Ways To Stay Cool Without Cranking Up The AC

If you're looking for ways to stay cool in this heat, here are some tips for you, and none of these involve using the air conditioner.

1. Close your windows. This may seem counterintuitive, but opening the windows can actually make your house hotter. Open your windows at night if the air outside is cooler than inside, and then close them - along with blinds and shades - before the sun hits your house in the morning. This lets the cool night air circulate

2. Make sure your ceiling fans are running counter-clockwise. Most modern fans have a little switch on the side to reverse their direction. You want the fan to go clockwise in winter to push warm air down and reverse it in the summer to circulate cool air.

3. Make your own air conditioner. Put a metal bowl of ice in front of a fan, and adjust the fan so that the air is blowing over the ice. As the ice melts, the air cools around them, and the fan will blow that air at you.

4. Put smooth white fabrics over upholstery or anything in your house that's fuzzy. For example, you could cover corduroy pillows with white pillowcases for summer. Put linen slipcovers over wool sofas, or even just throw white sheets over furniture. Light-colored fabric will reflect heat instead of absorbing it, and the smooth texture will give you an impression of coolness.

5. If you need a cooler night's sleep, put a small pillow in the freezer an hour or two before you go to bed. Just put a few plastic shopping bags over it to keep ice from forming on the fabric.

6. Take a plunge! Obviously, swimming pools are great to cool off, but you can even just take a cold shower.{} The cold water works immediately by cooling your core temperature. And afterward, the evaporation of water off your skin will help keep you cool.{} Or for a short cut, use water and ice cubes to keep your wrists cool; since your blood vessels are so close to the skin there, you'll feel cooler by applying cold directly to your blood.

7. Turn to peppermint! Mint refreshes the skin and leaves a nice cooling sensation. Try a few minty or menthol products, like lotion with peppermint. Just make sure to avoid your face and eyes. You can also shower with peppermint soap or peppermint essential oil.

8. Try Hibiscus Tea. This tea has cooling properties, so brew up a pitcher and serve it over ice.

9. Drink water frequently, especially in hot weather. Your body will feel cooler if you are hydrated.