Top tips to keep your cool this summer….
Money saving ideas for summer…
We all keep wondering if summer is ever going to come! Rumours of a three month heatwave have long since been drowned out by the endless rain.
But if summer does eventually arrive, it will be a different story and we will all be complaining about being too hot! So in anticipation of that, let’s take a look at ten ways to keep cool this summer and also to save money in the process.
- Drink, drink, drink
One of the most important things to do in hot weather is to keep drinking. Otherwise you can get tired, headachy and grumpy! The best thing to drink is water – tap water is fine and doesn’t cost. Avoid excessive alcohol as this can dehydrate you further.
Interestingly, hot drinks can actually help to cool you down! They raise your body temperature which causes sweating, which then reduces the heat of your body.
- Take the plunge!
Of course water is good not just for drinking but for cooling your whole body down. Swimming not only cools you down but is a great form of exercise. So go for a dip whenever possible; there are many outdoor facilities available during the summer, including beaches, ponds and lakes that are free. And when you are out swimming you will not be spending money doing other things.
Also remember that you can get a quick fix of coolness any time either by wiping a damp cloth over your neck or wrists, or by plunging your hands or feet into a bucket or basin of cold water.
- Dress for cool
When you are out and about in hot weather, think carefully about what you wear. Loose fitting clothes can sometimes keep your skin cooler than stripping down to shorts and strappy tops. Natural fabrics such as linen and cotton are really good at absorbing sweat and allowing your skin to breathe. Wear white and pale colours if you’re out in direct sunlight as they reflect the heat: but black and darker colours are better in the shade as they will radiate out heat and cool you down.
- Air dry your clothes
One wonderful thing about summer is that you can let your clothes dry naturally. They will feel and smell summer fresh, and you will save a small fortune on your tumble dryer if you normally use one. Hang clothes outside if you can, or drape them around the home – ideally with windows open. Your clothes will feel wonderful and your costs will go right down.
- Cut down your use of appliances
Whilst on the subject, it’s good to cut down your use of appliances in general over summer. Anything you use – for example the dishwasher – can make your home hotter than it needs to be. As well as costing money.
Summer is a good time to go back to basics. Remember the song “Summertime and the living is easy”? Many of us have the urge to do things more simply over summer, and al fresco dining – plus washing up by hand – will make things simpler and cheaper, and will help you keep your cool.
- Go unplugged
Another way to help keep cool – and also cut your utility bills – is to unplug any electrical items you are not using. These items continue to drain electricity when not in use. This generates heat and keeps your bills rising. So unplug your phone and computer chargers, turn off all TVs, gaming devices, DVD players and sound systems. But do remember not to unplug the fridge or any other essential appliances that you rely on!
- Close curtains and blinds
Depending on the type of curtains or blinds you have, you need to think about whether to keep them open or closed during the day. For example, if you have thick dark curtains or blackout blinds then keep them open during the day. This will avoid heat becoming trapped in the room. But closing lighter curtains and blinds can help to reflect the sun’s rays back out of the room during the heat of the day.
Some people also swear by putting reflective material on the outside of the glass to bounce back the heat and keep the room cool.
- Manage your windows
Also consider the best time to open and close windows. As a general rule, if it is warmer outside than in then keep the windows closed. And vice versa.
When windows are open, try to get a good flow of air going through the home by opening different combinations to enable a through draft and dispel hot air.
- To fan or not to fan?
Opinion is divided as the whether fans do any use. As we have seen, generally it is best to avoid using any appliances where possible as they tend to generate heat, as well as costing money. Many people insist that all fans do is blow hot air around! So if you do use one then try either placing the fan next to an open window, so that it draws in the cooler air from outdoors, or placing a bowl of ice at an angle in front of your fan so that the air from the fan cools as it blows round.
- Cool your bedding
One final tip is to make sure that you use the lightest weight bedding that you can during the summer. Change it regularly to keep it fresh and try adding additional cooling by slightly dampening your sheets before bedtime. Some people also like to place an ice pack underneath their pillow for additional cooling.