Don't Sweat It: Beating the Heat Wave with No AC
With summer just around the corner, you have to be prepared to deal with the heat. While normal temperatures anywhere in the range of 70 to 75 degrees can be managed, the problem escalates if there is a heat wave. Moreover, if you have no air conditioner, it could be difficult for you to beat the heat. But that doesn't mean you have to literally and figuratively sweat about managing it. There are effective ways you can stay cool during a heat wave without an AC. Not only can a heat wave be hard to bear, it can also pose health risks for certain individuals, especially children and the elderly.
What is a Heat Wave?
A common characteristic of a heat wave is that there are at least two consecutive days when the temperature is higher than the usual summer temperature. The heat doesn't subside during the night either, which further heats the atmosphere up. The health risks and deaths increase because of the rise in temperature and it is usually expected that the temperature will stay at that level for four or more days. The frequency of heat waves has increased over the years due to global warming, therefore it is best to be prepared to deal with them, even if the weather forecast says otherwise.
What Do You Need to Worry About?
|Symptoms of Heatstroke|
The heat is the foremost thing you need to worry about during a heat wave. But there are some health issues that you have to be careful about as well. The body's ability to regulate its temperature is affected because of the heat. Since the heat is beyond the usual level, it takes time for the body to adjust to it. This is the root cause of health problems that occur during a heat wave.
There have been reports of digestive issues. If you eat or drink anything too hot, there is a chance you will suffer a bout of diarrhea or vomiting. In addition, you have to avoid going out into the sun for long periods of time. Even if your home is a furnace, you will still be safe from the sunlight. Exposure for even a few minutes can cause sunburn.
The most common health issue that arises during a heat wave is heatstroke. It occurs when the body's temperature rises beyond a certain level, generally 105oF. If you feel your body is heating up more than usual, use a thermometer. If your temperature is above 100oF, you should seek medical help right away. Apart from elevated body temperature, another clear symptom of a heatstroke is fainting.
Generally, healthy adults and older children remain safe during a heat wave as long as they keep themselves hydrated. Drink plenty of water and you shouldn't suffer from any health issues. However, the elderly and young children are at greater risk. Moreover, any person suffering from a chronic health condition is at risk of heatstroke. Children aged less than 13 and senior citizens over 65 need the most care during a heat wave.
Staying Cool in a Heat Wave without an AC
There are some simple and effective ways you can stay cool in a heat wave without an AC. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to leave the house to beat a heat wave. Here are some easy ways you can cool down in your home:
- Manual & Electric Fans: This is the oldest way to cool down. Manual fans have been around since before air conditioners. However, for them to work, you have to get up and move close to the fan, otherwise you won't be able to cool yourself down. In this regard, electric fans are the better option as they blow a cool breeze around the room. While it will not completely cool the room, it will reduce the intensity of hot air in the room.
- Cold Drinks: It isn't advisable to drink too many soda pops or fizzy drinks but sipping cold drinks can help you beat the heat wave. You can opt for healthier alternatives like fruit juice. Generously put ice cubes into the beverage and chill before you drink. Lemonade is an age-old favorite for the summer and you can also go for iced tea. Mix the two together for a refreshing Arnold Palmer. Just make sure you stay hydrated.
- Don't Wear Socks: Perhaps the simplest of all ways to stay cool is to not wear socks during the heat wave. Keep your feet cool and you will feel much better. If you constantly wear socks, your feet will feel overly hot and it will become bothersome.
- Avoid Cooking (As Much As Possible): If you don't have air conditioning in the home, it is best to avoid cooking. Cooking in the home will only add to the heat already present and make the atmosphere more stifling for you. While it will cost you some extra money, it is better to order in. Make it a point to tip the delivery guy properly as he probably bore the heat to deliver your food. Barbecuing on a grill is also a great way to ensure that the heat from cooking stays out of your home.
- Use Cold Compresses: This is another effective way to keep your body cool. Moisten a towel with cool water and apply it to different parts of your body. You might feel cold at first but your body will get used to it after a while. However, don't leave it on for too long as the temperature of the room will eventually make it warm and soggy. You can also put a bag of ice on your legs or your shoulders to feel cool.
- Make Your Own AC: If you don't have a proper air conditioner, why not make one on your own? All you need is a bucket of ice and a fan. Place the ice directly in front of the fan. The breeze from the fan will direct the chill from the ice and spread it across the room.
- Sleep in a "Cool" Room: The worst time to be in a heat wave is at night because it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. So, if your bedroom is too hot, find a spot in your home that is generally cooler. If you have a basement, it is usually the coolest part of the home. Since a heat wave usually lasts for a few days at most, sleep elsewhere until it passes.
- Cover the Windows: If there are windows in your home that get a lot of sunlight, a heat wave is the time to cover them. You simply need to place towels or shades over the windows to block sunlight.
- Turn Lights and Appliances Off When Not In Use: The lights and appliances in your home also produce heat, though not as much as the stove. Keep the use of lights and unnecessary appliances to a minimum. This will not only reduce the heat around the house but also help bring down your utility bill. In fact, it is a good practice to turn the lights or any appliance off when not in use, even when there isn't a heat wave.
These are some ways you can cool down during a heat wave when at home. As mentioned above, people generally think about getting out of the house to stay cool when there is a heat wave. If you want to do the same, here are some options you can explore:
- Go to the Movies: Even if you are not a movie buff, you will enjoy spending time in an air-conditioned environment. For a few bucks, you can beat the heat wave and if you are lucky, the movie will be worth your while as well.
- Head to the Mall: If movies are not your thing, you can go to the mall. You don't have to shop or even window shop. Head to the food court, grab a cool drink or ice cream and sit there. You can spend several hours there without any restrictions whatsoever.
- Work Overtime: This one is subject to whether or not your workplace is air-conditioned (and you have permission to 'burn the midnight oil' at work). If it is, the heat wave is the time to work overtime. You can work for 10 to 12 hours a day, even more if you want. It will help you stay away from the heat in your home and you can spend the heat wave in a cool environment, and make extra money.
- Hit the Beach: Again, this depends on whether or not there is a beach near your city. If there is, there isn't a better place to spend the entire day out of the house and beat the heat wave. Take your family and friends along and have fun at the beach. Of course, this option is restricted to the weekends due to the availability of time if you work.
These are some options available to you to cool down during a heat wave if you want to get out of the house. It is up to you to decide whether you want to stay indoors or not.
Preparing for the Next Heat Wave
You have seen the ways you can cool down during a heat wave, both in and out of the house. Yet, the best way to deal with the heat wave is by preparing to beat it. Here are some tips you can follow:
These are some of the steps you can take to prepare for the next heat wave.
There are effective ways you can beat the heat wave even if you aren't prepared. Don't sweat it next time, shop our portable air conditioners.