How to stay cool on those hot summer days

Courtney Rupertus

Now that summer is officially upon us and the days are heating up, it can be difficult to switch gears from chilly mountain air to blistering hot, sunny days. While investing in air conditioning may be feasible for some, it isn’t the only solution to being too hot.

There are plenty of natural ways to keep cool and save money on your power bill while you’re at it.

First, what is the difference between uncomfortably hot and dangerously hot?

The signs of heat stroke in adults are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Weakness/ fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Change in heart rate
  • Profuse sweating or, even more serious, 
  • not sweating at all
  • Dizziness

Basically the same signs apply to babies and children, but they are way more susceptible to overheating because their ability to regulate their internal temperature is still underdeveloped.

If your baby or child is exhibiting the above symptoms, or is running a fever without perspiring, is lethargic or unresponsive, it’s best to immediately remove them from the sun and seek out medical care.

Easy ways to keep your baby or child cool during the summer months include:

  1. Staying indoors during peak sun hours (10 am until 2 pm).
  2. Dressing baby in cool, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  3. Going diaper free if you dare, even if it’s just for 15 -20 minutes.
  4. Keeping them hydrated – babies under 6 months old will need to feed more often (breast milk or formula), babies 6 to 12 months can have small amounts of water, and children 1 year and older can have plenty of water to keep cool and hydrated.
  5. Always providing good ventilation – whether in the car seat, in a baby carrier, or the stroller – ensure your baby or child is never left unattended or move them somewhere else if they exhibit signs of being too warm (flushed face, sweating, warm to the touch).

As adults, we are less susceptible to dangerous levels of overheating, as long as we’re not working too hard in the heat, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the hot days a little bit more comfortable – naturally. 

 Some cheap and easy ways to keep cool during summer without A/C are:

  • Draw the blinds – Keeping your blinds or curtains closed during a heat wave will keep your house from heating up unnecessarily.
  • Turn on the fans – Use portable fans and ceiling fans to keep air moving around your home. Ensure your ceiling fans rotate counter-clockwise in the summer months to keep the room cooler.
  • Keep the windows closed – It might seem counter-intuitive, but if your house is hot, leave the windows closed during the day, open them overnight, and then close them again first thing in the morning. 
  • Avoid using the oven – They don’t call it BBQ season for nothing. Cooking outdoors will help keep things cool inside.
  • Switch to energy efficient bulbs – If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, they actually waste 90% giving off excess heat, so swapping them out will cool things off and save you money down the road.