Tips On Staying Cool During a Heat Wave

The Pacific Northwest in the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada are being scorched by an unprecedented heat wave this summer. This rare “heat dome” is predicted to only occur once every 1,000 years or so. States across the northwest are breaking records for heat, which is not only incredibly uncomfortable, but extremely dangerous in general — especially for residents who are not accustomed to the severe heat and may not have air conditioning. It’s important not to underestimate how quickly heat like this can make you dehydrated and sick, and take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Here are five tips to effectively escape the worst of the heat, without air conditioning!

1. Take Advantage Of Your Fans

Any portable electric fan, box fan, or ceiling fan you have will prove to be a big help. The fans will help dissipate the hot, stale air and blow cooler air on and around you. If you will be working indoors for a few hours, trying setting up in a smaller room rather than in a bigger common area. The power of the fans will be that much more effective to you in a smaller space and will be able to cool down the air around you that much faster!

Photo: Adobe Stock/cynoclub

2. Know Your Pulse Points

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a pool, lake, or beach nearby to help us cool off on these blistering hot days. Try soaking a hand towel or bandana in cold water and placing it on any of your pulse points. Pulse points are essentially just areas where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are closer to the surface of your skin. By cooling down your pulse points, as opposed to other parts of your body, you will be able to cool your whole body down a lot quicker.

Photo: Adobe Stock/Rusty

Pulse Points Include:

  • Temples
  • Back of the neck
  • Inside of elbow
  • Inside of wrist
  • Inner thigh
  • Back of the knee
  • Bottoms of feet

3. Stay On The Ground Floor

When molecules are heated up, they move faster and further apart. Therefore, with more space in between each molecule, hot air becomes less dense and floats up. If you live in a multi-story home, you’ll want to stay on your first floor as often as possible. However, avoid your basement unless you have good circulation down there. Without circulation, any hot air in your basement will stay put, making it an unideal place to try and cool off.

4. Block Out Your Windows

If you’re facing extreme temperatures without AC, it might be time to take some extreme, although temporary, measures. Not everyone has black out curtains to keep the heat at bay, nor do they have the time or extra funds to run out and buy some. Though it won’t be pretty, an effective and quick fix uses only two materials: aluminum foil and cardboard. Place the foil on your windows shiny-side out and secure in place using painters tape. Then, as an extra layer over the foil, place flat cardboard that you can also tape in place. The combination of the aluminum foil and cardboard will effectively block out the sun and heat from entering your home, while further insulating the windows the keep any cool air in.

Photo: Adobe Stock/hichako

5. Reduce Excess Heat

Certain light bulbs and electronics can give off a lot of extra heat. Be sure to power down your TV, desktops, and lighting whenever you’re not actively using them. Also try eating more fresh foods or prepackaged items that won’t require you turning on the oven or stovetop. If you have to use your oven, be sure to keep your exhaust fan running at full speed to help mitigate the amount of heat settling in your home.

Photo: Adobe Stock/lalalululala

Above all else, it is essential to keep yourself hydrated and stay indoors as much as possible. When venturing outside, be sure to wear sunscreen and bring extra with you so you can re-apply as necessary. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you and keep your phone charged in case you get stuck somewhere without water or shade. Stay safe and stay cool! Fall will be back before we know it.

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