The Pacific Northwest escaped the onslaught of heat waves the rest of the US had endure so far this year, but it looks like our good luck is coming to an end this week. We are finally getting our first heat wave of the year so I thought it’s time to write about frugal ways to beat the heat. Our AC is out of commission right now so we need any help we can get. I was too cheap to fix it because we only get a few days per year when it’s hot enough to turn on the AC. This year I won’t be able to cool off in the office so it’s even more essential to find other ways to cool off.
Here are my 10 frugal ways to beat the heat
1. Water features
Take advantage of your local water features to cool off. We live in the city and there are many water fountains nearby. Baby RB40 loves to go splashing in these water features and it’s a great way to cool off. Your area might have rivers, lakes, or even beaches. These water features are natural heat sinks and it’s always cooler near a body of water. A community pool is another great option if there is one in your area.
2. Cool nights
Our main trick is to let cool air in at night and close the curtains during the hot day. This is usually enough to get us though a hot day or two. However, this doesn’t work as well during a long heat wave because it doesn’t cool off enough at night.
3. Spray Bottle
Put a spray bottle of water in the refrigerator and spritz yourself when it gets really hot. I just read about this and will have to try it this week.
Turn off nonessential electronics and unplug them. Try holding your hand above your big screen TV when it’s off, but plugged in. It is still emanating heat. All your electronics convert electricity into heat so if they are not in use, unplug them.
I think we all know to avoid using the oven as much as possible during a heat wave. I have a hankering for some pizza, but I think it will be worth it to go out this week. Making pizza is much better in the winter because it warms up your home too.
6. Go commando
Go ahead and skip that underwear during the heat wave. Or if you need the security, go with the light weight boxers instead of briefs. It’s better for the men’s fertility anyway.
We’ll hit the library and other free AC zones too. This is a great way to get out of the house. Our library has a great magazine section and childrens area and it’s fun to spend an hour or two there. I think maybe we’ll hit the mall if the heat gets really bad, but that will be our last resort.
8. Mind over body
While you’re at the library, pick up some great best sellers. When I’m engrossed in a book, I rarely notice what’s going on around me. This will take your mind off the heat. Perhaps take up meditation?
Do a set of yoga. You know they charge extra for hot yoga? The room is heated to 104 degree Fahrenheit with the humidity of 40%. Summer is your chance to do hot yoga for free so why not take advantage of the heat. I’m not sure how to crank up the humidity, but I think the heat will be quite enough.
10 Hot tea
My dad always recommends hot tea for any season. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and tastes great once you get used to it. I think drinking hot tea does help make you feel a bit cooler, but I don’t really know why. I found a story on NPR about cooling off with a hot drink. One scientist said the hot beverage caused the TRP1 receptor nerve on your tongue to tell your body to cool off by sweating. It works the same way with spicy food as well. My theory is that your internal temperature heat up a bit so the difference between your body temperature and the ambiance temperature is less. That’s why it feels less hot.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to put on lots of the sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Mrs. RB40 grew up in the CA desert, but there is no way she can live there anymore. We are used to the cooler temperatures now and hope this will be our only heat wave of the year.
Do you have any tips on beating the heat?