With temperatures rising into the 90s or even 100s, depending on where you live, summer can get sweaty fast. Even if you seek shelter from the sun in your assisted living apartment or other small home, it can be a challenge to stay cool at times. Check out these nine tips for beating the heat whether you live in a tiny home, an apartment or an assisted living community.
It's tempting to drop the thermostat as low as it can go and bask in the icy air that flows forth. However, extreme changes in indoor temperature can be hard for HVAC units to keep up with. Instead, choose a comfortable temperature, such as 72 degrees F. Keep the thermostat on that setting so your HVAC unit can work to consistently cool your space to a reasonable level.
Staying hydrated can help counteract the impact of sweating and keep your body cool. Avoid beverages that have alcohol or caffeine, as these chemicals dehydrate rather than hydrate. Opt for water, seltzers and herbal tea instead. You can add in a little fruit juice for seasonal flavor, but be careful not to overdo the sugar.
Letting in natural light can open up a small space, making it feel brighter and airier. It can also bring a lot of warmth into your home. During the hottest part of the day or when the sun is beaming through the panes, close blinds or curtains to help reduce how much solar heating occurs in your space.
Stagnant air always feels slightly warmer than air that's on the move. Create a little breeze in your home with fans. You can use a ceiling fan, a box fan or a small fan that sits on a table — any amount of airflow is better than none.
When it's not incredibly hot out, you might consider opening the windows for a bit to allow for a natural breeze. While you won't want all your cool indoor air escaping during the summer, a little fresh air might be good for the quality of air inside your home.
Avoid eating heavy comfort meals, as these can make you feel warm. Instead, eat lighter meals like salads and finger sandwiches. When possible, opt for refreshing and hydrating foods such as fruit. There's a reason melons are so popular during the summer!
Just make sure to check in with your medical provider or dietician before you make substantial changes to your diet in any season. If you have a heart condition or other disease that requires you to watch your fluid intake, this tip may not be right for you.
Mid- or late summer is not the season for fluffy robes and bunny slippers. Instead, break out lighter, breathable clothing. Opt for loose-fitting, thin cotton pajamas at night and lightweight, wicking pants and shirts during the day. If you can safely go barefoot in your home, it can help you feel cooler.
Reduce how much you warm up at night by choosing sheets and other bedding that support coolness. Sheets and bedding in light colors reflect more light, so they won't warm up as much if you enjoy natural light in your room during the day. You can also find sheets made from materials such as bamboo that help keep you and the bed cool.
Consider your mattress as well. You can buy mattresses or mattress toppers designed to stay cooler all night, even as your body heat attempts to bring the temperature around you up.
Every piece of electronics you use emits at least a little heat. While unplugging your digital alarm clock won't make much of a difference, turning off small appliances and electronics you're not using might add up to a bit of a temperature drop across your space. Turn off televisions, computers, stereo equipment, and other components unless you're actively engaging with them.
Humid air can make a space feel like a rainforest, which is definitely not the vibe most people want in the middle of the summer. If you live in a humid area or struggle with moisture in your home when it gets warm, consider adding a dehumidifier to your bedroom and/or living space. A good dehumidifier reduces the moisture content in the air around you and can make it feel cooler.
Beating the heat at the height of summer can be a challenge. But putting a few of the above tips into action can make your small living space a cool oasis in the middle of any heat wave.