South Carolina is boiling this summer. With the heat index hitting triple digits as early as mid-June, everyone is working hard to keep cool. Air conditioning may feel like the only answer to this problem, but there are other ways you can beat the heat without spending extra cash on power bills. Here are a few of our suggestions:
- 1. Grill out, eat salads, snag rotisserie chicken from the store – anything to avoid turning on the stove or oven. When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is heat up your kitchen by baking or turning on the stovetop. An easy solution? Light up the grill! You don’t have to stick to just hamburgers – steak, chicken, even seafood tastes great when grilled. Shish kebobs or other skewered food grills up nicely and keeps your kitchen (and your home) cool. Try out salads, cold soups like gazpacho, or if you’re pressed for time, pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store. You can eat it as-is the first night, and make chicken salad with the leftovers. All without overheating your home.
- 2. Eat hot food. Just… not hot food. It may seem counter-productive, but eating spicy food will help your body cool down. When eating spicy food (or even drinking hot tea), you’ll begin to sweat, helping to cool your body’s overall temperature. It’s the reason you see such a robust spicy food culture in very hot regions of the world, like parts of Southeast Asia, Indiana, Africa, and South America. Try out some new recipes and cool down while you’re at it!
- 3. Stay hydrated – but stay away from drinks that don’t help. Make sure you drink lots of water so you don’t get dehydrated and risk heat stroke or illness, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Your basic goal should be to hit around 64 ounces a day, but you may want to drink even more if you’re outside sweating or working hard. Avoid drinking alcohol, soda, or caffeinated drinks, which can make your body work harder to regulate its temperature than it needs to.
- 4. Take steps to block out the light – and therefore the heat. A relatively inexpensive fix is simply to look around your house and see what is letting heat in and what you may be able to do about it. If you have older lightbulbs, switch them out for newer models that give off much less heat and still provide bright, vibrant light. You may also consider picking up heavier curtains for your windows or what they call “blackout curtains”. If you can block most of the sunlight coming through, you’ll also block much of the heat.
- 5. If all else fails… change your clothes. People often take up wearing skintight clothing, thinking that it’s less material and will be cooler to wear. Not true! The tighter the clothing, the more it traps the heat next to your skin. Make sure you wear loose-fitting clothes in the summer, except of course when you’re swimming. This will help keep the sun off more of your skin, which will cool you down, and won’t trap heat. You may find it makes a much greater difference than you expected.
The biggest tip Corley can give when it comes to beating the heat? Make sure your HVAC unit is running at peak efficiency! If it has to work harder than it should to cool your home, you may not be getting the full benefit of your central air. If you’d like us to come take a look at your system or you just want more information, we’d be happy to help! Give Corley at call at (864) 661-2811 or contact us online today!