With our warming climate, average temperatures in many areas of the U.S. during the summer have been skyrocketing. If you just bought a home among the Phoenix real estate and plan to move from a region like the Pacific Northwest, for example, it's really going to be noticeable, with average daily temperatures in August around 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dealing with the heat is already easier if you're prepared - here's the best ways you can get ready for those high temperatures.
Keeping Cool Without Air Conditioning
If your home doesn't have air conditioning, there are ways to help cool the inside. While you might have to give up a view for a while, be sure all your windows are covered, keeping curtains and blinds closed and shades down. Blackout curtains are ideal as they'll block sunlight. Get some portable fans, and if you have ceiling fans, turn them counterclockwise (as you look up) so they'll move cooler air down instead of upward.
If temperatures cool at night and it's safe in your area to do so, keep the windows cracked before going to bed. You can also set up your fans strategically, creating a wind tunnel that forces a cross breeze. Don't forget to close the windows before things start to warm up in the morning.
Get Your A/C Ready
If your home is air-conditioned, before the highest heat of summer arrives, make sure your system or unit is working properly. Check your filters, and if they're dirty or clogged, replace them. Clean filters can significantly lower the amount of energy an a/c unit uses. If you have central air, vacuum the registers (the metal or plastic grills covering air ducts) to eliminate any dust. Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or as high as possible to help lower your electricity bill.
Get a Grill
If you don't already have one, invest in a grill so you don't have to use your stove or oven as often. Each time you use those appliances, it will make your home hotter. If it's already over 90 degrees inside, the last thing you'd want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Plus it's fun to cook outdoors.
Wear the Right Clothing
Get those summer clothes out of storage, or wherever you have them as you'll want lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton or moisture-wicking clothing in light colors to help you stay cool inside or out.
Schedule Workouts Early or Late
If you like to exercise outside, or your home doesn't have a/c, plan your workouts early in the morning or during the last hour of daylight. Avoid strenuous activities between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., which is typically the hottest time of day.
Have Plenty of Water and Cooling Foods On Hand
When it's very hot, dehydration can lead to serious health consequences. If you tap water isn't safe to drink, or you plan to be away from home, be sure that you have plenty of water to drink. Even when you aren't feeling thirsty, you need to drink a lot of water when the mercury rises. Cut down on caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, and avoid or limit alcohol, which is dehydrating.
Eating certain foods can cool your body, providing relief from excessive heat. Be sure you have plenty of water-packed fruits onhand like peaches, oranges, blueberries, raspberries and plums which all contain more than 80 percent water. Melons, including watermelons and cantaloupe have the highest water content of all, with over 90 percent. Vegetables like cucumber and asparagus are good too.