Settling into the swing of summer? With longer, lazy days, summer is synonymous with fun. But it also has one drawback: heat.
Portland, Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, though not as naturally warm as other regions, do have heat waves … and sometimes even A/C isn’t enough when the air starts sizzling and the mercury inches upwards. Here are our top tips for keeping your cool during the summer.
Check your filters
If you have air conditioning, check the filter. Air conditioners create cool air, yes, but they also generate heat as they run. A dirty filter means your unit is working harder – and running hotter. (Prometheus Neighbors: Call us for assistance if you’d like an A/C checkup.)
Lock it down
As you head off to school or work, protect your home from heat inside and out:
Exterior heat: Close the windows and draw your curtains or blinds. Consider investing in heavier, thermal curtains to block as much sunlight as possible.
Interior heat: Turn off any electronics that you can, like your television, computer and gaming system. (One notable exception: your refrigerator. You’ll need that!) Many of those devices continue drawing power and generating heat in standby mode, so you may have to unplug them completely. Hold off on running the dishwasher or dryer until the night, when it’s cooler.
Keep that ceiling fan off during the day too – it won’t actually help cool down the room, and you’ll just waste power. (And when you do have it on in the summer, set it to run counterclockwise to create a comfy downdraft.)
After you come home, open those windows wide and let the cooler air in. If you can, put fans in windows in opposite ends of your apartment. Set one to draw air in and one to push air out. Keep them running throughout the night to bring in as much cool air before the scorching sun comes up.
If it’s too hot in your home, you can find relief outside your door. Walk barefoot in your Neighborhood’s cool, crisp grass. Dive into your on-site oasis: the pool. Catch a film in an air-conditioned theater (you might even have one on-site at your Neighborhood). And be sure to have an outdoor barbecue instead of running your stove.
You probably know the benefits of a skin-cooling shower, but have you tried taking an icepack or frozen water bottle to bed? Holding it near your body while you sleep will help keep your internal body temperature down. Ensure your bedding is summer-ready too: That means cotton sheets and a buckwheat pillow, which allows the air to circulate under your noggin.
Pets get hot, too
Although you can get away during the day, your pets typically can’t. Do you crate your pup? Consider moving her to the bathroom, where she can lay on the skin-cooling floor. Ensure screens are secured so your pets cannot escape. Put ice cubes in their water bowls. And consider having Fluffy or Fifi shaved. Yes, even your cat. It’s not only cooling for them – it’s hilarious for you.