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marinelife's avatar

Do you have any tricks for keeping cool in the heat?

Asked by marinelife (62445points) July 8th, 2016

We’re right in the middle of a heat wave with temps in the 90s and a lot of humidity.

Got any ideas for keeping cool? (I’m spending a lot of time in my air-conditioned bedroom and drinking a lot of iced tea.)

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39 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Ugh..just came out of a major heat wave but after this delightful week in the 80’s going up again mid-week next.
I too am AC challenged as in, not a strong enough unit and the electric bill at this time and yes, I drink lots of ice water, take cool showers and evaporative dry in front of the fans and keep a frozen hand towel in the frizzer. Wrap it around your neck and it really helps cool you down. Lots of popcicles, cold fruit and ice cream too.

marinelife's avatar

Great ideas all, @Coloma. I especially like the frozen hand towel and drying naked in front of a fan.

I am reduced to iced coffee in the mornings, because I can’t drink anything hot.

chyna's avatar

I can’t get warm. Every establishment I have been in the last 2 weeks have their air conditioning units on full blast. Even my workplace is freezing. When you can see your breath, it’s too cold.
So my suggestion is to go to doctor offices, restaurants or stores.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

These days it’s iced tea. In years gone by, it was mint juleps.

Coloma's avatar

@marinelife Yes, wet your towel and fold it in 3rds then just lay it in the freezer. When it is hard and frosty, ( won’t take long ) remove it and either wait a couple minutes until it is bendable and drape behind your neck, or, run it under cold water for a second to make it pliable, squeeze out and drape the ice cold cloth around your neck.

Pachy's avatar

I’m not now or ever have been a “Summer Person.” This you would know that the moment you laid eyes on my pale skin.

How I cope with the heat is stay indoors as much as possible with my AC set to 75–77, hydrate often, and pray for fall to come early (it never does).

johnpowell's avatar

I used to live in this metal box in my mom’s backyard. No shade and a huge window that faced east.

It would get so hot my computer would be all “fuck this” and turn off from the heat. I kept alive by a bucket of ice water and drenching my t-shirt in it every 30 minutes. Not great but worked.

I am now back in that metal box. This time I dropped the 300 for a air conditioner that keeps it totally cool.

Seek's avatar

I keep my windows covered with black curtains, keep the AC on a reasonable temperature, and do my damnedest to not use the oven.

I avoid outside as much as possible.

On Wednesday morning I painted my bed. It was not yet high noon, and the “feels like” temp outside was 109*F. It got to 95*, feels like 119 that day.

I didn’t hit heat stroke, but I was close. It took an hour and a half to stop sweating after I came inside and wrapped in a cold wet towel.

Remember: if Gatorade tastes sweet instead of salty, you need it.

johnpowell's avatar

Remember: if Gatorade tastes sweet instead of salty, you need it.

Is there any documentation to back this up? I’m not doubting your claim. I just wonder about the science.

edit :: I drink a lot of Gatorade and it is always sweet so I am curious.

Seek's avatar

That’s just Florida folk wisdom. I have no documentation.

Seek's avatar

I hate Gatorade because it tastes like salt to me. The “if it’s sweet you need it” rule works for me because for me there’s an appreciable difference when I’m dehydrated.

I usually get about halfway through a bottle and let Ian have the rest because I start tasting the salt.

JLeslie's avatar

Keeping cool while outdoors? Buy one of those cool neck “towels.” You get it wet in cold water and ring it out and it keeps your neck cool for quite a while. If you’re in and out of the car, or even in your house, when the air conditioner hits it (if you’re in the line of air blowing) it cools down again. It’s like a sponge for cool.

Also, try the golf sleeves. Really good if your in direct sunlight. You can easily pull them on and off and still wear your shirt sleeve tops.

Think about the people who live in the desert. They cover themselves practically head to toe. Loose, white, natural fibers. Keeping the direct sunlight off your skin helps a lot of you must be in the sun.

If you’re indoors, and can afford it, turn down the air conditioner another two degrees. Just two degrees can make a huge difference.

Take a cool shower, or at least end your showers with colder water.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If your into Brawndo Gatorade, here’s a super-cheap substitute from a cycling list I used to frequent. It has the same sodium/potassium/sugar content. A lot of people double the water, making it twice as super-cheap.

I am guessing $0.50 per half gallon?

