voilà! - you’re now moving considerably more fresh air through your living space.
- Figure out how your ceiling fan works. This was something I never took the time to consider; I always figured that turning on my ceiling fan was a guaranteed means of bringing the temperature down. That’s not always the case. The majority of modern ceiling fans have two settings: one for wintertime that creates an updraft, moving warmer air that’s risen to the ceiling, and another setting for summertime that circulates cooler air downward. Home Depot have some great deals going right now, where you can save up to 40% off of select ceiling fans.
- Draw your blinds and/or create some exterior shading. Keeping direct sunlight out of your living-space will have an immediate effect on the air temperature. On top of that, you can always flex your green thumb by planting some trees outside of your home’s windows in order to keep that direct sunlight from further heating the air. If you’re in the market for some new blinds, use our 30% off + free shipping coupon at SelectBlinds.com to add a bit of shade to your living space.
- Cut back on appliance use. Also, if you can turn it off, turn it off. Using your washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, TV, computer, and leaving the lights on not only chugs up a ton of power, but they also emit a significant amount of radiant heat. Don’t get me wrong, energy efficient appliances, like this $988 Samsung Stainless Steel Fridge from Home Depot, are great and I think they’re the only way to go when appliance shopping, but just because they’re energy efficient doesn't mean they’re not actively heating your home every time you run them.
- Don’t let hot air get trapped in your attic. When I was in high school, my bedroom was the only room on the top floor of my parents’ home. Come summertime, that room would begin to absolutely cook, regardless of how low I would try and set the thermostat. It wasn't until I installed a fan in the attic above me that my room finally cooled off. All it took was exhausting the hot air that had built up and become trapped in the attic. The upper floors of the house cooled off, the AC didn't have to work overtime, money was saved, and sleep was reclaimed. Try using this Vortex Convertible Fan with a built in timer to keep that heat from amassing in the upper stories of your house with any regularity.
- Program your thermostat. Most thermostats are set to hold at a consistent temperature all day until you tell it otherwise. It only takes a few minutes and you can save a ton of money on your energy bill by not overusing your AC, especially when you’re not around to enjoy the artificially chilled air. Here’s a great portable AC unit from Sharp that has a fully customizable digital thermostat and remote control.
- Scottish showers. Never heard of a Scottish shower? Neither had I until I read some of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. The British super-spy would initially run his shower hot but would finish off his shower with freezing cold water. Once I found out that 007 took cold showers, 15-year-old me had to as well, unless, of course, I was going to allow myself to be any less a man than James Bond. Cold showers have been shown to help relieve depression, improve the look and feel of both your skin and hair, improving your circulatory and immune systems, and increasing fertility in men. Not only that, but cold showers aren't engaging your water-heater, helping you save more money on your energy bill. While you’re at it, check out this $14 Disco Vinyl Shower Curtain from Walmart, a bathroom accessory straight out of Dr. No’s set design.
- Don’t neglect your pulse points. Running cold water over the inside of your wrists, soaking your feet and ankles in cold water, or draping a cold, damp towel over your neck can drop your body’s core temperature almost instantaneously. This is a quick and easy fix that you can use anywhere you have access to water.
There are a number of common sense solutions to keep the heat at bay. They may seem a little obvious, but they should be taken seriously and shouldn't be a problem to manage. Never forget to keep yourself hydrated and try to keep up a consistent regimen of consuming water throughout the day. Try to wear less-constrictive clothing made from breathable fabrics like linen and cotton. If you’re going to be out in both direct and indirect sunlight, be sure to wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. There’s nothing worse than getting too much sun and not being able to shake the feeling that your sunburned body is ready to spontaneously combust at any given moment.
We here at BradsDeals are excited to kick off summer with some great upcoming deals, promos, and coupons, so make sure to stay tuned for more of the best possible savings we can find.
Cheers to a great summer. Stay cool, y’all.
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