Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Surviving the moist, sticky summers in New Orleans means having the A/C purring all day long. What do you do if your air conditioner breaks down or you don’t have one? There are some old school, low-tech solutions to that problem. People survived the summers down here for hundreds of years before there was air conditioning, and you can too. Use these tricks to stay cool in the summer heat.

Don’t Turn on the Stove

The house is already hot enough, so don’t add to it by turning on the stove or oven. The stove is a massive heat source, and it will only heat up things in your house. Heat coming from a 425-degree oven will waft throughout the house, making it more uncomfortable. Instead of cooking hot food, make a sandwich, salads, or fire up the barbecue outside. You’ll want to get out of the stuffy house anyway, so go outside and do your cooking.

Wear Light Clothing

Only a madman would wear a heavy jacket in the middle of summer. Shorts and T-shirts are fine for hanging around the house, but sometimes a nicer dress code is called for, and you need something a bit more formal. Wear lighter fabrics in the summer if you must wear a suit or sport coat. Stay with light colors and fabrics that breathe versus heavy black wool.

Fans Are Your Friend

The perfect stand-ins for the broken air conditioner are ceiling and portable fans. Set up portable fans around the house where you need them most. Put a box fan in the window, pointing out so it can draw the hot air out of the house. Or create your own backwoods A/C unit by putting a bowl of ice or ice packs in front of the fan and face it toward you. It will create a cooling mist of air.

Eat Spicy Foods

This might seem counterintuitive to staying cool in the summer heat, but there is a reason for it. Did you ever wonder why some of the hottest places on earth serve the spiciest foods? After you eat spice food, there is an initial boost in body temperature, so your body responds by making you sweat. That is the body trying to cool itself. Let a nice evening breeze blow across your sweaty skin, and your body will cool off even more.

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