- 1 packet any flavor of unsweetened Kool-Aid or similar product for making 2 quarts
– 8 tablespoons (½ cup) sugar
– 3/8 teaspoon of salt
– 1/8 teaspoon salt substitute that contains potassium chloride
– 2 quarts of water

Dutchess_III's avatar

We are all wienies!

ibstubro's avatar

I bought one of these at the Salvation Army today, new in the box, for $2–3.

I’m not keeping it. lol I’m not that much of a dork.

chyna's avatar

@ibstubro I’ll buy it !

Coloma's avatar

I always think of the Pioneers and others in the Victorian eras that had to wear layers of clothes. My god, I would have died! I’d have been hung for indecent exposure. haha

Brian1946's avatar

Do your outdoor stuff between sunset and sunrise.

Even if your car has AC, try to park in the shade. This should minimize the heat accumulation of the static air in the ducts.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I’m on holiday in Florida at the moment and the heat here hasn’t really bothered me that much. Having said that I’m not minding the the queues at Disney that happen to be inside and have AC.

kritiper's avatar

Soak a t-shirt in warm water, wring it out and put it on. When it gets almost dry, repeat. You can soak the shirt in cold water, but it’s quite a shock when you put it on!

ibstubro's avatar

The shipping might ruin you, @chyna.
And I need to at least double my money. Is $10 plus shipping out of line?

But, but, @Coloma, they bathed once a week! ~
When did America stop valuing shade? @Brian1946? Nevermind. I got it. I’ve been to Vegas. American’s ultimate war with Nature. Loser’s war.
WTH! @Lightlyseared. The lines at Disney are AC??

dxs's avatar

I now have two water bottles. One is the regular one i keep with me at all times. The other I keep in the fridge. I swig it now and then to refresh me. It’s especially useful when I just get home and I’m sweating like crazy.

Last year I had a whole 1 gallon thing of water I’d use, but I don’t have as much space now.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@dxs You got it, a bottle of water in the fridge is a wonderful thing. I have a half gallon pitcher that stays in there always.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I sit in the bath tub with cold water from the shower on my face.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@ibstubro as long as the line is inside. If it gets busy the line will stretch outside which is a bit unpleasant but even then there’s usually shade. I guess it’s bad for business if people collapse waiting to get on your rides… They’d never make it to the gift shop for one.

2davidc8's avatar

In addition to some of the suggestions above, take a spray bottle and spritz yourself every once in a while. Other things you can do if you’re A/C challenged: go to a movie, but if this gets too expensive, go to the library, or to the mall (they usually have comfy chairs there), or to the senior center. You don’t have to be a senior to go to the senior center, but these tend to close by 5 pm, even 4 pm on weekends. Just take a good book, or your smart phone and hang out there. Or go to Starbucks.

Coloma's avatar

<———- I shave my pussy too. haha
He is so happy and cool. A cool cat.
it is like shearing a sheep, I get an entire grocery bag full of hair. I should save it for winter and make mittens out of it. lol

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Try not to go out in the heat of the day.
Wear loose clothing when you do. Light and loose. If it’s long, keep it light and breezy or your legs will be too hot.
Carry a fan with you. I have a hand fan in my handbag for when I feel very warm.
Drink water. Lots of water.
Keep your hair off your neck.
Go to the cinema – air con.
Go shopping in an air conditioned shopping centre.

Inside, keep the windows covered to keep the sun out.
Put a damp cloth in front of a fan. The air will be cooled as it passes through the water.
Try to get cross ventilation happening by opening windows at different sides of your house.

Don’t have cold showers. Have tepid showers. Cold showers make your body want to warm up.
Similarly, while you might crave a cold drink, something not so cold is probably more effective.

jca's avatar

I take a shower and then I lower the temperature a bit and then at the end I lower it a bit more, so when I’m done I’m feeling cool.

I have a ceiling fan which is miraculous.

If I can, I park my car in the shade. If my car is in my driveway and I’m planning to go out, I go to the car about an hour before I’m planning to leave and I put all of the windows down. That way, when I get in the car to go out, it’s not like a sweltering oven.

AshlynM's avatar

Yes, stay inside with the air conditioning and avoid the outside if at all possible. If I have to go out, I’ll wait until about six or seven o clock in the evening.

Seek's avatar

Publix had watermelons on sale for the 4th, so we bought a couple.

I like to make a very simple watermelon bowl – find the flattest side, rest that on the counter, and cut a slice off the top.

