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Sheryl Stewart


How to keep cool WITHOUT AC


OK...Monday night was BRUTAL! It never cooled off so we got like, an hour of sleep. We don't have AC, so we checked into the Hotel Monaco last night to take advantage of their air conditioning and it was sooooo nice to get a good night's sleep....but I do have to go home to no AC, so I have been googling all sorts of "How To Stay Cool" tips and this was a pretty interesting list! See if there are any you can use!

P.S. Add YOUR tip for staying cool and you could win Miley Cyrus tickets! Post your tip in the comments and I will choose a winner by 5pm! If you don't want Miley tix, I can substitute tix for The Script. So add your tip and help those of us with no AC keep our sanity!

Some of these tips are stuff I never would have thought of. I hope they help!

Ball up and soak a t-shirt in the sink, wring it out, put it on and sit in a lawn chair (or other chair that lets air through to you) in front of a fan. Re-wet as it dries. Make sure not to soak it with cold water. It can be colder than you think. Instead use lukewarm water so you get cool without freezing. Using a synthetic shirt will ensure no "wet T-shirt" look.

Wet your wrists and other pulse points with cold water. Use a piece of ice wrapped in a face cloth to continue after the coolness wears off. Constantly cooling off the wrists will also cool off the body. Never use just ice; make sure it is wrapped in a towel or something similar.

Wear a short sleeved shirt and put water on the sleeves. If there is a breeze or fan blowing on you, you can actually get cold. Use a squirt bottle, the sink or hose if outside to keep your sleeves wet. If you are outside and wearing long pants and you put water on your legs, the water will cool your legs.

Hold a cold beverage on your neck to cool yourself. A cold object, such as a soda can, held against the neck cools the blood to the brain very quickly.
A bandana, soaked in water and tied about the neck cools quickly and protects against sunburn.

Fill your bathtub with cool water and get in. Once you are used to the temperature, let some water out and refill with cold water. Keep doing this until you are sufficiently cold. Your body will stay cool for a long time after you get out.

Sweat it out. Water vapor produced by sweating actually takes heat away from your body if it is exposed to air and allowed to evaporate. The best thing to do is to put your sweaty self in the path of a cool breeze or fan.

Drink water, even if you are not thirsty! You must replace fluids lost in perspiration to prevent dehydration. Oral re-hydration may be accomplished by drinking an electrolyte-balanced beverage. The electrolytes help to make sure you don't lose vital minerals through sweating. Adding ice will also help cool you off. Avoid lemonade, iced tea, and other sugary drinks.

Take off your shoes or hat while indoors! Much of the body's heat is released through the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, and the scalp. Keeping these areas cool makes a surprising difference.

Wear Light Colors: Darker colors will absorb the sun's rays and be warmer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat. Wear natural summer clothing.

Desert cultures have learned cover up skin to keep cool.Cover Up: Covering up may actually keep your cooler, especially if the heat is low in humidity. In the scorching temperatures of the Middle Eastern deserts, traditional cultures wear clothing covering from head to toe. By protecting your skin from the sun beating down, you'll also shade your skin. Be sure your clothing is natural fabrics, and loose.

Avoid direct sunlight. Stay in a shaded area if possible. Exposure to direct sunlight increases the heat index, so that your body may experience temperatures even higher than the air temperature! If you must go outdoors, go in the morning or evening. A wide-brimmed hat is good. Light-weight, loose-fitting cotton clothing should be worn. Put on sun cream.

Go downstairs. Warm air is less dense than cooler air so it ends up layered on top of the downward moving cooler air. If you're in a house, for example, get lower than the roof. Make your way to the basement or lower level. It will be cooler there. Position a fan in an upstairs window to draw off heat collected in upper rooms--set it up so that it sucks air from indoors and pushes it outdoors.

Keep the air flowing. Turn on the ceiling fan or box fan in the room. In the evening, open windows and use fans to create a cross-breeze, circulating cooler evening/night air through the rooms. As soon as the sun hits the building the next morning, close all windows, blinds, and curtains, and keep doors and windows closed throughout the day until it is cooler outside than it is inside. Then you can open everything up again and cool off to be prepared for the next day. Leaving kitchen cabinets open all night helps too; if you leave them closed, they store the heat and your house won't cool off as much.

Turn off electrical heat sources.Turn off the stove or other sources of heat. Don't use the stove or oven to eat--eat out, eat cold food, or use the microwave. Incandescent light bulbs also create heat. Turn off your lamps, as well as your computer when you're not using it.

Use a hint of mint.Try a few minty or menthol products to cool your skin: slather on lotion with peppermint (avoid your face and eyes), shower with peppermint soap, use a minty foot soak, and powders with mint. Mint refreshes the skin and leaves a nice cooling sensation.

Try a heat snorkeling system. Take a glass and fill it almost to the brim with ice cubes. Then hold it up to your mouth and blow gently into the cup. The ice causes the air you are blowing into the cup to cool down drastically, and since the air only has one way out of the cup (the hole which should now be aiming right at your face) the cold air is forced out over your skin. This is a great alternative to air conditioning and is very simple.

Breathe like a yogi. Try the yoga practice of shitali pranayama. Sit down cross legged and take a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Roll your tongue into a tube with the tip outside the mouth. Continuing slow deep breath, breath in through the tube and then move your chin to your chest as you breath out through your nose. Do that 5-10 times and you should start to feel cooler. Dogs often use their tongues to cool themselves; perhaps this yoga practice comes from noticing that.

