Keeping cool during a heat wave isn’t easy. When temperatures soar above 90 degrees for multiple days, it can be challenging to stay hydrated, keep your thermostat at an ideal temperature, and find ways to stay cool and relax without spending a fortune on utilities.

While there’s not much you can do about the heat, there are plenty of ways you can prepare and maintain your home or office to remain cool no matter what the thermometer reads outside.

Check the forecast

The first step to keeping cool during a heat wave is knowing when one is coming. The best way to gauge whether you’re about to experience a heat wave is by checking the forecast for your area.

Most weather apps have an “Extreme” or “Alert” feature that lets you know when the temperatures will likely spike. This way, you can take steps to prepare your home before the heat hits.

Stay hydrated

When it’s hot outside, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. It’s important to drink water regularly, even in the summer, to keep your body running at its best. Although everyone is different, the general rule of thumb is to drink one beverage for every hour you’re in the sun. It’s also important to stay hydrated when the mercury drops at night, particularly during the winter.

Many people find themselves waking up with a dry mouth and not realizing they didn’t drink enough during the day.

Turn off the A/C and open the windows

It’s common to turn on the air conditioning when the summer temps climb, but when it’s extremely hot outside, it’s best to turn the AC off and open the windows. Not only will this help keep your home cool without running the AC, but it will lower your electric bill. If you can’t open the windows, install a box fan in the window to help circulate air and lower the temperature in the room.

If you do decide to turn on the AC, make sure it’s running efficiently. Clean or replace your air filters every three months to ensure dirt and debris aren’t clogging the system. Make sure the thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature, and consider investing in a programmable thermostat.

Get an eco-friendly fan

There are many options when it comes to fans, but some are better for the environment than others. Look for an eco-friendly option, such as a solar-powered or energy-efficient model. If you’re shopping online, make sure the product description states whether it’s energy-efficient or solar-powered.

When choosing a fan, consider the noise level. Many models are quieter than they used to be, but if noise isn’t a factor, look for one with a larger base. This will keep it from tipping over and falling on someone or damaging your floor.

Open the blinds

If you don’t have the budget or desire to install new windows with built-in blinds, consider opening the ones you have. Turn the slats so they face outside, and you’ll block out sunlight while still being able to see outside.

If your windows have sliders or louvers, you can also close them to prevent sunlight from streaming into the room. If you have vertical blinds, roll them up to let in air. Most of these types of blinds come with easy-to-operate strings that allow you to adjust the amount of light coming in.

Install awnings or portable fans in windows

Many homes have large windows and skylights, which allow sunlight to stream in during a heat wave. If you have a lot of windows or skylights, consider installing awnings or portable fans in them. Awnings are functional and decorative window coverings that prevent sunlight from streaming into the room. Most types can be rolled back to let light in when the sun isn’t as intense.

Portable fans are a good option if you only have a few windows with sunlight streaming in. They’re also a great choice if you have a skylight that allows sunlight to enter your home during the day.

Block sunlight with curtains or paint

If you’ve installed awnings and they’re not enough to block sunlight coming through your windows, consider hanging curtains. Black-out curtains are a great option if you’re looking to block out light completely, but most curtains will help reduce sunlight. Black-out curtains are made from dense fabric that completely blocks light from passing through.

They’re often lined with a dark material on the backside as well. If you don’t want to completely block out light, you can also paint windows to reduce the amount of sunlight that comes through. Choose a dark color with an “ultra-marine” hue, and you won’t have to worry about repainting if the weather changes.

Use a cooling mattress pad

Most people don’t spend very much time in their beds, but when it’s hot outside, it’s easy to fall asleep in the living room or on the couch. This can wreak havoc on your back, but there’s an easy solution: a cooling mattress pad.

These pads are made of cooling gel that absorbs and evaporates your body heat while you sleep. Many models also feature a built-in alarm that wakes you up when the pad reaches a certain temperature, so you don’t overheat. These pads are a great investment for those who often struggle with overheating at night. They can help reduce overheating, which can lead to issues like heart disease and hypertension.

Conclusion

Keep these tips in mind during a heat wave, and you’ll have no trouble staying cool. You don’t have to let hot temperatures keep you from enjoying time indoors or outside, as long as you’re prepared. Take these steps to prepare your home for extreme temperatures, and you’ll be able to stay comfortable even when the thermometer climbs.

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