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How To Stay Cool in Extreme Heat

Blackout shades to cool the home.

Summer has arrived. Heatwaves can occur in areas of the country where cooler climates are the norm during most of the year. Some homes in these areas lack air conditioning, making coping in extreme temperatures difficult for everyone. With the temperature rising, it’s time to consider keeping your home cool and ready for the long, hot days ahead. 

As the temperature rises, it’s critical to pay attention to how the heat affects your body. Your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature in extreme heat, opening up sweat glands and sweating to keep you cool. Every year, extreme heat kills more people than any other weather-related hazard. Even if you don’t have an air conditioner, the steps below can help you know how to stay cool in extreme heat. 

Keep your Home Shaded

If you have windows that face east or west, then you know how much the heat the direct sunlight can bring. The reason for this is because glass amplifies the direct sun rays and creates a slight greenhouse effect as they enter your house. Even opening your windows won’t help with much relief. The best way to combat the sunlight is with blackout shades.

There are many different types of blackout shades, from blackout cellular shades, to blackout roller shades, so you aren’t limited in your choice. All shades have their advantages and each provides a defining feature. For example, cellular shades help to trap air, helping with energy efficiency, while roller shades are extremely economical in appearance, wasting no materials on frivolous looks. Regardless of what type of shade you get, the blackout fabric will keep the sunlight out and help keep your interior shaded and cooler.

Other Room Darkening Window Coverings

So maybe you aren’t the type of person who wants to fully blackout their interiors. Luckily, there is an alternative to full blackout fabrics: light filtering or room darkening fabrics. These fabrics allow light to pass through, but it mutes it to a level that makes it manageable. Most importantly, these shades block harmful UV rays that can damage your skin, your furniture and your flooring.

Types of light filtering shades include roman shades and zebra shades. Roman shades are a fancier option relative to other shades, as they fold into large pleats which invoke ideas of palatial grandeur. Zebra shades on the other hand, are a modern take on classical blinds. They are in alternating sets of solid sheer (see-through) and light filtering (not see-through). Both these shades can fully close while allowing light in to help combat the hot weather.

Zebra sheer shades in a living room.

Do Most of the Work Early

During dangerous heat waves, the temperature and sun peaks during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm. If you have a lot of chores and work to do around the house to do, try to finish it before this time period. If you are able to wake up early and get the work done, you will have those hours to do lighter work or relax. If you aren’t the type to wake up early, then it would be best to wait out the peak heat hours and do the work after 5 pm when it starts to cool down.

Stay Hydrated 

You can combat the hot air inside your house by always having a soothing glass of cold water handy. If air conditioning is not an option for you, keep a pitcher or bottles of water in your fridge at all times. Heat related illnesses can be combated with a drink of water. As your body temperature builds up, you are at risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so make sure you have cold water available to you at all times when the summer weather starts to peak.

Use Ceiling Fans Correctly

Did you know there is a proper and incorrect way to use your ceiling fan? A small switch at the base of your ceiling changes the direction of the airflow. During the summer, your ceiling fan should rotate counter-clockwise, forcing air down and making you feel cooler. During the winter, your ceiling fan should rotate clockwise to circulate air throughout the room without blowing directly on you. This does not necessarily cool a room down, but it does increase evaporative cooling from your skin, making you feel cooler. 

Let the Air Circulate at Night

During the night, leave the windows open! When the day’s heat has passed and the night brings cooler temperatures, it’s time to open your windows and doors and let the cool air in. Of course, security is a priority, so be cautious with unattended rooms and doors, and never go to bed with any unsecured windows or doors, as this is the most common way for burglars to gain access to your home. This is where shades can come in handy, as they help prevent anyone from seeing inside and thus helping to deter intruders.

During the day, the warm surface level air can be very hot and humid, so it is best to leave your windows closed. For air circulation, use fans, both electric and hand waved. Moving air is always a welcome feeling upon the skin during heat waves. So another very important tip not to forget is to find ways to keep that indoor air moving!

Wrapping it up

The air in your house can be controlled and kept cool even without an air conditioner. You simply need to keep it moving and keep the afternoon sun from cooking it. So keep those roller blinds down during the hot afternoon and don’t forget to drink plenty of water and other cooling liquids. Avoid drinking too much caffeine and alcohol as they will dehydrate you and won’t help combat the heat.

If you are experiencing severe heat stroke, please seek medical advice. Don’t put it off and please seek immediate emergency help if you experience fainting. This blog is intended for ideas in helping to prevent these issues before they happen.

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