Eat spicy food. It's not a coincidence that many people in hotter regions of the world eat spicy food. Spicy (hot to the taste) food increases perspiration which cools the body as it evaporates. It also can cause an endorphin rush that is quite pleasant and might make you forget about the heat.

Use alcohol--rubbing, that is... Take ordinary rubbing alcohol and a wash-cloth and pour some alcohol onto the cloth and rub it onto your face, being careful not to get any in your mouth or eyes, and stand in front of or under moving air and the evaporating alcohol makes it feel around 30 degrees.

Put a freeze on things. Get a 1 or more 3 liter bottles, fill them mostly full of water, freeze them, then place them in a large bowl (to catch dripping water). Position a fan to blow on them. As the ice in the bottles melts, the air cools around them. The fan will blow that air at you. The water in the bottles can be frozen overnight and used again, repeatedly. This will supplement your AC if you have it, and will serve as a ad hoc AC until you can get a decent AC system.

Think cool. Read books about climbing Mount Everest, visiting Norway, or watch "March of the Penguins", "Ice Age", or "The Day After Tomorrow". You might not be physically cooler, but if your mind envisions a cold environment, you might feel a bit cooler.

Find a shaded area and set up water misting system that connects to an ordinary garden hose that can be found at home improvement stores. Then, just sit there and let the mist cool you off.

Sit Still. Do not try to fan yourself because it can make you hotter. Trying to move while feeling hot can make you feel hotter.


07/29/2009 11:30AM
How to keep cool WITHOUT AC
Please Enter Your Comments Below
07/29/2009 11:43AM
Jason Hill
Indulge in a frozen treat. Eating something, like a popsicle, that lasts a while can really help. Try those ones that are frozen in plastic because they can't melt on you:)
07/29/2009 11:44AM
Andrea M.
Redneck air conditioning. (Nelson would love this tip!) Get a fan and a block of ice. Blow the fan down on the ice. The air will blow off the ice and make it cooler in your room. Totally redneck but desperate times call for desperate measures!!!
07/29/2009 11:47AM
I put the sprinkler on my roof. Brought down the temp in my house by 10 degrees. Woo Hoo!!!
07/29/2009 11:52AM
Sheryl Stewart
Great tips! Someone emailed me this link. It has info on all of the Portland parks that have wading pools, water features, etc. http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/index.cfm?c=50718
07/29/2009 11:52AM
Michelle Barnes
This is a bigger version of the ice in front of the fan. We break out all the kiddie pools, set them up in front of our sliding patio door, fill pools with ice cold water, add bags of cubed ice. Bring electric fans outdoors and and blast the fans across the pools towards you (and into the house) Sit in the shade of the house with feet and legs dangling in the pool. Lastly, sip your favorite frozen beverage.. and viola! Instant cool. :)
07/29/2009 12:31PM
Hi Sheryl, Don't forget to turn down the heat in the studio so that Daria, Mitch and Ted can stay cool too. :) love, moshe
07/29/2009 12:43PM
Bethany Holden
I work in a kitchen in the mornings and with this heat it is a killer. We take our hats and soak them in water ring them out then freeze them, they are cloth so they pull apart fairly easily, but they help cool us all down. We also do this with bandanas around our knecks double the cool. Of course if all else fails a nice break in the walk in fridge or freezer helps!
07/29/2009 12:59PM
Linda Fuller
Sit on the floor (or on a short-legged chair like a sand chair--webbed works best) directly under the outside edge of a ceiling fan's blades, and have a floor fan 2-3 feet away from you blowing directly on you. (Heat rises, so you'll be in the coolest and breeziest part of the room.) P.S. Both fans need to be turned on. :)
07/29/2009 1:36PM
Mollie Moore
As much as I love to cook- I don't in this heat. I won't turn on my oven or even use the stove. We try to turn off any electrical things we are not using and I do my laundry in the evening- since running the dryer would cause more heat. We give our kids cold, damp wash cloths to keep on them and of course popsicles don't hurt either. Also, I try to keep hydrated and leave a few water glasses in the freezer for icy drinks. And we keep all blinds closed- it makes our place pretty dark- but helps to keep out the heat!
07/30/2009 8:19AM
Sheryl Stewart
Congrats to Bethany and Jessica!!! (yes, I picked two winners) Miley Cyrus tix are yours, if you want 'em....if not, I can hook you up with tix to see The Script at the Hawthorne Theater tomorrow night. I will be launching another contest later today, so keep checking this blog space.....and tell your friends, too. ;-)
07/30/2009 8:23AM
Sheryl Stewart
Btw....if you want to beat the heat by checking into a hotel, the Hotel Monaco in downtown Portland has a GREAT deal for tonight and tomorrow...."You Pay The High Today".....so whatever the temp is today (or tomorrow) is what you have to pay for one of their fab rooms. 102 degrees = 102 bucks, which is a pretty sweet bargain! I can tell you firsthand, the AC feels sooooo good and it's AWESOME date night place, too. call the Hotel Monaco directly to get the deal.
07/30/2009 10:37AM
Purchase a commercial bag of ice cubes. Empty the entire bag into a wide, shallow container (to contain the water as the ice melts) such as a roasting pan. Place the container of ice right in front of the fan (between the fan and you), at the level of the top of the bed. The ice-cooled air will be noticeably cooler than the room air for the amount of time it takes for the ice to melt -- which is as long as it should take for you to fall asleep!
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