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How to keep cool at home during extreme heat


  • By Laurel Huster
  • |
  • Aug. 17, 2019 - 6:08 PM

How to keep cool at home during extreme heat

Courtesy of Pixabay

Here are some tips for staying cool in your home during extreme August heat.

August in Georgia is hot, with heat indexes above 100 degrees.

If your air conditioning can’t keep up with the heat, here are some ways to stay cool in your home without it. 

The first thing you can do to keep cool is to keep your shades drawn and windows closed during the day. If it’s windy out, you can crack the windows, but make sure no sunlight is getting in and warming your house, according to www.offgridsurvival.com

If your home doesn't have air conditioning, or you don’t want to spend too much on electricity, try creating your own. Fill a shallow pan or bowl with ice and position it in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice melting and create a pleasant mist, according to greatist.com. 

To cool off instantly, consider investing in a cooling towel. These towels work by evaporation, utilizing polyvinyl alcohol polymers, microfiber or dense mesh to increase the amount of water absorption that can lead to several hours of evaporative cooling. They are supposed to keep you cooler longer than wetting a regular towel. They easily purchased at multiple locations around the county or online, usually for less than $10.

Another method of keeping cool in the heat is by hanging damp sheets and linens in doorways and windows. This trick dates back to the Egyptians when they would use damp sheets to help cool their homes through evaporation, according to www.offgridsurvival.com .

You can also minimize heat in your house by avoiding turning on stoves and ovens during the hot summer months.

Instead, use an Instant pot or a slow cooker, which will cook your meals without producing as much heat. Or, take all the cooking outside by firing up the grill for dinner.

Make sure you aren’t letting the cool air out of your house by keeping external doors shut as much as possible. Every time you open the door, you’re letting the cold air out and warming your home more. 

If your home does not have any air conditioning, try to go somewhere that does in the hottest part of the day, usually mid-afternoon. Visit a public library, the mall or a movie theater. 

When you start to feel the effects of the heat and need to cool down immediately, apply ice packs or compresses to pressure points on your wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles and behind your knees. 

Here are some tips from www.ready.gov for extreme heat warnings: 

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, symptoms of which include muscle spasms in the abdomen, arms and calves; heat exhaustion, which has symptoms of faintness, dizziness, nausea, heavy sweating, and headache; and the worst kind of heat related illness, heatstroke, which has symptoms of high body temperature, altered mental state, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin and rapid breathing.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

For more information about extreme heat, visit www.ready.gov/heat .