- 10 Best Hacks To Stay Cool This Summer
- 10 Close the Curtains
- 9 Wear Light-Colored Clothing
- 8 Dampen Your Cap
- 7 Aloe Ice Cubes
- 6 Spicy Foods Don't Help
- 5 DIY AC Unit
- 4 Put Cold Water on Your Wrists
- 3 Stick Your Pillowcases and Sheets in the Freezer
- 2 Use It as an Excuse to Relax
- 1 Buy a Mini Mister
- Scientifically Proven Hacks to Stay Cool | The Current
- Share this Slideshow On Your Site
- How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning
- Take a cold bath or shower
- Use peppermint soap or body scrub during your shower
- Drink lots of water
- Mix up your frozen treats
- Build a fan fortress
- Roll a DIY air conditioner (that actually works)
- Make smart use of your fridge or freezer
- Invest in a Whole House Fan
- Keep the sun out, but let the heat out too
- Get a cooling pillow or sheet set
- Learn Your Body’s Cooling Spots
- Get damp (and naked)
10 Best Hacks To Stay Cool This Summer
Summer brings about mixed feelings in many of us, as we love the warmth, but hate the dripping sweat that comes with it. It can be difficult to find the motivation to enjoy the outside air when the heat begs you to stay indoors. You want to have fun and hang out with your friends, but the cool AC in your home makes you think twice.
Luckily, several hacks can help us beat the heat and stay comfortable, even on those insanely hot days. These can help whether you plan to stay indoors or venture outside, so there is something for everyone. Keep reading to learn about ten hacks to stay cool this summer!
10 Close the Curtains
If you plan to stay inside, then it can be a good idea to close your curtains and keep out the warm rays of the sun. When the light shines through your window, it directs heat inside of your home, increasing the temperature and making you uncomfortable.
This is especially helpful when you don't have an air conditioning unit, or if your unit seems to be struggling to keep up with the extreme heat of the day. You might feel a hermit who prefers not to interact with the outside world, but it's worth it to stay cool in the heat of the summer day.
9 Wear Light-Colored Clothing
You might have heard this once upon a time, but some people don't believe it to be true. Black or darker clothing absorbs the wavelengths coming from the sun, which increases our body heat.
The opposite is said for white clothing, which reflects the wavelengths, thus keeping the heat at bay. Your favorite shirt might be a glittering black halter top, but it might be time to find a new favorite for the summer that won't leave you sweating within minutes.
8 Dampen Your Cap
Summertime has people pulling their baseball caps storage to protect their heads from the summer heat and to keep the sun their eyes. A neat little trick many people have adopted is to dampen the inside of their ballcap with cool water. It will keep your head cool, which in turn, will help the rest of your body stay at a manageable temperature.
You won't be overheating your friends who thought your idea was stupid. If the cap isn't enough, you can always dampen a rag and place it over the back of your neck as an added method of reducing your internal body temperature.
7 Aloe Ice Cubes
We have all gotten a sunburn sometime in our life, and the next few days after our skin turns tomato red can be painful. A good way to help soothe the ache of the tender parts of our skin is to make aloe vera ice cubes. All you need is to buy the aloe vera gel, squeeze it into an ice cube tray, then stick it in the freezer.
These will feel great on your skin and help reduce inflammation. They can also be used for other things healing bug bites, reduce the swelling of acne, and remove makeup from sensitive skin.
6 Spicy Foods Don't Help
When we eat spicy foods we can feel our internal body temperature rising with each flavorful bite. This might be great in the dead of winter but in the summer this only exacerbates our heat exhaustion. You should avoid anything that gets your heart racing, as well as brown rice, ginger, and coconut oil.
You might love to eat them, but staying cool might mean sacrificing some of these foods until the temperature drops to something more manageable for your body. The hot wings or spicy sausage will still be there for you in a few months when the weather cools off.
5 DIY AC Unit
The worst thing that can happen in the summertime is for our AC to go out on us. One way to handle this is to create your own makeshift air conditioner. All you need is a small fan, a styrofoam container, ice, and a piece of PVC pipe.
You cut holes for the PVC pipe and fan in the top of the styrofoam lid, place the ice inside, and voila, you have a replacement AC that will keep you cool until the repairman arrives. It works surprisingly well, but you should make sure you have a few bags of ice on hand to keep it stocked throughout the entirety of the day.
