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Archive for Monday, August 17, 2009

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Stay cool on hot days

August 17, 2009

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Running the air conditioner all day is all good if you’ve got it. But what if you don’t have an air conditioner at all? You can keep your house cool with a few simple steps:

• Keep the heat OUT. Forty percent of the heat that gets in your house radiates in from your window glass. If you have drapes, vertical blinds, shutters or any type of window covering, keep them closed during the day to prevent heat from radiating through the windows. Especially cover windows where the sun shines directly on them.

• Use blankets. If you don’t have heavy window coverings, hang blankets over your windows to prevent heat from radiating inside. This works even better if you hang the covering outside to prevent heat from hitting the glass in the first place.

• Keep windows closed. Letting the breeze blow only heats up your house. Close your windows before it gets hot and keep them closed during the hottest part of the day.

• Set your ceiling fan to run counter-clockwise to pull hot air toward the ceiling.

• Create cool zones with floor fans and misters.

• Keep the lights off.

• Don’t use the oven, stove or other heat-generating appliances such as the clothes dryer.

• In the evening open your windows and doors to bring cool air inside again.

• Do it again in the early morning to exchange the warm inside air for cool.

• Position fans to blow the hot air outside, not pull hot air in. At night, reverse the process to pull cool air inside.

• Sleep downstairs; it’s cooler there.

• Take your shoes off. Feet release body heat. Or put your feet in cool water.

• Fill a hand-held spray bottle with half-water and half-rubbing alcohol and spritz yourself to keep cool

• Keep a bowl of cool, wet wash cloths in the refrigerator and use them to cool down.

• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

• Take frequent cool showers, jump in the pool, play with the hose. Keep your hair wet.

• Bring pets inside when temperatures top 90 degrees. Provide water and shade. If a pet must stay outside, hose it down a few times a day.

• Keep watch on elderly family members and neighbors.

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