Did you know that the last time we experienced a heat wave THIS hot and long-lasting here in Edmonton was in 1961? Crazy, right? Well here are some tips and tricks we would like to share that will help keep you cool throughout these hot days- especially if you don’t have access to air conditioning in your home!
1) During the hottest hours of the day, make sure to close your windows and blinds to keep the sun out of your home as much as possible.
2) After sunset, open the windows and blinds and place standing or box fans in front of them to bring some of that cool nighttime air into your home!
3) Use your ventilation fan from sunset to sunrise. This uses the fan in the furnace to pull fresh air (hopefully cooler nighttime air) into your home and circulate the stale warm air right out!
4) STAY HYDRATED! On hot days many of us lose the desire to eat but don’t forget that water is your best friend through a heat wave! Your body is 60% water, and you need to maintain or elevate that during these extreme temperatures. If you’re not feeling traditional meals during this heat, make sure you have fresh fruit (high in water content) cut up and ready, make popsicles, or try that new salad you’ve been curious about!
5) Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks. A heat wave is the time to truly consider your body a temple and sustain it using whole foods and beverages. Back to water, fruits, and vegetables!
6) Keep the lights off in your home unless necessary – especially if you have incandescent lights as they give off heat (so do many small appliances and computers). Heat waves tend to draw on the power grid quite heavily and since we don’t want to give up our fans, it’s better to look around and decide what electrical items we can do without or temporarily unplug. This is also a great time to use your barbeque for cooking rather than your oven – but please do so safely as barbeques can be a cause of fires in tinder dry conditions.
7) Heat rises! If the second floor of your home is too hot, sleep downstairs! Kids will love the opportunity to “camp” in your basement as a family and it will feel nice and cool down there. It’s also a cool (pun intended) memory that your kids will treasure for years to come.
8) Pets are part of the family, and they are typically sporting a fur coat through the heat wave! If they are outside, ensure they have a kiddie pool in the shade to escape the heat. If they are indoors, cool them off with a quick bath or by draping them in a wet towel. Ensure there is always water for your pet to have throughout the home.
9) If you need to be outside WEAR SUNSCREEN, stay out of direct sunlight whenever possible, set a water alarm so you don’t forget to stay hydrated, and let someone know where you are and when you intend to be home.
10) Lastly, learn to recognize the signs of heat related illnesses:
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin
- Fast or weak pulse
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Tiredness or weakness
- Passing out/fainting
Remember that someone experiencing the effects of the heat may not recognize that they are being affected. Be sure to check in with your family, friends, and colleagues and make they are taking time to stay cool! If you notice someone experiencing the signs of heat related illnesses, kindly ask them to sit down in a cool place, cover their forehead or entire head with a cool cloth, get them into a cool bath, or offer them slow sips of water to bring the body back into balance. Let’s stay cool everybody!