4 Put Cold Water on Your Wrists
Blood runs hot through our veins, and on a scorching summer day, this can only lead to us wanting to stay indoors. A good way to defeat the heat is to run your wrists under cold water for three minutes, as it will reduce your internal temperature by decreasing the temperature of your blood.
There are also some stores that make ice pack wristlets, so you can take this hack with you everywhere you go. They might look strange and bulky, but the effect it will have on you will be lifechanging as you beat the heat never before.
3 Stick Your Pillowcases and Sheets in the Freezer
You have probably heard of some people who store some weird things in the freezer, but sheets and pillowcases are not one of them. This is a great way for people who can't sleep in anything but the freezing cold find the rest they need. You can stick these items in your freezer every morning, and by the time you are ready for bed, they will be as cold as a winter night.
If you find they are too cold, then you can put them in the freezer an hour before bed, or play with the time until you find the temperature that works for you. Your beauty sleep is important, and this is just one way to preserve it in the summer heat.
2 Use It as an Excuse to Relax
We all live busy lives and feel we don't have enough time to get everything done, but the heat can be used as an excuse for you to sit back and relax. When you are on the move it can raise your internal temperature and make you break a sweat. The less you move on hot days, the more comfortable you will be in your own skin.
It might be the perfect weekend to clean your house, but the heat is telling you that relaxing on your couch might be the better option. You should take advantage of the omen and find your happy place as you spend the day doing absolutely nothing.
1 Buy a Mini Mister
Mini fans or misters were popular in grade school among all of the kids, but now you can relive your glory days by getting another one in your prime adult years. They might seem childish, but the second the cool mist hits your face you will throw all inhibitions to the wind.
You won't want to put it down, and you will be the envy of your friends who wish they had thought of such a grand idea. The great thing about these is that they easily fit into a backpack, or even a purse, and take up very little space so you can have it when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
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Scientifically Proven Hacks to Stay Cool | The Current
As temperatures rise in summer, your brain and body play out an elaborate battle plan to keep cool. A region of your brain known as the hypothalamus—often called the “body’s thermostat”—detects changes in core body temperature and signals your body’s first responders.
You probably have a negative association between sweat and it’s common predecessor, rigorous physical activity, but sweat is what actually cools your body. The way it works is simple, when your body gets overheated, it begins to sweat. When the sweat evaporates it produces a cooling effect.
Perhaps more frustrating than breaking a sweat during a workout is during your nap on the couch. As your home’s temperature approaches intolerable levels, you can feel irritable and helpless. When the body’s internal temperature exceeds 104°F you run the risk of heat exhaustion, which kills over 600 Americans every year on average.
Despite the intricacies of the body during summer spikes in temperature, the following science-backed hacks will help you keep cool in any heat wave.
Body Hacks | Home Hacks | Slideshow
Most of the heat generated in the body is derived from eating. If you have ever eaten a large meal and felt sweaty and lethargic afterward, this is because eating increases your core temperature as the body works to digest and metabolize your meal.
Watermelon, peaches, apricots, and radishes naturally cool the body by replenishing electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, that conduct electrical impulses in the body. Loss in electrolytes through sweat leads to dehydration.
Other foods such as fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds are known to improve heart health, cooling the body as they lower blood pressure.
Coconut water is high in potassium, which makes it a great source of electrolytes. If proper hydration is not maintained, the amount of blood flowing through your cardiovascular system diminishes causing your heart to work harder, increasing your core body temperature.
In a study that proves coconut water’s ability to fight hypertension, 71 percent of patients experienced a significant decrease in average diastolic blood pressure, the pressure between heartbeats. A lower diastolic pressure means your blood is not applying unnecessary pressure against your artery walls.
The body naturally cools itself through sweating, but the cooling actually results from evaporation. Sweat cannot properly evaporate if covered by thick clothing, so the looser and lighter the clothing, the more conducive to cooling.
Dark colors absorb more wavelengths of light, converting the energy into heat. Light colors reflect wavelengths, thus less light is converted into heat. Therefore, white clothing will result in less heat absorption from the sun.
Increases in core body temperature have been linked to caffeine intake. Caffeine causes vasoconstriction, the constriction of blood vessels which warms the blood. Vasoconstriction is the opposite of vasodilation, which is a process used to cool the body.
Despite your attempts to cool down with that iced coffee or energy drink, the feeling may be temporary as the warming effect of caffeine commences.
