Well, people, it's officially summertime.   And if you're like me, that means you freggin hate it!   I am not a person who likes the heat.  I just never have. I've always been a person who prefers the autumn and wintertime, even when it's freezing out.  I prefer that to a humid Sedalia summer day anytime.  Now that it is summer, we all have to think a little bit about those ways to keep cool.

I live in a second floor apartment with huge windows that face the sun most of the day.  So I've got to implement many of these tips, myself, unless I want a huge electric bill.  Really, if I'm honest, I dread the electric bills in the summertime.  It always seems like it's just too high for me, no matter what I do.  So I've got to find ways to make it nicer without the expense.

First, try closing the blinds. Close your blinds and curtains during the day to block the sun's heat. As soon as the sun hits your building in the morning, close all windows and keep exterior doors and windows closed throughout the hottest part of the day.  I'm also a big fan of putting up something to deflect or dampen the sun, like putting up aluminum foil.  That was particularly helpful when I used to work at night, too.

Next, try turning off major heat sources. Don't use the stove or oven to eat. Eat out, eat cold food, or use the microwave. Incandescent light bulbs also create heat - switch to compact fluorescents. Turn off your lamps and your computer when you're not using them. You should also turn off your TV since it gives off a lot of heat, as well as some plug-in power adapters.

I also saw a nice tip which I might try soon - put your pillow in the freezer!  Apparently  you just wrap your pillows in plastic bags so they don't get icy, put them in the freezer for a little bit before bed, and whammo.  You've got a nice, cool pillow to help you fall asleep.

Another fun idea I didn't know about is this:  instead of cooking hot foods, make spicy foods instead.  Spicy foods often make you feel cooler, because the dish is bringing a contrast.

Finally, use common sense.  Drink a lot of water, wear light colored clothes with breathable fabrics, run some fans and don't take crazy long hot showers with lots of steam.

What about you?  What do you do to keep your home cool?  Do you have tricks that you use other than the AC?

Sweatily yours,

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