Then I use a melon baller to ball up all the fruit, then chuck it all back into the melon, put the top on, and put the whole kit and caboodle into the ‘fridge.

Quick chilly bites of sweet melon for a couple of days. Feels great when you come in from unloading the car or whatever. Also works with honeydew and cantaloupe.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I live in a tropical climate. My work demands that I am outdoors.

I hydrate and use a recipe similar to @Call_Me_Jay‘s in the post above. Remember that hydration, to be most effective, begins the day before the event to give the fluids enough time to get to muscle and other tissue, including fluid storage spaces between the stria of subdermal fat, which insulates the body from extreme temps and is tapped for sustained hydration throughout your system. Having water in your belly alone is a very small part of hydration.

I am not a mad dog or an Englishman, so I do my work in two shifts; one between dawn
and about 10am, and the other between 4pm and sundown.

I wear light colored clothing that is made of synthetic “gortex” type material that breathes most effectively, wicks sweat away and dries quickly. It is extremely easy to handwash and dries withing 15 minutes indoors. It is so easy that it is impractical and takes longer to wash and dry by machine. In a pinch, I will wear light natural cotton fabrics. Anything else and I feel smothered in this hot, wet environment.

I wear a “boonie” hat (also gortex) and polarized sunglasses whenever I’m outside to protect my head, face and eyes from direct sunlight and UV rays.

I use Zinc cream on certain prominences such as the bridge of my nose and my knees in order to protect against UV damage. Most sunblock will sweat right off, or be washed away the first time I pour water over my head. Sunblocks also block your pores and prevent dermal aspiration—one of the body’s main coolant functions. Blocking skin pores is a recipe for sunstroke.

Throughout the day, I regularly dip my hat in water and dump it over my head. I also throw some on my dogs whether they like it or not. When sailing, I have a bucket on a line attached to a cleat that I regularly throw overboard into the water and then dump it over my head.

Throughout the day I eat watery things like mango, papaya, watermelon and cantaloupe right off the tree or ground.

When overheated, I avoid drinking anything ice cold. It’s not good to do this. Dipping a cloth in iced water and then placing it over your carotids, femoral arteries, on your wrists, under your arms, or behind your knees is a much more effective and safer way to cool down quickly.

Knowing when to quit and head for the shower is probably the most important thing. I also watch my dogs and horse. When they’re looking beat, it’s time to call it quits and go for a swim.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^EDIT Correction: Dipping a cloth in cool water then placing it over the arteries… Do not use iced water for this. Like drinking iced fluids when you are over heated, iced water can shock the heart into dangerous arrhythmia.

marinelife's avatar

Thanks for all the great ideas, everyone! I too keep a container of water in the fridge (forgot about that).

Today, the humidity is a little lower and so is the temperature. It’s barely going to hit 90 today and will be cooler and less humid through Tuesday. Then, once more into the heat wave!

Coloma's avatar

@marinelife Yep, same here. Delightful morning, breezy, cool, a lovely 69 degrees and will stay in the low 80’s today and tomorrow then, gradually warming into the low 90’s early week and then….the misery of 96, 97, 98, returns Weds.through the end of next week. I am so relishing the moment. I had all the windows open all night and a lovely breeze was zinging through, sublime.

Stay cool!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Man, humidity is a crazy thing. After living most of my life in Kansas I can usually tell what the temp is. However a couple of weeks ago we were visiting my son and his family. We couldn’t sit out on the porch for more than 10 minutes, because it was so HOT. So hot. So so so so hot.
When Rick and I left I checked the external temp display in the car…it said 80. I was like WHOA! I texted my son and his wife and told them. They immediately came back with “No way!!” It felt much, much closer to 100+.

YARNLADY's avatar

Go out in the back yard and sit in the pool with an umbrella

ibstubro's avatar

Running cool water over the insides of my elbows always seems to lower my body temp a bit. I love to wash my arms when I’m hot.

Kardamom's avatar

I go to the closest ice rink and bring a book to read. Thankfully the one that’s closest to me has a coffee cart out in the front, so I also get an iced coffee.

I put a wet washcloth around my neck.

I go to an air conditioned movie.

I walk around in Target, and maybe not buy anything.

I take a cool shower and don’t dry my hair and I put it up in a bun off of my neck while it’s still wet.

I drink gallons of iced tea and cold water.

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