Pressure points in various locations around your body can actually assist in cooling you down. Applying pressure to the back of the neck (GB20) and shoulders (GB21) can lower your blood pressure. Another cooling pressure point is located on the bottom of your feet (KD1), which is why dipping your feet in cool water can result in a full-body cooling sensation.
Acupuncture is a popular alternative medicine with roots in traditional chinese medicine. The 2,500 year old method for healing has been growing in popularity for its ability to reduce pain, depression, hot flashes and inflammation.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to eat spicy foods to cool down, science has proven that it works.
Chili peppers contain a chemical compound that tricks the brain into a false sense of increasing body temperature.
The cooling component of spicy food is then subsequently engaged as you begin to perspire, which results in cooling through the evaporation of sweat. The same is true when you drink hot liquids.
In a study subjects were fed a chili pepper in the first course of the meal and subsequently consumed less calories overall. Eating spicy food also provides support for a previous hack, curbing your appetite and allowing you to eat lighter meals.
Uncovered windows in direct sunlight act as open gates for the enemy, warming your room as heat from the sun is absorbed. According to a study by the DOE, including a white plastic lining behind drapes can insulate against heat gains by 33 percent.
Reflective materials can be effective in cooling a room as they deflect the sun’s radiation that would otherwise be absorbed. These films are typically placed on windows facing East and West, as the sun will most directly shine upon these on any given day.
Menthol, an organic compound found in peppermint, triggers receptors in your skin resulting in a cooling sensation within your brain’s thermosensory neurons. A spray bottle with water and peppermint oil is a great hack to stay cool in uncomfortable temperatures.
Aloe vera is widely known for its cooling properties and you may even have bittersweet memories of rubbing aloe gel into your annual vacations accompanying sunburn. Adding aloe vera oil to your peppermint oil spray can provide additional cooling relief. You can even try adding fresh aloe gel to your ice trays to create cooling aloe ice cubes.
Incandescent light bulbs release more than 90 percent of their energy in the form of heat. Energy efficient LEDs are not hot to touch because they do not produce heat in the form of radiation. Switch out the bulbs in your house to cool down and conserve energy.
There are multiple ways to convert your home fan into a robust air conditioner. The easiest way is to simply put some ice water or frozen water bottles in the path of the fan’s airflow. Another air conditioning hack is to cut holes in a styrofoam cooler for a fan input and ventilation output, then fill with frozen water bottles.
Although there exists commercially available misting fans, you can combine your spray bottle with peppermint essential oil and fan to mist yourself with the cooling concoction.
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When temperatures approach intolerable levels, it can feel as if your body is being broiled and your brain baked. Maintaining your composure in the insufferable heat can push the limits of human patience.
The first step is understanding that victory in your biological battle against the heat is obtainable by equipping yourself with the knowledge and skills necessary to defend yourself against a heat wave meltdown.
Whether you live in a climate where heat is a daily reality or limited to the summer months, integrating these hacks into your life will allow you to remain cool, calm and collected. If you do decide to bring out the heavy artillery and use central air conditioning, easily compare electricity providers with ChooseTexasPower.
AccuWeather – Hundreds Die From Exposure to Heat Each Year
NationalCenterForBiotechnologyInformation.gov – TRP Ion Channel Function in Sensory Transduction and Cellular Signaling Cascades
gov – Effects of Caffeine on Skin and Core Temperatures, Alertness and Recover Sleep During Circadian misalignment
USPharmacist.com – Capsaicin: Risks and Benefits
RadiantBarrier.com – Physics of Foil
com – Fact or Fiction – LEDs Don’t Produce Heat
ExperienceLife.com – Find Your Pressure Points
ScienceLine.UCSB.edu – Which Colors Absorb the Most Heat?
NationalCenterForBiotechnologyInformation.gov – The Control of Hypertension by Use of Coconut Water
com – The Truth About Coconut Water
DOE.gov – Energy Efficient Window Treatments
KahnAcademy.org – Metabolic Rate
How to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning
Illustration: Fruzsina Kuhári
Now that summer has officially started and the temperatures (and humidity) are getting up there, a lot of people are trying to stay cool.
Sure, some can just turn on their air conditioning, but not everyone has that option. And even if you do, you might be looking to save some money on your electric bill or are worried about the environmental impact.
So here are a few suggestions for staying cool, even without AC:
Take a cold bath or shower
Photo: Jelena Ardila Vetrovec ( (Unsplash)
Taking a cold shower is probably more common (more on that later), but there’s something great about drawing a cool bath and lounging in your own private mini-swimming pool, conveniently located in your home. Start by getting your hair wet—you don’t necessarily have to full-on wash it, but getting your head cooled off first will feel good if you’re really hot.
