13 Unique Ways to Stay Cool at Home This Summer

By Alyssa Ball

Summer heat can be challenging, especially for seniors. Luckily, there are many creative ways to keep cool without relying solely on air conditioning. Here are some unique ways to help seniors beat the heat and stay comfortable at home this summer.

1. Make a Personal AC

If the AC struggles to keep the house cool, try focusing on just keeping you cool. Create a makeshift air conditioner by placing frozen water bottles or ice packs in front of a personal fan. As the fan blows air over the frozen bottles, it will cool the air, providing a refreshing breeze throughout the room.

2. Stay Cool at Night

Before bedtime, put your sheets and pillowcases in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer for a few minutes. This will provide a cool surface to sleep on, making it easier to fall asleep on hot nights. You can also just spray your sheets and pillowcases with some water

Additionally, get a supportive mattress that is both comfortable and promotes airflow. Switch to light-colored cotton sheets, which are breathable and can help prevent body temperature from rising too high.

3. Create a Cross Breeze

During the day, open windows on opposite sides of your home to create a cool cross breeze. Place fans in the windows to help draw in cooler air and push hot air out. This can significantly lower the temperature inside your house.

4. Cool Down with Peppermint Spray

Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Store it in the refrigerator and spritz it on your skin for an instant cooling effect. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has natural cooling properties. This is a great solution for older adults in the hot summer months!

RELATED CONTENT: 5 Summer Safety Tips for Seniors & Their Caregivers

5. Block Out the Sun

Direct sunlight can heat your home in just a few hours, especially if you have north-facing windows. Use blackout curtains or reflective window film to block the sun’s heat. Keeping blinds and curtains closed during the day can prevent your home from heating up and reducing electric bills.

6. Hang Out in the Basement

If you have a basement, spend time there during the hottest parts of the day. Basements are typically cooler than the rest of the house due to their location below ground level. However, older adults may have difficulty getting up and down the stairs, so be careful.

7. Cook Outside

Avoid using the oven or stove, which can add unwanted heat to your home. Instead, cook outside on a grill or use a slow cooker or microwave to prepare meals. If you need to cook inside, use a crock pot or air fryer.

8. Wear the Right Clothing

Opt for clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics that draw sweat away from your body and help it evaporate more quickly, keeping you cooler. Choose light colors that don't absorb heat as much as darker colors.

Soak a bandana or scarf in cold water, wring it out, and wear it around your neck or head. As the water evaporates, it will help cool you down. Plus, it makes a great accessory!

9. Chill Your Body

Apply a cold compress or ice pack to pulse points such as your wrists, neck, groin, underarms, and temples. These areas have blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin. And when they are cooled, the blood vessels constrict, helping to lower your overall body temperature.

Additionally, try putting your hands and feet in cold water. These extremities have high blood flow and naturally help cool your blood. So, giving them a dunk in some cold water can help aid your body's natural processes.

10. Level Up Your Water

Staying hydrated is crucial in hot weather, but plain water can get boring. Mix it up to make hydration more enjoyable. For a refreshing twist, put fresh fruit in ice cube molds, fill them with water, and freeze. Add these fruit-infused ice cubes to your water for a burst of flavor. You can also try drinking coconut water, smoothies, and chilled herbal teas.

RELATED CONTENT: 5 Surprising Ways to Prevent Dehydration in Seniors

11. Get an AC Tune Up

Another summer tip is to regularly clean and replace your air conditioner's filters. Dirty filters can restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your AC unit, making it work harder and use more energy. By keeping the filters clean, you'll ensure that your air conditioner runs smoothly and effectively, helping to keep your home cool.

If you notice air conditioning units are not flowing properly, make sure vents and filters are clean and free of obstructions. Hire a professional to tune up the AC unit as needed. In the end, an efficient AC unit will help reduce energy costs.

12. Eat Cold Foods

Stock the fridge with fruits, vegetables, and cold drinks so you have plenty of cold foods to choose from. Choose foods high in water to help you stay hydrated, too. Here are some great options:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits

13. Close Doors

To efficiently cool your home, close doors to rooms that are lightly used or unoccupied. This prevents cool air from entering these areas and ensures that the cooler air circulates where it's needed most. Utilize draft stoppers to block any gaps under doors, preventing cool air from escaping and warm air from entering. This helps maintain a consistent and natural airflow throughout the home, making it easier to stay cool.

New call-to-action

Tags: Senior Health