Beat the Heat- Updated Drought Links/info (see "D" next to number)
1. Try to find indoor “rescue” areas during heat waves such as a library, a store or visitor’s center. If you have to be outside, I have an umbrella over me to keep the sun off. Sunscreen can only do so much and I feel cooler with the umbrella. A light color umbrella is best to deflect heat. There may be exceptionally heat deflective umbrellas at a sporting good store. I manage to survive with my basic umbrella (even though it is black). Also, get tasks done in the early morning before the heat sets in. If you are an incurable “night owl”, then wait until the evening to do as much as you can. Use a store to get cash back rather than an ATM as this saves time and may be a safer option.
2. Do online banking and direct deposit banking to save on gas costs. When you are planning to do shopping, try to plan all of your tasks in one direction to save on extra driving. For example. If PGE is on the way to the store, I pay my bill on the way to the store. Also, if possible, change your direction or timing of doing tasks to reduce risk of a stalker who may follow your pattern of doing things.
3. Be sure to clean your cooling system frequently. If you live in dusty areas, you may need to do it as often as every 2 weeks. Check your filter every few days to get an idea of how often it needs to be changed to use as a basis for cleaning. IMPORTANT!!! Keep warranties for your cooling system up to date. If it is too old to cover it, it may be a better option to replace as there are many more energy efficient models now available.
4. Clean under the refrigerator and make sure to keep the door fully shut. The higher the frig runs, the more hot air that blows out of the back. At least my model does this. Since of course I like things ice cold, then I compensate by reducing lighting and use thermal curtains to keep excessive sunlight out.
5. If you are building a house, consider to add sufficient insulation. PGE may offer rebates for this and other energy saving ideas that is on PG&E’s website. For existing houses, using some thermal tape at a hardware store to prevent leaks from outside hotter air while keeping it cool inside is a money saver and a way to stay cool. (I still allow some fresh air from outside for health reasons. This is something I do myself and again it depends on the quality of the air in your area to decide if this is worthwhile for you.)
6. Water the lawn in early morning and late evening. I do a light watering to save on water costs. I also catch extra water by, for example, when turning on a faucet I already have my water spray unit to water the plants to avoid waste. You can look into methods of safe gray water reclamation on websites. Do research online and get a plumber you trust who has experience in water reclamation systems. I use watering stakes 3+ ft. in ground to water trees, avoiding run-off. Your There are also extra water saving tips on “Save Our Water”and “Easy Ways to Save in Hard Times.”
7. This is a touchy subject, but I am currently overweight. When overweight, one tends to get hotter. I am trying early morning and/or evening walks and reduce eating after (and avoiding second helpings). Staying hydrated also helps and keeps me cooler as well. Again, always seek the advice of a competent doctor before doing any weight loss program.
8. If you live in a humid area as I once did in Orlando, Florida, I ended up doing A LOT of swimming to keep cool and running the air-conditioner. A dehumidifier in addition to the air-conditioner might be useful. Again, I use to live there and had to do many early morning activities to avoid extra humidity and sunlight. Any further ideas that I have not mentioned are welcome by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and place the word “cool” in the subject line so it will not end up as spam.
Good luck and hope this helps you to beat the heat!