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12 Ways to Stay Cool During a Hot, Hot Summer

July 28, 2015 by Martha Stewart
shefinds | Style

By Leura Fine of Laural and Wolf, via Martha Stewart

The heat has a sneaky way of creeping inside, even if you’re cranking the AC 24/7. But the truth is, keeping the AC on full blast all summer will leave you with hefty electric bills, and many modern homes are not equipped with energy-saving central air. Good news: There are many ways you can hack your home design and lifestyle to keep the heat at bay.

Become a fan of fans.

The old tried and true method is to simply point a fan directly at yourself and let the air do its thing, but there are ways to use fans that will actually dispel hot air. Place box fans in windows so they push hot air outside, and adjust ceiling fans so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out rather than pushing it around the room. 

Design tip: Update your ceiling fan with a medallion or paint the blades a shade that corresponds with the rest of your décor.

Opt for cotton or linen sheets. 

There’s a reason cotton and linen clothing is so popular in the summertime; both fabrics breathe easily and promote ventilation and airflow. Say farewell to satin, flannel, and silk for the season and go for a lightweight, light-colored cotton-linen blend sheet. Bonus: Light colors will freshen up your space, which will make it feel lighter and cooler.

Open the door to cool air.

Keep the doors throughout your house wide open during the day to let air permeate the entire space. Closed doors just trap hot air and make the rooms of your home a heck of a lot hotter.

No pool? No problem!

Want to know how models keep themselves looking fresh and dewy? Ice facials! Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Fill a bowl up with cold water and ice, pin your hair back, and dunk your head three times in 10- to 30-second intervals. Do this in the morning, and you’ll start the day wide awake, fresh faced, and best of all, COLD.


Curtain call.

That’s right, folks; unfortunately, if you want to beat the heat, you might have to forfeit some of your beloved natural light. A lot of unwanted heat enters through your windows — especially those facing south and west. Closing the blinds or drawing the curtains can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees, and if you do use an AC or central air with a thermostat, your bill will drop significantly. 

Take a cool shower.

Before you hop into bed, step into the shower and let a cold stream wash over you. Your body temperature will drop and you’ll crawl into bed sweat-free and feeling refreshed.

Change up your pillows.

Buckwheat is useful for more than just delicious healthy pancakes! Trade in your down pillows for buckwheat-hull pillows. This multifunctional grain can help keep you cool on scorching-hot nights because it doesn’t absorb heat. Learn how to make your own here

Let the evening air in. 

Temperatures tend to drop in the evening so before you go to bed, crack the windows for a while and let the tepid night breeze flow in. For optimal fresh air, create a wind tunnel with your fans by facing one into your room and point another one toward the window.

Bring your bed down low.

Heat rises, so the higher you are off the ground, the hotter you’re going to be. Opt for a lower bed frame so you can stay cool all night long. 

Ditch the lights.

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but lightbulbs create heat — and some create more than others. Since there are more hours of daylight during the summer, give the lights a rest! (Romantic candlelit dinner, anyone?) But when you need to turn them on, opt for compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent bulbs.


Keep your food cool and your drinks cooler.

Eating refreshing cold foods like fresh fruits and veggies (and Popsicles) will keep the temperature of your body cooler than if you gobble down a plate of spaghetti. Fill a large pitcher with water, fruit, and fresh herbs for a refreshing, cold treat. It’s also a great excuse to get together for happy-hour iced cocktails; just make sure to drink plenty of water, too!

Go camping in your backyard.

Pitch a tent (or build one with sheets!) in whatever safe outdoor space you have and sleep under the stars. The night air will be a refreshing escape from your stuffy bedroom! If you want to read more about camping in style, check out our guide to glamorous camping!

 Believe it or not, people did once live without AC! And if they can do it, so can you — in style!

More from Martha Stewart:

Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family

45 Meatless Meals for a Healthy Dinner

36 Dinners You Can Make in Just 15 Minutes!

10 Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


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