Don’t be afraid to linger in the bath. You can even make an afternoon (or evening) it, bringing a beverage and a book with you and hanging out in the refreshing waters until you cool down.
My home is interesting (special?) in that we have central air conditioning on the first floor and…
Use peppermint soap or body scrub during your shower
Photo: Marko Blažević ((Unsplash)
If you want to take your cold shower experience to the next level, you may want to invest in some peppermint products. You can’t go wrong with Dr. Brommer’s peppermint soap, as we’ve pointed out before.
Another option is making your own body scrub by combining Epsom salt, coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint oil. Slather that on and scrub. It’ll leave you silky smooth and the cooling feeling of the peppermint oil lasts longer than the shower.
Drink lots of water
Photo: Yasuo Takeuchi ((Unsplash)
No one s sitting around being hot and sweaty and gross, and the first step to mitigating that is simple: Keep your body temperature down.
And the most effective way to do that is to stuff your body full of cooling foods and fluids—way more effective than applying cold things to your exterior (which we’ll get to later.
) We’ve talked about how much water you should really drink and busted some hydration myths, so feel comfortable drinking as much as you need to keep the heat at bay.
The CDC says you should think of your body as an air conditioner—so keep your water bottles topped off with chilled water. If you don’t think you have time—or don’t love the taste of water—there are plenty of ways to trick yourself into drinking more.
Telling people to drink more water is a lazy and mostly useless health hack. You’ll drink when…
Mix up your frozen treats
Photo: Lindsay Moe ((Unsplash)
Water isn’t the only cold thing you can stuff in your maw when things get a little too toasty. Crush some ice and make yourself a tasty slushie—they’re actually proven to boost your endurance on those super hot days, especially if you need to exercise, or think you might need to go outdoors.
An exercise researcher in New Zealand determined that drinking an ice slushie before exercising…
If you’re trying to get a little protein in your diet, try these protein-packed popsicle recipes to cool off and get the nutrition you need to hit your fitness goals.
Either way, don’t limit yourself to just ice water, it gets boring—mix it up and try other delicious, icy, chilled treats that’ll also help you stay cool.
Just try to stick to the treats that are more ice than cream, if you know what I mean.
The days of hot, sweaty workouts are upon us. It’s time to upgrade your after-exercise snack from a
Build a fan fortress
Photo: Octav Cado ((Unsplash)
Fans don’t so much “cool” the air as they keep air moving around, which, as it moves over your skin and helps your sweat evaporate, makes you feel cooler than you would be if the air were still.
Now that you know that, set up your fans in windows or hallways so you get an awesome cross breeze, drawing in cooler air from one part of your home (or outside) and pushing the warm air elsewhere.
Think of your house or your room as a PC with a hot processor in it that needs airflow, and set up your fans accordingly.
Running that AC can cost you a pretty penny, but you still need to cool down at night so you can…
If you have ceiling fans, make sure to set them up to optimal cooling, and if you’re really enterprising, you can build your own temperature controller to toggle the fans on and off automatically depending on the temperature in your home.
Roll a DIY air conditioner (that actually works)
If you don’t have an AC or can’t have one (you live in a dorm, or you’re renting a room, for example), you can roll your own air conditioner to keep things cool. You just need to know which ones actually work, because they aren’t all effective, and you need to set your expectations accordingly.
DIY air conditioners may seem a cheap way to beat the heat, but they aren’t perfect. This…
If you’re thinking you can throw together a DIY air conditioner and suddenly make your whole room cooler, you’ll be disappointed. You can, however, make yourself cooler if you sit next to it for a while after it’s been running.
Make smart use of your fridge or freezer
Photo: Ernest Brillo ((Unsplash)
Your next biggest ally in the fight against heat is probably quietly running in your kitchen: your fridge and freezer. We’re not saying you should open it up and try to keep cool in front of it (that’s actually a terrible idea), but you should put it to good use while it’s running.
For example, make a little room inside for a couple of wet washcloths, or maybe a top sheet or fitted sheet. Your body will thank you when it’s time to get into bed at night. Stick with light, breathable linens as well—summer heat is not the time to try and snuggle under a heavy fleece blanket.
