Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Beat The Heat

It's pretty hot right now in New York City. With temperatures reaching 100+ degrees, we've come up with 10 easy ways to cool off. Most of them can be done right now!

1. Start with yourself. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating.

2. Dress for the heat. Weather you’re indoors or outdoors, wear loose, comfortable clothing that breathes easily and dries fast.

3. Sweep your system. Clean or replace the filter in room and central air conditioners once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system's efficiency by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with caulking or a sealant strip. These steps help ensure good airflow and keep the coils cleaner, which means more efficient and more effective cooling.

4. Sun block. Closing curtains and blinds reduces the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

5. Invest in efficiency. Consider updating your Air Conditioning system, if it is older than 15 years, or minimally efficient. Newer systems will save you money and more properly handle your cooling load.

6. Insulate & ventilate.
Be sure that your home is properly insulated, and your attic is properly ventilated. An energy audit will help you assess the home accurately. Proper insulation will also help you’re A/C to cool more efficiently.

7. The fan trick. Ceiling fans provide air movement that leads to lower perceived temperature on your skin. Be sure to turn them off when you’re out of the house, as they do not cool down air.

8. Shut it down. Set your computer or laptop to go into low-power "sleep" mode if you are away from it for more than 10 minutes and it will give off less heat. When you're finished for the day, shut the machine down completely.

9. Give your dishwasher a vacation. Instead, leave the door open to let the dishes dry. And put off using the dishwasher until evening, when the air is cooler. Or simply wash your dishes the old-fashioned way: by hand.

10. Ditto to the clothes-drying machine. Try line-drying your clothes. You will save tons of energy, and eliminate any heat normally caused by the inevitable energy monster.

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