Best Ways to Keep Cool This Summer — No Sweat
Are you anxious about the hot, hot heat and crazy-high electric bills of this summer? Don’t sweat it. Here are some great ways to keep cool and control your expenses.
Better Your Bedding
Makeover your winter bed. Flannel sheets, wool throws and heavy down duvets will make you sweat while your sleep (and crank the AC to compensate). Instead, opt for crisp cotton sheets (they breathe, making them cooler) topped with a summer weight comforter, a simple blanket, or a quilt like this beauty from Anthology.
Pick a New Pillow
Flipping to the cool side always makes for a more blissful sleep. With that in mind, choose a pillow that’s been designed specifically to dissipate body heat, or consider a buckwheat pillow. Though a bit hippie dippy, the carb filling does a great job of absorbing moisture and circulating air.
Splurge on a Sweet Pad
Do you burn hot at night, yet need comfort for a blanket cocoon to fall asleep? If so, a ChiliPad CUBE mattress pad may be the fix you’ve been dreaming about. Its innovative water circulation system cools (or warms) a single side of the bed to temps from 55°F to 110°F, while using a mere 80W of energy. Don’t sleep alone? A ChiliPad CUBE for two is also available.
Invest in Tech
If you have central air conditioning, splurge on a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat like Honeywell’s Lyric model. It features a smartphone app that lets users manage their home’s temperature on the go. Adjust it according to your schedule, the weather, or your whims.
Get a Portable Unit
So, you don’t have central air conditioning or space for a wall unit. No worries. A portable air conditioner lets you chill out whatever room you’re in. KUL’s three-speed powerhouse boasts 14,000 BTUs — enough to cool a room up to 700 square feet, plus a timer so it runs on your terms. Keep it out of direct sunlight and add a fan for extra coolness with less expense.
Check Out the Fan Fare
According to the American Lighting Association, fans create a localized wind-chill effect that can make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler — so you can lay off the AC a bit. (Come winter, fans also make you feel warmer because they push rising heat down and around). Size and type matter, so make sure you know what you need. Then choose something pretty, like this sleek, 52-inch, satin nickel and rosewood beauty designed for rooms up to 225 square feet.
Make a Curtain Call
Window treatments can dramatically affect the temperature of a room by keeping sunlight from warming up your interior during the day. Blackout shades or several pretty layers will keep the summer sun from streaming in, says interior designer Sarah Barnard, who suggests hanging sheer draperies under lined curtains for maximum insulation. She also recommends cool colors and natural textures to inspire a poolside/beachside feeling. Can’t hurt.
Take It Outside
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Cooking over a hot stove warms both the cook and the air in the kitchen, requiring extra AC oomph to cool the space. Instead, get your grill on and keep the heat outside. This electric George Forman pedestal model works pretty much anywhere there’s an outlet.
Run Appliances at Night
“Wait until the evening to run heat-inducing things like the dishwasher, washer, and dryer,” says interior designer and green home expert Lori Dennis. Or, just skip them entirely. Laundry POD lets you wash clothing sans electricity. Simple Human’s pretty dish rack paired with a great soap squirting dish brush lets you clean without the carbon footprint. Eco chic is also eco cheap.
Need a cold treat to beat the heat? You’ll feel infinitely better after scooping up a big bowl of luscious creamy goodness made with Cuisinart’s stainless steel ice cream, fro-yo and sorbet maker. Not sure which ice cream maker is right for you? Get the scoop here.