Getting a good night’s sleep on a hot day is no easy task, especially without air conditioning, but
Similarly, you could try the old “Egyptian Method,” which we’ve mentioned before. It works this:
This old technique calls back to legends of how ancient Egyptians used to stay cool on hot nights. Simply soak a sheet or blanket large enough to cover you in cold water, then wring it dry so it’s damp and cool, but not dripping wet. Then just use it as a blanket. As the water evaporates, you get the benefit of staying cool but not wet.
There are a few more common variations on this theme, the cold washcloth or ice pack on your head or wrists while you sleep, or going to bed with cool, damp (but again, not wet) socks on to keep your feet cool and you comfortable enough to fall asleep.
Then, of course, you can stick clothing items in the freezer — underwear or that shirt you’re going to wear tomorrow — for an extra burst of freshness as you’re getting dressed. This can be especially helpful for times when you get the shower and immediately start sweating.
Whatever you do, make sure to get your fridge or freezer involved. They can help you—and your stuff—stay cool.
Dear Lifehacker,We don't have air conditioning, and with this hot weather its easy to get …
Invest in a Whole House Fan
If you have the between $150 and $1250 necessary for a whole house fan, you could probably pick up an air conditioner—even a portable one—for the same amount.
However, where the whole house fan wins is in ongoing energy costs.
They’re much cheaper to operate than AC units, and of course, if you don’t live in a climate where you’d need an AC all the time, it might be a good option for those few weeks or months when it gets unbearably hot.
If your air conditioning is costing too much this summer, look into a whole-house fan. They cool…
Whole house fans have their pros and cons though. They can be really efficient and affordable to operate, and they’re even easy to install, but they obviously don’t dehumidify, and they can’t cool your home inside any lower than the temperature outdoors. They also move a lot of air and dust around your home, so they can make allergies worse, which is worth keeping in mind.
Keep the sun out, but let the heat out too
Photo: Mitchell Griest ((Unsplash)
One of the best ways to make sure your home stays cool in the summer is to keep the sun out and give the hot air somewhere to go.
We mentioned that you should make sure your fans are set up for optimal cooling, but you should also consider some heat blocking curtains, whether they look natural, they’re the super futuristic type, or just something nice and heavy you keep closed when the sun comes up and the temperatures outside rise.
If the sun beating on your windows this summer is baking the place—or just making your air…
Then, once the temps have peaked and it starts to get a little cooler outside, open those curtains and let the warm air out. It wants somewhere to go—preferably somewhere there’s a higher volume of cool air, and you get to benefit from thermodynamics in action. Cool air comes in, warm air goes out, and everybody’s happy. Just make sure to close those curtains again before it warms up again.
Get a cooling pillow or sheet set
Photo: Madi Doell ((Unsplash)
If you do have a little money to spend, a pillow or sheet set that’s designed to keep you cool can be a huge help when it’s hot outside (and inside.) We’ve covered a few, including the $22.99 Chillow and the previously mentioned $150 Technogel Pillow. We’ve also highlighted the $79 HIBR Pillow, which I still love and use today.
Finding the right pillow has been a bit of a mythic quest for me. I want something firm and…
In the sheet department, you can check out the $179 Sheex “Arctic Aire” bedsheets, which also promise to keep you nice and cool while you sleep.
If those are beyond your budget, sticking with a classic cotton percale sheet is a great way to go. Target has a lot of great affordable options.
Whatever you choose though, you have options to stay nice and cool, especially in bed, even when it’s hot both inside and out.
Learn Your Body’s Cooling Spots
Whether you’re buying specialty sheets and pillows, or just tossing your own washcloths into the freezer, it’ll help you to know your body’s best cooling spots—draping a cool washcloth over your neck or wrists will help bring your body temperature down faster than trying to lay one over your forehead, even if it feels good to do so. This way you can target those cold compresses, damp towels, or ice packs so they’re as effective as possible.
You've probably heard that you can pour water over your wrists or neck to cool off quickly, but…
Get damp (and naked)
Photo: Jessica Alves ( (Unsplash)
Speaking of compresses and ice packs, never underestimate the power of getting naked, and getting just slightly damp. Combine a little naked dampness with a fan or a DIY air conditioner that you’re sitting next to, and you have a recipe for a relaxing retreat.
The key here is, of course, to make sure that it’s not too humid, or else you won’t get that lovely evaporative effect as you dry off under a fan, or as that damp towel on your head slowly dries.
A quick cold shower and an afternoon with the curtains drawn and the fans in the house going—and maybe a few glasses of cold water and some slushies—and there’s no doubt you’ll be able to maintain your chill.