My Favorite Tips For Dealing With The Heat

Last week we had a few days in the mid-upper sixties and today our thermometer topped out at 102 degrees.  It’s located on the shady side of our house.  We don’t have any air conditioning.

Even so, it wasn’t until late afternoon that the house started to feel a little too warm for comfort.  We’ve lived here for nearly four years without an air conditioner and we’re fine with it for all but the hottest week or two of the year.  How do we do it?

  • Keep the doors closed.  I know it’s counter intuitive but keeping doors and windows closed helps a ton.  
  • Open upstairs windows and, if possible, arrange fans to blow air in one end of the house and out the other.  This helps by keeping the hot air that rises from downstairs moving out of the house.  Many newer homes have fans built into the attic vents, but ours is nearly one hundred years old, so we accomplish this by opening all the bedroom doors and placing a fan with air going in our bedroom window and out the kid’s room. ( At night we turn the fans so that they blow cool air into all the rooms.)
  • Close shades on the sunny side of the house.
  • Use a ceiling fan to help draw warm air up and out those upstairs windows/attic vents.
  • Keep plenty of ice on hand for cold drinks.
  • Never underestimate the value of a garden hose to the back of the neck.
  • Try to get outdoor chores done before the heat really turns up.  When it’s going to be in the 100’s I try to have all the outside chores done by 10 am.  Then I check on animals once or twice during the day to make sure they have plenty of water and aren’t over heating.
  • We’re lucky in that the people who built our home had some good foresight.  They planted shade trees on the southern side of our house.  In the summer they give us shade, and in the winter they lose their leaves and let the sun shine in the windows.  It’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning a new landscape scheme.
  • When all else fails it’s time to hit the river, lake, kiddie pool, or cold shower.  Use what you’ve got!

Don’t forget the pets and livestock when it’s hot!

  • Make sure everyone has plenty of water and shade.
  • Repurpose 2-liter soda bottles by filling them with water and freezing them to place in rabbit hutches, chicken coops, or dog houses during the day.
  • Give your pets their own pool.  Our dog has a small kiddie pool in her kennel for when we’re at work.
  • Use misters to keep especially heat-sensitive animals like rabbits cool.
  • Gardens, trees and lawns need extra water when it’s this hot, but to avoid sunburning them, avoid watering while the sun is beating down.  Set a timer to give a good soaking in the early morning or just after sunset.

What’s your favorite way to foil Summer’s heat?

Shared at The Homestead Barn Hop.

4 thoughts on “My Favorite Tips For Dealing With The Heat

  1. Laura

    I like to cook with the Crockpot in the summer so I don’t have to heat the oven. Also, enforcing a daily downtime – couple of hours indoors being quiet, reading, napping, playing a quiet game. I don’t do that, but I knew a woman who grew up in a house of 11 children. She said everyday in the summer her mother made them all be calm and quiet for a couple of hours. I’ve always fantasized a couple of calm, quiet hours at my house.

  2. Kathy

    We are in the same boat as you. We do not have air conditioning either. What I have done to combat the heat is to take a bandana and soak it with ice cold water and put it around my neck. I have not tried it, but an hour or two before you go to sleep put your bottom sheet in the freezer. Then when you are ready for bed it will be nice and cool.

  3. Stacey

    I set up an outdoor kitchen on our covered front porch. A cutting board table on legs holds a variety of electric appliances when needed: hot plate, crock pot, Rival 20 qt oven, pannini press/griddle, electric frying pan–and of course, pressure canner and water bath/Weck pasteurize/juicer. Any sturdy table will do.


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