Hot and Cold, Saving Summer on AC Costs
It gets so hot in the summer that all we humans want is to drop the needle on the thermostat as low as it can possibly go; sometimes, even that is not enough. We break out the popsicles, or frosty cold beverages (both adult-friendly kinds and the ones for the kiddies).
But when that doesn’t seem to cut it either, clothes may start coming off.
And no one wants to see that….
So, the problems with a heat wave start at the thermostat. Turning that temperature all the way down uses a lot of energy. That runs up the dial on your electricity meter outside, and that runs the money in your wallet down a lot fast.
That doesn’t leave much room for summer fun.
So, what can you do to stay cooler, without cranking the dial down on the thermostat?
Self-care in the summer heat
Let’s get one thing straight before we move on. It is important to take care of yourself, and sometimes, it is never more important than when the mercury climbs the glass. These tips and hints are meant as general guidelines, and should not be your sole source of information on staying well in the summer. Your doctor may have further instructions for your safety, and that of your family. Always consult a doctor if you have special health concerns, and use a liberal dose of common sense.
Avoid strenuous outdoor work.
Summer is a time to chill-out, so, take advantage of the heat and stay inside! Relax, it’s been a long year; you’ve earned it!
If you do have to work outside….
Take plenty of breaks, drink plenty of fluids, and either have someone with you, or notify someone of when they can expect you to be done outside. Trying to schedule your outdoor activities in the morning hours, before the heat really gets cooking, can also help.
Listen to your body!
Learn to rest every once in a while. Drink when you are thirsty. A good rule of thumb is that every time you stop to catch your breath, you should be drinking a few swallows of water.
Wear lightweight clothing, in lighter colors.
Light colors reflect the sun’s rays away from you. Using a fabric that wicks away moisture will also help with evaporation and keeping you cooler.
Drink plenty of water.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These beverages affect your ability to maintain and regulate your own body temperature. Caffeine also makes your heart work harder, and the heat is already doing that. No sense in overloading your heart, friends!
Check on your elderly neighbors and relatives, or anyone else who may be struggling in the heat.
They may not be able to reach the breaker if their AC throws a circuit. They may not want to leave their cool front room to go to the kitchen and get a glass of water. We’re all stuck in this heat wave together, and there may be people who need our help to make it through.
Never – I repeat – NEVER leave a child or pet in a hot car.
It’s a sad state this world is in, that we need to specify this. A car is a metal box. A metal box heats us ridiculously fast on a hot day. Children and pets rely on us adults to keep them safe. That includes not leaving them in an oven on the summer pavement. Please, please, please – triple check your car before you leave.
Give the AC a Rest.
There are ways to keep your AC functioning at its best, for a longer period of time. Some tricks to extending the life and function of your air conditioning unit will be covered in the upcoming blog post –
Minimizing AC Use in Summer, Part 2