How to Survive the Heat Wave

1213040308The sun is blaring and the humidity is high. While you’re in the office, who cares? At home, though, battling the heat has economic and global implications. Sure, you could crank up the A.C. (or hold the freezer door open and insert your head), but that’s a tad impractical. Try out these 7 tricks to combat the heat without maxing out energy-hogging appliances.

Bring on the breeze: Keep your cool with ceiling or floor fans. They use only a small fraction of the energy sucked up by air conditioning systems.

Sun block: Your home in the sunlight is like a chicken baking in the oven. Diffuse the heat by casting a cooling shade on your windows with shade trees, shrubbery or awnings. Keep windows, blinds, and drapes shut during the day and open them up on cool nights.

Bring back the BBQ: Opt for microwavable meals or cook outdoors. Ovens heat your food and the kitchen. And so does the dishwasher, so try out air-drying your flatware.

Cool landscaping: Eliminate rock, cement and asphalt-based landscaping. These materials absorb heat and radiate it back onto your house, even after the sun has set.

Keep the cool air in: Don’t let the great outdoors steal the air you’ve worked to keep cool. Check for air leaks in windows, doors, and fireplaces. Repair them with caulk and weatherstripping.

Pull out the plug: Lighting, appliances and electronics warm up the house. Avoid an unwanted temperature boost by switching off unnecessary lights and unplugging your gizmos and gadgets when they’re not in use. That means the TV, DVD player, cell phone, iPod and computer, too.

Go underground: If you have a basement, it’s the coolest room in the house. So use it!