Cool down your body
Focus on cooling your body rather than cooling the house. Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a clean kitchen towel. You can also wet a washcloth, wring it out, and stick it in the fridge. Applying the ice pack or washcloth to your pulse points will cool your body down fast! Apply the ice pack or washcloth to your:
- behind the knees
- elbow bends
Eat something spicy
This may not be for everyone, but eating spicy foods will increase your circulation, which will get you extra sweaty. Sweating may be unpleasant, but it is a very efficient way of cooling down!
Be sure to drink plenty of water on hot days. Your body needs moisture to sweat in order to maintain homeostasis. You can boost your hydration by eating foods with a high water content. Try snacking on watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, grapefruit, and coconut water.
Keep out the sunlight
According to the Department of Energy, about 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows turns into heat and raises the temperature of your home. Single-pane windows allow even more heat into your home. East and west facing windows allow in the most heat, so focus efforts on these windows.
Close your curtains and blinds. Light or medium colored fabric is ideal for reflecting sunlight. If you have dark curtains, you can line them with light fabric. Old bed sheets or thrifted curtains/fabric would totally do the trick.
Exterior shutters, shades, and awnings are even more effective. If you have those, definitely keep them shut.
Eat a popsicle
According to a researcher in New Zealand, runners were able to extend their endurance by 10 minutes on a hot summer day if they ate a popsicle before exercising. You don’t have to go running any marathons, but eating a popsicle before running errands or doing household chores will make the experience much more pleasant.
Turn off electronics before bed
If you have a house or room full of tech, turn everything off before bed to keep the room cool. All of that soft electric buzzing generates heat. Unplug your TV, computer, wifi, etc.
Hang a wet sheet by an open window
If you don’t have AC or have a room that just gets so much hotter than the house, open up a window (or two to create a cross breeze) and hang a wet bedsheet in front of it. As the breeze rolls in, the wet sheet will cool the air flowing through it.
Put your hair up for bed
If you have long hair, tying it up (with a scrunchie to prevent breakage) will expose your neck and temples, which will help keep you cool.
Close the doors
Keep the doors to unused or little used rooms closed to keep the cool air where the action is.
Open the windows at night
You can pre-cool your house or apartment by opening the windows at night (after 10 pm). It gets pretty cool overnight in Davis, so this is an effective way to cool the house down. When temperatures begin to rise again, close up the house, curtains and all.