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Beat the Heat

In Southern California there is no way of knowing when those periods of intense heat will come, how many we will have in a year, or how long they will last. In preparation for these times, here are 15 ways in which you can beat the heat and keep yourself cool.

  1. Replenish Liquids… a lot – When your body is hot, it sweats to regulate your temperature. It’s the same with your air conditioner, the harder it works the more coolant is used. The important thing is to make sure you and your A/C are staying well-hydrated.
  2. Optimize Windows and Use Sun Blockers – Keeping windows closed with sun blockers up during the day can prevent the sun from warming up the air in your home significantly. Also, when the air inside is warmer than the air outside try hanging a damp sheet to cool the incoming breeze. And don’t forget to take advantage of the cool night air by keeping your windows open at night.
  3. Eat Cool or Hot Food – Just like staying hydrating, eating cooler foods can help you feel cooler.
    Alternatively, you can also eat hot (as in spicy) foods to help balance your internal temp through sweating.
  4. Exercise Comfortably – You don’t have to stop exercising when it’s hot out. Instead try some of these tips to make exercising more comfortable: switch to water sports, avoid exercising when the sun is at its strongest, and exercise in short bursts.
  5. Keep Your A/C Effective – Set your A/C to a consistent temp and keep it there. It is also important to have an A/C tune-up to make sure your A/C is running efficiently, the coils are clean, and the filter is changed regularly. It’s when your A/C is working the hardest that there’s a higher chance of an issue.
  6. Minimize Sweat and Dress Right – Simple changes like applying anti-perspirant at night, dressing in loose-fitting clothes, keeping your feet in the open, and wearing breathable materials (think cotton or synthetic fabrics designed to whisk away sweat) can help you feel cooler throughout the day.
  7. Cool Your Car Down Fast – Ever get in your car when it is so hot you can barely breathe? Try this Japanese trick to cool your car fast. Roll down one window and open and close the opposite door a few times to cool the car down.
  8. Install Whole House FansQuietCool Whole House Fans pull cooler outdoor air into your home, through your windows, across your living space, into the attic, and out the attic vents, replacing the hot stale air. This helps cool your home and attic by up to 30 degrees (and sometimes more) while saving you tons of money off your A/C electric costs.
  9. Stay Cool While Sleeping – Getting a special cooling pillow, going to bed with damp hair, and sleeping in a damp sheet are all things you can do to help keep cool while sleeping. See this infographic for even more ways to beat the nighttime heat.
  10. Avoid Using Appliances That Warm Your House – The dryer, the dishwasher, and the oven are all appliances that give off serious heat. To keep your house cool you can air-dry both your clothes and dishes and avoid using the oven altogether.
  11. Create a Cooling Work Environment – Your computer can give off lots of heat. Avoid having it on your lap and set it to go into low-power “sleep” mode if you are away from it for more than 10 minutes. Also make sure to shut it down at night.
  12. Optimize Your Fans – Try facing your fan out, instead of in at night, your room will stay cooler and you might be able to sleep more comfortably. If you have a ceiling fan, run it counter-clockwise (the “summer” higher-speed setting) for optimum cooling.
  13. Know Your Body’s Best Cooling Points and Squirt Yourself – Applying ice cubes in a cloth to these pulse points, you can cool down more quickly and effectively. And keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator for when the going gets hot. Then give yourself a squirt. As the water evaporates, it cools you.
  14. Keep Lights Off or Change Light Bulbs – Believe it or not, lights can be a big heat generator too. To keep things cooler, shut off any lights you can during the day and/or switch to compact fluorescent bulbs that save energy and give off 70 percent less heat.
  15. Think Cool – Mind over matter. Read a book that takes place in the cold or look at pictures of cold places. This type of placebo effect can help take your mind off the thermometer.

We hope these tips help you beat the heat!