Today I have a guest post for you from my husband Tony, who blogs at Thrifty Husband. He has 10 thrifty ways to keep cool this summer. Over to Tony…
Summer is finally here and we are all wanting to both enjoy the heat and escape from it's wrath! We can't win with weather at times in Britain can we? As such Thrifty Husband has gathered together these 10 thrifty ways to keep cool this summer no matter what you might be doing.
Shutting the Curtains
There is nothing worse than having to have worked all day long during the summer only to come home to a boiling hot house. A huge way in which to reduce this is actually to keep your curtains or blinds shut during the day. This will block off a lot of the direct sunlight which would cause a room to heat up. If you are in the house at the time then you might want to either get some daylight bulbs or enjoy the cool dark and only venture outside when your ready for the heat!
Paler coloured curtains are better at this than darker curtains, as lighter colours reflect more of the energy, whilst darker colours tend to absorb more of the energy.
Fans are a great way in keeping cool, we have a tower fan for most rooms in our house now (saves trying to unplug and drag it to each room each time), and are not that big a drain on electricity. One way to increase the effectiveness of fans during the summer is to make some ice cubes in your freezer, using a ice tray if you have one, and place them in a bowl in front of the fan. As the ice melts the fan will then blow the cool water droplets, to make a cooling mist. It is kind of like a home-made air conditioner and has been done for years, why though did I only learn of this later in life though!
The effect of a fan is only really felt if you are in the room, so make sure to turn it off if you are leaving the room otherwise it will just be wasted electricity, if you don't have a fan, you should check out portable AC unit reviews here and invest in one. Check out portable AC unit reviews here.
During the summer heat you will want as much cotton clothes and bed sheets as possible! There is a reason that cotton has been used for many years as a material for clothing, especially where the weather is hotter. Cotton absorbs moisture really easily, when you are wearing or sleeping on it this means that your sweat is taken away from your skin quicker to evaporate in the air around you. It also is light and well ventilated meaning that air can more easily move through it and onto your skin, which is something you will want in the summer.
As mentioned before paler colours will be better than darker colours due to the reflecting ability of paler colours and the absorbing ability of darker colours.
Trying to avoid certain items
Certain electronic items around your house generate a lot of heat, you will then have to deal with an extra warm house which is not nice. Dishwashers, tumble dryers, computers (mainly desktops), ovens and boilers are some of the most guilty ones here of generating a lot of heat to trap in your home.
Your boiler is something you will always need on but you can reduce the amount of time and water that it will need to heat, it summer will you need much hot water during the summer? Ovens are also one of those things that you kinda need, but if you use it first thing in the morning to cook food that can be reheated later in the day, the heat has more a chance to dissipate, or using it later during the day when things ‘usually' start to cool down. The only other alternative is starting to have more foods that don't require the oven to be on so salads or quick cooking stir fry are some good examples.
Maybe get the person in the house who thinks they are awesome at cooking on a barbecue (usually the men) to break out their barbecues and start cooking outside! Avoids heating up the house and you get the great taste of the summer.
Dishwashers and tumble dryers are things that can easily be not used in summer. The heat will quickly cause any dishes to dry off if you wash them by hand, and clothes dried on the line always smell and feel so much nicer than what a tumble dryer can provide. Though it is also a time factor with these jobs.
Quick and cool showers
Taking shorter cooler showers not only helps keep you yourself cooler but the house as well. Hot showers as you will know create steam which will heat up your home, even a cooler shower will create some steam but it will be a lot less than a hot shower. The cool shower will also lower your body temperature and make you feel a lot more refreshed. A quick cool shower before bed can really help you drift off to sleep on the hot muggy nights.
Water is your friend
Keeping hydrated in summer is important as the heat will cause you to lose a lot whilst sweating. A cold drink will help to not only deal with your thirst and re-hydrate you but due to it being cool will help you feel better in the heat and for longer as well. One of my favourite things to do if heading out will be to freeze water in a bottle the night before so it can melt through the day but still be cold. You should actually avoid drinks like coffee and many fizzy drinks as although they might feel refreshing for a little while they will actually cause you to be more dehydrated.
Putting water in the fridge in summer has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. Whenever it would start to get hot a space was cleared in the fridge and a water container full of water was placed in the fridge. The container has changed over the years from containers with a tap to just jugs of water. Being colder than tap water and not having to use ice makes the water much nicer and more refreshing. Water is the easiest and cheapest but why not add some squash or even have a fresh fruit juice ready and cold?
Using water in other ways
During the summer water is a really useful tool in which to use to keep yourself cool and there are several ways in which to use it.
Running a cold tap on your wrists or ankles can also cause your core temperature to drop cooling you off during the day. This is a great little thing to do at most work places as you will then feel that bit more refreshed and cool.
Having a spray bottle and squirting yourself is also not just refreshing but the evaporation process will cool our bodies faster. Water spray hand-held fans are one of the more useful things for this and are very handy for when you are outside, especially in the garden.
Food can keep you cool?
During the summer many people will be thinking only of meats off the BBQ and of having fun in the sun, but it seems what we put in us can effect how we feel the heat.
Eating cooler foods during the summer actually helps to lower our core body temperature, mainly since they are cool plus don't cause too much of a temperature increase during digestion, and many of these cooler foods will be higher in water content so will help to keep us hydrated. Surprised there that a salad can help in the summer, no wonder even I will crave a salad in summer! On the other hand things like spicy food or steak will increase our core temperature causing us to be hotter. So having a BBQ is a great way of not causing your house to feel like a sauna but you might have to make sure you have a salad to help balance it out.
Eating little and often can also help, as it will not make you have a big meal to try and digest, which causes our core body temperature to rise as we digest.
On a sadder note things that are too cold like ice cream do not actually help us cool off for long!
Open up at night
The summer nights can truly be the worst, being too hot is not the best way in which to fall off to sleep. Opening up windows slightly at night in different rooms upstairs will allow heat to escape and cause a cross breeze to travel through the rooms. You might want to put objects in front of any easily breeze influenced doors however as they will move or occasionally slam! We have one of those doors, sounds like someone walking with how it moves at times!
There are many ways in which Poundland will have your back this summer. Water guns and paddling pools for children (what is the cut off age for children?), handheld water spray fans, water containers with taps (that can easily fit in the fridge), barbecue items and much more! You can see many of these products in Emma's What's Awesome in Poundland for May, June and July on her Youtube channel.