Tuesday, 18 March 2008

How to keep cool in a heat wave.

Today is the first day where the night time temperature has dropped below 25 degC. The last few days in Melbourne has the day time temperatures in the high 30s. I think it peaked at around 40 degC yesterday. The nights have been quite unpleasant.

Apart from giving more money to the utility company by using the electricity to run the air conditioner or the fan, I was trying to think of what we can do to keep ourselves cool, in a frugal manner. These measures need to be immediate effect, so things like checking that the insulation in the roof is adequate is out of the question as it cost too much and it doesn't happen overnight.
  • A visit to the beach - When the sun has gone down, visiting the beach to lap up the evening sea breeze has to be one of the best way and cheapest way of cooling down, not to mention the evening sunset is always nice to look at.
  • Closing all the blinds on the sun side of the house, and opening the windows on the shadow side of the house - This was the effect of shielding the direct heat source (the sun) from heating up the house. The open windows will allow any cool air from shadowed side to enter the house.
  • Drink plenty of fluid - Keeping the body hydrate also allows the you sweat. As the moisture evaporates from your skin, it has a cooling effect.
  • Wear light clothing - This is a obvious one. Allow the the body to expend as much heat as possible by not insulating it with any thick clothing.
  • Avoid drinking coffee - Caffeinated drinks like coffee dehydrate the body (this could be a myth, as by googling was able to provide a conclusive answer)
  • Visit the local shopping centre - The local shopping centre is usually air condifiioned. The kids can played at the local indoor play ground. However, be careful not to be tempted by the shops around!
  • Visit the local library - The library is also usually conditioned. The books and activities are also educational and functional as well.

What else would you do during the many days of high heat? I would love to hear anyone from Adelaide where it recently endure 15 days of temperature of 35 degC or more. It peaked at 40.5 degC.

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