Summertime—who doesn’t look forward to basking in the sun and enjoying all that summer has to offer? Sure, a select few maybe, but if you are like most people, then summer is your favorite season. However, with all the fun and excitement that warmer weather brings, there are always housing concerns like keeping your overall space comfortable. Moreover, for those enjoying apartment living, addressing these often season-specific issues takes a little creativity. Not only are there more spiders and other creepy-crawlers trying to get in from outside, but rising temperatures mean a warmer apartment (apartment homes on higher floors also get to enjoy the fact that heat rises).
Of course, no one wants to feel uncomfortable in their home. Being unable to sleep at night due to the heat or sweating it out during home leisure activities such as watching TV and baking banana bread are never ideal situations. The silver lining here is that most apartment complexes have central air conditioning or in-window A/C units. Nevertheless, you should make sure you are prepared for a change in climate indoors. Thus, to better assist you in your battle against the heat, here are five great ways you can keep your apartment coolant calm this summer.
Get Blown Away – Use Fans
Fans can be a great addition to a hot room or apartment home. Surprisingly enough, fans do not necessarily lower the room temp. Instead, they allow warm air to be blown away from you. If your apartment does come with a ceiling fan or two, do not be afraid to put them on. Ceiling fans are effective in making hot spaces feel up to 7 degrees cooler. Alternatively, a small side fan, a box fan, an oscillating standing fan, or even an exhaust fan can help reduce the heat during the summer months. The truth is, most fans use less electricity than your standard a/c unit, so if you want to save some cash and stay cool, turn on the fans.
In addition to your fans, dehumidifiers can make your apartment feel more comfortable. For a lesson in science—our sweat evaporates at a slower rate in humid areas, which is weird. Nevertheless, a dehumidifier will help boost the chill. Use both fans and dehumidifiers together to keep yourself extra chill this summer. Remember that placement is essential for any cooling apparatus that is not affixed to anything. The right placement for fans means you can control the airflow (create a cross breeze). For instance, if you place a fan towards the window, it will remove most of the hot air from a room, ultimately cooling down the place. Finally, speaking of airflow, make sure vacant rooms/areas are not receiving the bulk of your cold air when it’s not necessary.
Maintenance Is Key
Air conditioners are instrumental in cooling down homes and apartments. Thus, you should make sure yours is properly maintained. This includes replacing air filters, contacting building maintenance for any issues that arise, and more. If you can replace your air conditioner’s filter yourself, make sure to buy the right replacement filter. Changing filters once a month, if possible, will make all the difference. Likewise, making sure your apartment is insulated correctly can help the overall temperature in your apartment stay consistent. Checking to see if your apartment is adequately insulated might be difficult in some situations, so if need be, speak with maintenance if you’ve noticed a draft in your apartment.
Covering windows during the day is also a great way to block out any direct sun and keep the excess heat in your apartment to a minimum. Try investing in some blackout curtains. These curtains will help you sleep better and prevent direct sunlight from creeping into your home. Tip: leave your blackout curtains closed during the day, and at night. Deploy the old fashion technique of opening your window to allow for a cool breeze. If you choose to place a fan in your window as well, remember to face the fan towards the window, so the hot air flows out.
Self-Cooling Is A Thing
Keeping yourself cool in your apartment is also a way to beat the heat. Self-cooling can be as simple as taking a cold shower or bath, drinking a cold glass of ice water, even choosing to wear lighter fabrics. If you want to kick self-cooling up a notch, try cooling down your bedding. A few techniques that make your bed nice and chilly for your slumber include placing your pillowcases and sheets in the freezer an hour or two before bedtime. Also, bedding fresh from the freezer can last longer if you wear breezy fabrics to bed like linen or cotton.
Then again, you may want to invest in temperature regulating sheets. Yes, that’s a thing too. These marvelous sheets are designed to absorb and hold heat. Yet, the real magic is in how these sheets release heat while ensuring you maintain a steady and optimal body temperature throughout the night. Other less expensive self-cooling tips include placing a cold washcloth on the back of your neck or wrist, utilizing a bucket of ice in front of a fan, and shockingly, all things mint. As crazy as it sounds, a layer of Vicks Vapor Rub (menthol products) or using peppermint products creates a cooling sensation.
Keep Cool – Turn Off All Sources Of Heat
By now, you should be somewhat cooler, and your apartment should be downright refreshing at this point. If that’s not the case, you may want to take a look around and identify other sources of heat. Baking or using your oven regularly will surely heat things up. Therefore, you might want to make more meals outside at your complex’s picnic/barbeque area or cook when it’s cooler instead of in the middle of the day. Summertime is all about grilling and cold drinks by the water, so do not be afraid to get creative with your cooking. In fact, you may even decide to give up cooking altogether and order carry-out for the foreseeable future—no one’s judging you.
Besides your oven, other sources of heat may surprise you. If you use several electronics like your TV, game consoles and device chargers all at the same time, or leave everything plugged in day and night, there will be heat. Not only are you running up your electric bill, but you are also generating a lot of heat in your apartment. To prevent this, try unplugging your electronics if you are no longer using them or if you plan to be out for most of the day. Moreover, if you regularly leave all the lights on in your apartment and use high-voltage/wattage light bulbs like incandescent lights—this is a surefire way to raise the temperature in your home. Thus, you may want to consider switching out high-voltage bulbs and turning some lights off once in a while.
Please Don’t Overdo It With The A/C
Lastly, not to sound like everyone’s dad, but pick a temperature and stick to it. Continuously, cranking up the A/C will not necessarily cool off your apartment any faster. Remember, extremely low temps like 65 degrees just cost you more. Thus, it’s highly recommended that you select a particular temp and turn on a fan if it starts to feel warm. Finally, consider turning your A/C off entirely if you are not home for several days. Upon your return, you can utilize any of these great ways to cool off.