Beat The Summer Heat
Summer heat saps your energy, transforms your car into an oven, makes a branding iron out of your seat belt and is the single greatest cause of dehydration among Texas residents. Use the following tips and tricks to keep your cool this summer.
Whether you visit the local sno-cone stand or search Pinterest for ways to make sno-cones at home, these icy treats help to keep you both cool and hydrated. If you make them with fruit juice, they’re healthy, too.
Take a dip in Barton Springs. This Austin swimming hole maintains temps below 70 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Unlike the pool in your backyard, it doesn’t feel like bath water by the end of the summer. Grab your sunscreen and a towel and brace yourself for that first breathtaking plunge.
Speaking of swimming pools… if you are fortunate to have one in your backyard that just gets warmer and warmer as the summer progresses, toss a couple of bags of ice in the next time you add water. If you don’t have your own pool, it might be worth it to join a neighborhood pool, visit the HOA pool or purchase a kiddy pool and a sprinkler to soak you down.
If a swimming pool is out of the question, count yourself lucky to live in Austin. Area lakes provide another opportunity for a refreshing swim or some watersports. Something about being on a waterski or tube going 30 miles per hour behind a boat keeps you cool even if it’s 100 degrees outside.
When the air is muggy and still and there’s no air conditioning to be found, break out a handheld fan. You could use an old fashioned accordion fan like the southern belles carried, a piece of cardboard on a stick like churches used to hand out or the new and improved battery operated fans with spinning blades. None of these are long-term fixes, but they’ll do in a pinch.
If you must be outside in the heat of the day, do whatever you can to stay in the shade if at all possible. Shade could come in the form of a straw hat, an umbrella, the side of a building or under the branches of a tree. The important thing is to get your body out from under the sun’s direct rays.
Keep blinds closed
Shade works indoors, too. The same sun that gives your cat a warm place to nap during the winter also serves to heat up your home during the summer. Keep blinds and curtains drawn, especially on windows facing to the south and the west. If you need the sunlight indoors, plant trees outside to shade the windows from the sun’s rays.
Shade the car
Similar principles apply to your car. If you can park under a carport or some other form of shade, do so. It protects the car’s paint and keeps the interior of your car cooler. When you’re out and about running errands, put a sunshade in your front windshield. Doing so keeps the car from getting as hot and keeps the steering wheel from burning your hands when you get back in the car.
Give your oven a summer vacation
Using your oven heats up your home. Instead of baking meals in the oven, grill outside or use a slow cooker to prepare meals. By keeping your oven off, you aren’t adding more heat to the home for your air conditioner to battle.
Ultimately, your best bet for staying cool throughout the summer is to have a good air conditioner that runs efficiently and stays in good working order. Refrigerated air paired with fans will keep the interior of your home cool throughout the summer.
Other tips include doing outdoor chores in the cool of the morning, air drying your clothes and taking cold showers.