How to Keep Your Cool When Temperatures Rise
This entry was posted on February 22, 2014.
There’s no doubt that the United States is a nation addicted to air-conditioning. Since the late 1940’s, when window units became available to the mass market, A/C’s have become standard equipment for modern existence. It’s almost impossible to imagine summertime without the constant hum of the condenser fan in the background. But unless you want to watch the summer season slip away from behind a window in your climate-controlled home, it’s important to find natural ways to beat the heat and get outdoors. Here are some factors that can help you keep your cool on the hottest summer days.
Fans. Indoor ceiling fans are in widespread use, because of the efficient way they keep the air circulating. Ceiling fans can provide a similar service when used on a porch. Add a couple of wood rocking chairs, and you’ve set the stage for relaxation in an outdoor room. Freestanding fans can be set up on the patio or in the garden to supply a breeze in sultry weather.
Misters. If you’ve ever stood near a fountain on a hot summer day, you know how refreshing a light spray of water can be. Water misting systems take the concept to the next level, employing cutting-edge technology to deliver a cooling spray without creating puddles. The flash evaporation of water droplets is the key to cooling you down without drenching you. Whether for a small area, like a patio, or for a large backyard, a water mister is always a welcome addition to any family gathering or garden party.
Shade. Temperatures drop dramatically in shady spots, but not every yard is blessed with mature trees. Various types of structures can create shade, from a pergola to a vine-covered trellis, from a gazebo to a canopy. A large patio umbrella will shade a picnic table or patio area. Awnings shade windows so that they don’t create radiant heat by magnifying the sun’s rays. Ultra-violet light can cause fabric and other materials to deteriorate rapidly, so shade will extend the usability of your outdoor furniture.
Pools. There are many kinds of swimming pools that offer cool relief from a hot afternoon. A sunken pool is the most expensive option and will make your home a popular destination, especially if you have teenagers. Raised pools are a less expensive option and still provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. For those on a budget, even an inflatable kiddie pool is enticing on a hot summer’s day. Situate the inflatable pool in the shade and fill it with cold water. You may have to compete with the kids and pets for this perfect location for a quick cool-down.
Color. Dark colors absorb heat and light colors reflect it, so decorate your patio and garden in whites and pastels for maximum heat deflection. Light colored roofs lower cooling costs in warm climates, so keep that in mind when replacing or repainting your roof.
Aeration. Cross-ventilation makes for a breezy summer. Look for ways to ventilate porches and other outdoor structures. When erecting a canopy, make sure not to place it adjacent to a fence, but allow room for air to circulate. Ventilation is important for clothing, too. Synthetics such as acrylic and polyester retain heat and prevent ventilation, so choose natural materials that breathe and are loose-fitting for maximum comfort.
Hydration. Your body needs to perspire in order to cool down, and it needs water to create perspiration, so don’t forget to drink plenty of H2O while you’re enjoying the outdoors. Caffeinated beverages act as diuretics that actually drain water from your body and can cause dehydration, so coffee, tea and sodas should be consumed in moderation on hot summer days. If you find yourself overheating, try some external hydration by treating yourself to a quick, cold shower.
Relaxation. Activity generates heat, so an effective technique for beating the summer doldrums is to slow down and relax. Whether napping in a hammock, reading in a rocking chair, or watching the world go by from a porch swing, you’ll cool down when you slow down.
Keeping these factors in mind will allow you to venture forth on hot summer days without losing your cool.