12 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC)
Air conditioning is a part of our lives, whether we want it or not. Our houses and modern apartments are designed in such ways that they would be uninhabitable without air conditioning. When we find many people rush to turn up the AC at the slightest indication that the day will be hot, it seems that the AC is overused and we are not aware of its harmful effects. The prolonged use of AC plays havoc on our skin and hair; it pulls out moisture from the skin and leave it feels dry and stretched. If your machine is not maintained in a healthy way, it could become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi and many microorganisms associated with a range of seemingly unrelated symptoms: nasal congestion, breathing problems, headaches, fatigue and irritated skin. AC is notorious for increasing the symptoms of some of the existing illness such as, low blood pressure, arthritis, and neuritis, making pain management more difficult. Once Professor Cameron Tonkinwise of Carnegie Mellon School of Design, said, "The air conditioner allows architects to be lazy. We don't have to think about making a building work, because you can just buy a box."
12 No-nonsense Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights without AC:
1. Biological Reason: Think like a prudent person, we need to sweat a bit every day in summer. Letting nature take its course is healthy. Our bodies need a certain amount of sweat to remove the heat stored inside.
2. Plant Trees: Plant leafy trees around the building¡¯s exterior, especially on the east and west side; it will stop the sun from shining inside your home.
3. Shield Your Home from External Heat: Solar screens or mesh-like window screens intercept up to 70% of solar energy before it gets into the house. Window films are transparent metalized sheets that reflect heat before it can be transmitted through glass. Curtains, or closed blinds can reduce the temperature of your room by 20 degrees.
4. Use Creative Ideas Based on Scientific Principles: Locate fans on your home's upper level and open windows on a lower level. Close windows near the fan and open windows in rooms far from the fan, preferably on your home's windward side. Keep windows open and unobstructed. Keep provision for cross ventilation.
5. Camp out in Your Basement: Basements are mostly eco-cooled. Don't open basement windows when outdoor air is heavy with humidity. A TV, couch or futon, a fan and a cold drink in your basement may be all you need to survive a summer night without AC.
6. Reduce Humidity: Ventilate, if needed, with the vent fans, especially the areas that create moisture like the kitchen and bathroom. Remember, it only takes between four and six pints of water to raise the humidity level inside of 1,000 square feet from a mere 15% to 60%. There is a direct relationship between temperature and humidity. Humidity in the air holds the day time heat for a long time, even during the night. So more humidity, more temperature, more discomfort.
7. Adjust your Body Temperature: Spray yourself with a water bottle or use a cool cloth on the back of your neck or other strong-pulsed areas like your wrists through which branch of the external carotid artery passes. Take shorter, colder shower.
8. Sleep Low: Hot air is light and rises high, cool air is heavy and remain at a lower level in your bedroom. So placing your mattress on the floor can help you to stay cool or rigging an indoor hammock is a good idea, because it increases air flow. Find a cool, dark sleeping spot that is on a lower floor or in a basement.
9. Beat the Heat With Diet: Try to follow a vegetarian diet regime and reduce your usage of red meat. Stay away from hot and spicy food items. Avoid fatty and fried foods (junk/fast foods). Follow a low sodium diet regime. Cardamom has excellent detoxifying qualities which in turns cool down the body. Cardamom can be taken along with tea.
10. Fix Your Ceiling Fan to Summer Setting: During the summer, your ceiling fan should blow air straight down, and to do that you have to change its direction of rotation to anti-clockwise.
11. Have Lighter Bedding: Thick mattress retain heat. Use 100% lighter cotton bedding preferably the crisp vintage kind and linen made of breathable lightweight cotton.
12. Put your bedding in the freezer: Put your pillow cases, bed sheets and blankets in the freezer 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed. They should stay cool for another 30-40 minutes¡ªjust enough time to fall asleep.