Beating the Heat Without Air Conditionning

by Cris Carl - Hometalk, 10/06/2013


With the hot and humid (and wet) weather of summer, we all try to figure out the best ways to beat the heat. While air conditioning is widely available in Korea, the cost of electricity is high. In some building, tenants using up to much electricity may receive a visit from management to let them know that they are 'overusing' this imported resource. That said, the biggest deterrent can be the cost....the more you pay; the more you will have to pay. No, not a typo. Once your energy consumption exceeds a certain amount, the payment rate also goes up. Consequently, and to reduce the threat of brown-outs, or even black-outs, many work places have restricted the use of air conditioning.

Following are some suggestions from Care2 that may help us keep cool without using (or at any rate 'overusing') our 'air con'.

1. Hot Air Out, Cool Air In
The most basic thing you can do to keep your house cooler without air conditioning is to keep as much sunlight out as possible and let cooler air in at night. During the day, keep windows, drapes, blinds or shades closed, especially on the southern and western sides of your home. If you have a porch, you can put up large plastic or bamboo shades to cut down on sunlight. Let the cool evening air in. If temperatures are on the chilly side after the sun goes down, crack a few windows open to let a breeze come through and cool the house. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts to rise again! (and be mindful of the yellow dust alerts)

2. Windows
Use white or light colored window dressings to reflect light. You can also apply reflective slicks to windows to further cut down on light. At night, leave cabinets open as well, as they will store heat. 1. Keep the shades drawn during the day. When sunlight streams through the windows, it creates a miniature greenhouse effect in your home.

3. Be a Fan of the Fan
Moving air is cooler air. At night, place fans in windows to bring more cool air in. Ceiling fans can also make a big difference. In terms of cooling, even a one-mile-per-hour breeze will make you feel three to four degrees cooler. In terms of energy savings. Ceiling fans have two settings, one to pull air up (for winter use), and the other to push air down. Make sure your ceiling fan is blowing down (When the celing fan rotates clockwise it pushes warm air down.)

4. Turn Your Fan into an Air Conditioner
Another easy way to cool your home without air conditioning is to place a bowl of ice or a frozen milk jug/water bottle in front of one or more fans.

5. What’s Hot in your Home?
It’s one thing to keep hot air and sunlight out; it’s another to identify the appliances in your home that generate heat. If you aren’t at home during the day, it is easier to simply shut off as many electric appliances as possible. If you spend more of your day at home, try to use heat-generating appliances only during the coolest part of the day. Keeping your electronics on a power strip provides a quick way to “power-down” before leaving for the day.

7. Light Bulbs
Change incandescent bulbs for cooler fluorescent bulbs. Turn off lights when not in use.

8. Humidity
Humidity makes a room hotter. Do laundry early or late in the day. Take showers or baths during the cooler times of day. If your bathroom, laundry room or kitchen has vents, use them. Invest in a dehumidifier if you live in a humid climate.

9. Drink Icy Beverages
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it still bears mentioning. What better way to beat the heat than to cool your body from the inside out?

10. Dress Appropriately
Loose-fitting, light clothing goes a long way toward keeping you cool.

11. Grab a Towel
A towel soaked in cold water is a great way to cool down. Apply it to your neck, wrists, and forehead for some relief during the hottest part of the day.

12. Avoid the Stove and Oven
Both of these will add unnecessary heat to the house. Instead, fire up that outdoor grill or whip up a salad or sandwich. Your rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker are other alternatives to heating up the house with the stove or oven.

13. Try a Buckwheat Pillow
If the heat is preventing you from sleeping, switching to a buckwheat pillow can make a big difference, since buckwheat doesn’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows do.

14. Learn from your Pets
How does your cat/dog cope with the hottest part of the day? She snoozes! If you can squeeze in an afternoon nap, go for it.

15. Stay Hydrated
Drink 4 to 6 cups of water daily, along with cooling beverages like fresh coconut water and watermelon juice. 

K4E Note: We posted this last year, but given the weather lately, I thought it was worth putting up again. Here are a couple of other 'oldies' you might find to be 'goodies'.
Surviving a Korean Summer
Korean Foods that Help Beat the Summer Heat
Dealing with Summer Humidity

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