With the exception of one glorious summer of apartment dwelling, I’ve never lived anyplace with central air. In fact, it wasn’t even until after I was married that I had a window air-conditioning unit.
So, my childhood summers were spent sweltering in our home where the downstairs windows didn’t open and my second-story bedroom was cooled by one small fan. I remember sneaking down to the freezer for ice cubes to run across my forehead at night in the hopes I would cool off enough to fall asleep.
As those of you without air conditioning know, the heat can make you resort to all sorts of tactics to keep cool. If you’re feeling desperate, you could try one of these rather strange methods to find relief from the heat.
1. Take an icy foot bath
The fastest way to start shivering in 90-degree heat is to dip your toes into freezing cold water. Fill a bowl with cool water and dip your little piggies right in. Add some ice if you’re brave, but don’t overdo it. Quickly immersing your feet in ice cold water can be painful – although I suppose it would take your mind off the heat.
While you’re at it, try running cold water over your wrists and placing an ice pack around your neck or on your forehead. Cooling down your pulse points can help your whole body feel more comfortable.
2. Wear some frozen clothes
To turn down the heat a notch and look fabulous at the same time, you could buy this stunning lime green quilted vest from Amazon. Soak that bad boy in cold water for a few minutes and, in theory, you should be feeling cool and comfortable for hours.
Actually, you can buy a whole range of clothing products that claim to cool you off in the heat of the day. There are cooling caps, cooling sleeves and cooling bandanas (don’t forget your dog). However, my favorite by far is the freeze ice vest that not only lets you wear ice packs on your body but also gives the illusion of six-pack abs. I’m so putting that on my birthday wish list.
3. Freeze your sheets
You don’t need specialized sheets to stay cool at night. Simply take the ones you have and throw them in the freezer a couple hours before bedtime. Then, pull them out and enjoy the cool. Just fall asleep quickly, because on an 80-degree night it won’t take long for them to lose their chill.
Of course, it might be a bit inconvenient to make your bed each night, so maybe try this strategy with only your pillowcase and a top sheet.
4. Go underground
Head underground to the basement on those hot, hot days. Our basement is so chilly, we sometimes even use blankets down there in the summer.
However, not everyone has a finished basement. If you find yourself without one, as was the case in my last house, I suggest cleaning out a corner and setting up a chair or maybe a desk. Personally, I would rather smell musty and look at the furnace than melt into the floor upstairs.
If your house is built on a slab, well, I’m sorry. You’re plain out of luck.
5. Live underground
Are you ready to get extreme? Then consider buying or building your next home underground. Sure, you might not get too much sunlight, but that’s a small trade-off in order to have your very own hobbit house.
Often called earth homes, underground living will give you the same cool air of the basement without making you feel banished from your main living quarters. If you’re ready to get drastic, you can look here for inspiration, and this site has some practical advice and details.
What about you? Are you going to feel like someone needs to scrape you off the floor with a spatula come August, or are you going to be staying cool? And for those of you with central air, there’s no need to rub it in.