How to keep cool in warm weather

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Keeping cool – without using air-conditioning.

keep coolAlthough I’ve lived in South Florida for over twenty years, I don’t use air-conditioning in my home and I find it perfectly fine to keep cool in other ways.

Why? Well, there are several reasons. One is that air-conditioning is expensive to run and to maintain or repair. We’re all trying to cut down on using the planet’s resources and our air-conditioning used to gobble up way too much electricity.

I’m also not convinced that AC units, especially older ones, are planet-friendly in any way. Not using air-conditioning is more healthy, too. Here in Florida, I am convinced that there are some people who hardly ever breathe in good fresh air – they are in their sealed homes, sealed climate-controlled cars or in their perfectly temperature-maintained offices.

Remember that home air-conditioning has only been in use since the mid nineteen fifties -people survived pretty well before it was invented. You can do it too.

Here are some suggestions:

oneKeep the air moving. Fans are inexpensive to buy and to run. They also look very elegant if you select the rightones to match your decor. Some are design objects in themselves. They will waft gentle breezes onto you and cool you down. Ceiling fans are particularly evocative of cool plantation house porches and walkways.

twoUse ice. Be sure to have ample supplies of ice in your freezer. I freeze water in jars. Place one in front of your fan and it will blast ice cold air at you. It’s so cooling to hold your wrists to the side of the jar too – this cools the entire body. I keep a jar of lice on the desk in warm weather for that very purpose.

threeWater. It’s important for your body to have plenty of water so that you can sweat effectively. You need to sweat and despite what deodorant ads would have us believe, it’s normal to sweat; it’s part of the body’s cooling mechanism.  A cool shower morning and night keeps you clean and helps cool you down.

fourWater spray. When the weather is very warm,I keep a small plastic spray bottle with me at all times. Spry a fine mist of water onto your face, throat and chest – it’s deliciously cooling.Add an ice cube to the water too, if you wish and even a few drops of lemon juice for a lovely citrus smell. It’s almost a treat.

fiveDraw out the stale air. Some people don’t realise that it’s a great idea to get rid of the warm, stale air in your home by using your fan. Point your fan out towards an open window or door.  This sends the stuffy air right out of your house.I do this every morning to freshen the atmosphere.

sixDrink hot tea. I know it sounds strange but hot tea if wonderfully refreshing and actually cools your body.The scientific reasons for this are beyond me but it definitely works. Cold tea doesn’t have the same effect. Our planet knows what it’s doing – tea grows best in warm climates – where it’s needed.

sevenCold water bottle. I was brought up in cold northern England using hot water bottles. Now I do the reverse. Fill a plastic bottle with water, screw the lid on tightly, put it in the freezer then wrap it in a towel and take it to bed with you. It will keep you cool for ages.

eightChoose your clothing carefully. Wear loose clothes – nothing tight or constricting. Make sure that the air can circulate around your skin. Soak an bandana in freezing water, wring it and tie it round your neck.  If your hair is long,tie it up and away from the back of your neck.

nineKeep cool feet. If your feet are cool, it helps to keep your whole body cool.Here in Florida most homes have marble floors for that very reason. I have been known to keep thin cotton socks in the freezer to cool my feet in bed. If you’re sitting, use the ‘cold water bottle’ (item 7 above) as a makeshift footstool.

tenCheck out some inexpensive products. See below for ideas. And don’t forget to take good care of your furry friends during warm weather. You’re feeling hot but remember that he’s wearing a fur coat! I can vouch for the products you see below.









Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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1 Comment

  1. The cool, wet handkerchief around my neck sure saved me some summers. These are great suggestions. Never thought of freezing them though. I will next time. Passing these on and pinning.

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