“Being cool is easy but it takes some practice.” – Unknown
With summer on the way, higher temperatures require a shift in focus to stay cool. Keeping our home and vehicle comfortable can be challenging as sunlight becomes stronger and the days longer. Why not start now to implement ways to keep a cooler home by checking the air conditioning unit? How many of us even think about the air conditioner until it goes out? Be assured that it is in top running order by having a maintenance check and making sure the filters are clean. Have your vehicle’s air conditioner inspected too, making sure it is running properly.
Install weather stripping around doors and windows to avoid introducing unnecessary hot air into the home. Window coverings, such as shades, blinds or lined curtains block the sun and help keep interiors cool and decrease energy costs. There’s still time to hang window coverings or apply sun shield to the windows. Avoid using the oven during the warmer months.
Parking vehicles under cover, such as a carport, garage, or under a shade tree will reduce the interior temperature, making it easier for the air conditioner to cool the vehicle. Using a folding sunscreen in the front window will deflect heat. Even something as simple as covering the steering wheel with a towel reduces interior heat and makes it tolerable to the touch when entering the vehicle.
Every living thing needs water, especially during summer weather. Too much sun on anyone or anything is never a good thing. When planting outdoor garden areas, use native plants that are adapted to the environment and require less care and less water. For thirsty plants, water by hand early in the morning or late at night, adequately soaking the roots of the plants to insure they are thoroughly wet.
Pets are particularly vulnerable in the heat. Make sure your pet is indoors or at least in a shaded area during the hottest part of the day. Just as you intake more water in hot weather, be sure your pets do too. An ample supply of water placed in a cool or shady spot is essential for your pet’s well-being. If you are away from home for long periods of time, especially during the hottest part of the day, ask a neighbor or pet sitter to check on your pet during that time.
Being prepared for the warm weather will make it so much more enjoyable. Summertime is fun time! What a joy it is to jump in a pool and cool off, splash and play. There’s something freeing about wearing lighter clothing, flip-flops, and experiencing the energy of the sun. Outdoor activities make us feel more alive and connected to the earth and to each other. Life becomes lighter and brighter during the summertime. Savor every moment of the warm weather by keeping your cool. As a wise, unknown writer once shared, “Being cool is easy but it takes some practice.”
Michele Senac is co-author of Around the Table, A Culinary Memoir by Two Sisters,