Its 98 degrees and you find yourself breaking out in a sweat with the tiniest of movements.  You’d love to crank the AC down to 68 degrees but you don’t want the high energy bill you’ll get stuck with at the end of the month.  How to stay comfortable and beat the heat?

  1. Use water to your advantage. Take a cold shower, spritz on some water or toner and use cool compresses. Cold or cool water on the skin helps draw heat out of the body, making you feel more comfortable.  Caution:  people who are elderly or weak should not fully immerse themselves in cold water.
  2. Put your oven and stove on hiatus. When you cook or bake, you are heating the house as well as the contents in the pot.  Take advantage of the summer season to enjoy cooling foods like fruit and salad instead, and use the microwave for the hot stuff.  If you must cook, try to do so in the early morning or the evening when the outside temperatures are lower.
  3. Camp out in your basement. Since basements are partially or completely underground they have the tendency to be cool, thanks to the cooler, more uniform temperatures of the earth.  Bonus:  extra privacy and reduced noise from the neighbors.
  4. Use humidity to set your AC fan speed. Try setting your AC fan to Low on really humid days.  This setting slows the movement of the air through the system, effectively drawing out more moisture.  Air that is less moist or humid will help you feel cooler.  Set your fan speed to High on all other days.
  5. Consider window treatments. Okay, this one is a little more involved – but once it’s done, it’s done.  Installing solar or mesh-like window screens can prevent up to 70% of the sun’s rays from coming through your windows while providing ventilation.  Window films can also help as they reflect heat, but they have one downside:  the windows must stay closed.