So I moved from North Carolina, and having visited dry Southern California many times, I thought I was kissing sticky humidity good bye. Well, not this year. Ironically as Southern California (actually all of California) is experiencing its worst drought in a long time, we are inundated with day upon day of humidity…something wrong there in my book. But, its been coupled with some record highs and on-going heat waves. I can handle heat. I can handle humidity…even if I really, really don’t like it. BUT put them together and I’m a hot mess…LITERALLY!
So when my Southern California Edison Bill came (and yes I am one of those rare people that reads the WHOLE thing) and I saw their “Health and Safety Tips for Temperature-Sensitive Customers”, I was in stitches over some of the suggestions. And yes, I will be sharing. That said, heat is not something to be messed with and you would think in the dry, hot desert that is Southern California, our houses would be built better to deal with the heat…NOT!
Tip #1 form So. Cal. Ed. that had me laughing:
Take a cool shower or bath. – Not a problem. Before I get in the shower, I’m already soaked. I am soaked in the shower and well the same is true once I’m out of the shower…in fact I’m not sure if I have been dry all summer. I know those familiar with humidity know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Your skin just has this ever present dew all over, every where and your clothes just stick…without moving. Its worse than flannel or velour.
All kidding aside, when you do find yourself getting over heated or hot, taking a plug in a cool tub of water is a great idea to cool the body down.
Tip #2 form So. Cal. Ed. that had me laughing:
Visit a movie theater, air conditioned mall, a library or community center – I can see it now. I walk into the movie theater, two Yorkies and a Persian in tow, no ticket, and me saying, “Oh no, we are not hear to see a movie. Just following So. Cal. Edison’s advice on staying cool.” I’m not sure I would get any warmer (lol…no pun intended) reception at a library, mall or community center.
That said, if you do not have pets at home that need to stay cool too, then these are great options for beating the heat. In fact, you might need a sweater in these places. The nice thing is you can bring a laptop, tablet or other entertainment device to keep occupied while you keep cool.
Tip # 3 for So. Cal. Ed. that had me laughing (this was my side stitch laugh):
Visit friends or family whose homes are air-conditioned…I busted out laughing. Really, picture this. “Oh hi! I thought I would drop by today and just maybe hang out, chat for oh several hours. It’s awfully cool in here. It feels nice. Oh, no, I’m not here for just your AC.” Awkward much. I hope your friends don’t mind a high bill either. During our summers its not uncommon to see bills at upwards of $400-$500 plus a month! No I am not joking.
For me as silly as it sounds, I have done this…in reverse. My old home did nothing to keep heat out and it was not uncommon to have days where the AC could run all day, 24-7 and not shut off and not drop lower than 85…because it just couldn’t compete with the heat. Old home, old windows, etc. Our new home has decent insulation, is newer by 20 years, planation shutters and now new windows (post for the future), so I have had my mom over on many occasion to help beat the heat. My friend Carol has her bill set up on the fix rate payments so that her summer and winter bills are the same (no real surprises) and her house is never over 78. Love visiting.
Some other tips to consider to beat the heat:
1. Remember your pets and your need to stay hydrated!!!
This is super huge. Without water we can breakdown fast. Have a glass of water with you at all times. Make sure pet water bowls stay full. I even have a water bowl outside in our backyard for strays and wildlife that need life giving water.
2. Keep out of the sun and heat!
This goes for you and your pets. If you have dogs that you leave outdoors, bring them inside. If its a 100 degrees outside, and you are hot, they are hotter. Plus they sweat through their tongues and don’t have the same cooling mechanisms we do. As for you, direct sunlight and heat can dehydrate the body, cause heat exhaustion and so much more. Opt to stay indoors or in the shade if you must be outside.
3. Use windows effectively.
So this is an on-going debate between my husband and me. He feels that you should leave windows open all day and let the air in and breeze. I, on the other hand, strongly argue that leave them open until the sun starts to peak and the air gets warm. Then close them up and any blinds, shutters, drapes or curtains, to keep heat out and cool in. While the debate may never end in our home, based on the research I was doing, closing windows and shutting out the hot sun, is far more effective in keeping the house cool than opening windows. In fact, opening windows and leaving them open may in fact heat up your house. Ideally, open windows during evening hours to let in cool air. Before the sun rises too high in the sky, shut up windows and coverings to trap in the cooler air.
4. Use fans effectively.
Ceiling fans and personal stand alone fans are both great ways to beat the heat. Ceilings should be set to spin downward during the summer to send cooler air toward you. For stand alone fans, put them right in front of you. Add a water mister (or a squirt bottle) and you can watch heat evaporate off your you…okay may be not literally but you will be cooler. Just remember, fans are there to keep you cool, not to cool a room. Take standalone fans with you and turn off ceiling fans.
5. Electronics are better off.
I didn’t fully realize how much heat electronics give off until I had my iPad on all day. OUCH! But it was a good lesson. Even when not in use, it consumed energy AND gave off heat. To those items you don’t need, simply unplug them or flip a switch if they are on a power strip.
No matter how you look at it, the heat can be a pretty nasty enemy and hard to escape. I hope these tips help you out, and maybe gave you a laugh too. If you have more tips on how you beat the heat, please leave a comment and let me know.