Comings and Goings

Briefly Noted: When it comes to staying cool, little things mean a lot

July 1, 2015

Staff

A few years ago, Yes! magazine worked up a great list of tricks for keeping cool in the summer without using energy-reliant appliances – or at least minimizing use. Instead of controlling our environment, these tips get us to change our habits in little ways that really help. Here are a few cooling techniques that you can try – for free! – today.

Capture night air. Passive cooling is pretty basic. At night, open windows to let in cooler air. In the morning, close them again to keep warm air out. Drapes over windows during the hottest part of the day will also help keep a house cool.

Turn on a fan. A ventilated space is often 10 degrees cooler than outdoors and your body will sense less heat with a little air movement.

Move against the sun. In the morning, take advantage of your west-facing rooms and yard, away from the sun. Rooms on the north side are often cooler in the late afternoon. And in the evening, migrate east again.

Set up in the basement. Geothermal cooling keeps temperatures much lower below ground.

Make no-cook meals. Oven and stovetop activities heat up a kitchen pretty fast. Think of some raw food meals you might make to avoid turning on these heat sources. Or use a pressure cooker (fast, energyefficient).

Plan your workouts. Maybe you should get up an hour earlier for yoga while it’s still cool, or wait to run till the sun is almost down. Conversely, research does show that regular exercise in heat increases the body’s tolerance.

Get wet. Running through sprinklers isn’t just for kids. Nothing cools the body down like a good rinse. (At the CATALYST office, we have been known to employ spray bottles.)