Well, there is no doubt that this summer has been downright HOT. Across the country records have been broken left and right making this potentially the hottest summer ever on record. According to the report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center which is based on national weather data that go back to 1895, twenty-eight states and more than 100 cities, including Rochester, have posted their warmest first six months on record. The lack of rain has posed an additional challenge. Those of us in Rochester who spend a good part of the year covered in lake effect precipitation might not think of a lack of H2O as a problem, but this year the dry conditions have destroyed crops and allowed wild fires to spread. Perhaps these things are all signs of that mythical climate change thing that environmentalist speak of?
Many homes in our area don’t even have air conditioning at all, since snow is traditionally the bigger concern than the three weeks of heat that typically hit the ROC. Then, there are those of us who want to conserve energy (and save money in the process too) and choose to crank the air a bit less than others. But, whether you don’t have air conditioning at all or you are simply a good environmentalist who knows that using it less is better, here are some tips for you to stay cool:
- Turn off the lights and heat-producing appliances. You have hopefully installed energy efficient lighting in your home, but even these still produce heat. This is also not the time to be cooking a roast all day in a hot oven.
- Close the windows, blinds, and shades. In the heat of the day this can be the best defense to keep the warm out. When nightfall arrives and temperatures drop, do open those windows back up to air out and allow cooler air in.
- Use fans. Make sure that ceiling fans are turning in the clock-wise direction to create a down-draft. Remember, these can also be used in the winter to create an up-draft. Of course, placing energy efficient standing fans directly on yourself can help cool your body temperature.
- Eat and drink cold things. While most know that drinking plenty of cold fluids can help, many overlook the fact that eating this way is beneficial as well. Watermelon is in season and now is the perfect time to try that gazpacho recipe or other cold soups.
- Take a swim. It is no secret that summer is the time to hang out by the pool. You can also take a cool shower or even use an ice pack to help your body cool down.
- Make sure your home is proper insulated. The rest of these may have been fairy obvious, but most are only concerned about insulation when it comes to keeping their homes warm. But the same principal holds true for keeping the cool air inside and the heat outside.
- Don’t forget about trees! Planting deciduous trees strategically around our home so that they keep sun out in the summer can be a life-saver. They also help for those summer activities outdoors.