Written by MARGARET THI / Published August 18, 2007 (ONLINE, PRINT EDITION: August 22, 2007)
Whether it is driving down the street or taking a nap in your own home, summer heats makes everything irritating and uncomfortable. Keeping cool at home is a difficult task unless the use of money and electricity are involved. However, some useful tips that conserve energy and save money can turn a stuffy room into something worth spending time in rather than outside in the heat.
Fans tend to only circulate air in the same temperature as the room; however, placing a tub of ice cubes in front of the fan produces the same effect as an air conditioner, without the cost. Also, using a fan saves more energy than an air conditioner, which saves money and prevents community blackouts.
Dehydration further stresses the annoyance of heat. Therefore, maintaining an adequate amount of water consumption throughout the day can reduce the amount of heat you experience. Chill water bottles and refill ice cube trays in order to ensure hydration.
Turning on many lights can also create unnecessary heat. By keeping them on for short periods of time will not only decrease electricity bills, but also keep you nice and cool. Instead, use the sun as a source of light by opening your shutters slightly to allow enough light to shine into your home. Opening a window may help, but it also allows outside heat to travel into your much cooler house.
With the oven baking and the stove boiling, cooking produces even more heat in your home. Resort to foods like sandwiches and salads that can be made without such appliances. Even buying take-out or dining outside can make you feel cooler and also help you continue to save energy.
Although avoiding the heat is impossible during the summer, simple money-saving tasks can help you feel more comfortable in your own home. Despite all these cool tips, staying only at home is not our only option. When all else fails, just take a trip to the mall or the market to enjoy air-conditioning that is not at your expense.