Summer is finally here. For many people, that means a few weeks of blissful enjoyment, followed by a few months of complaining about the heat. So don’t let high temperatures ruin your enjoyment of summer’s sunny days. At LandCentral, we have great tips for staying cool, for both inside your home or vacationing on your new piece of vacant land.
Make your own air conditioner.
First, you can save money by using a block of ice and a fan to blow the cold air around a room. The best setup I found also is the #1 pick on The Good Survivalist.
This homemade air conditioner is made using a cooler, a portable fan and some PVC pipe. The website includes a video on how to put it together. There is even an option to hook the fan up to a portable solar panel. That way, you could take this sturdy, easy-to-build air conditioner with you anywhere.
Plant some shade trees.
Keeping direct sunlight at bay can help save money and boost your enjoyment of the summer sun. Plant shade trees on the west side of your home to cut the most heat and save on summertime electricity bills. When shopping for a shade tree, try to find one that is fast growing so you will get your shade as quickly as possible. Here are two recommendations:
- Hybrid Poplar. The Arbor Day Foundation lists the hybrid poplar as growing five-to-eight feet per year. They do well in a wide range of climate zones.
- Red Maple. This tree grows about five feet per year and will give you brilliant red leaves in the fall.
To find the best tree for you, consult the Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree Wizard” program, where you can specify your exact location and what you want your tree to do.
Enjoy the water.
A vacation at the beach is the ultimate in summer-water fun, but for the times when you can’t get away, you can bring the water to you in a number of easy, inexpensive ways:
- Kiddie pools aren’t just for kids – you can buy a plastic or inflatable pool for under $20. Soak your feet in cold water on a hot day, or put on a swimsuit and lounge inside with a nice drink.
- Sprinklers are good for gardens and for you – set up a small sprinkler in your yard for an hour or so. You will water nearby plants, and a quick run through the water will give you a refreshing cool-down.
- Find a local getaway – look into the local rivers, streams and ponds near you. Most locations have parks with water features.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
There are a number of small things you can do to help cool down yourself and your home:
- Open all your doors and windows early in the morning for a couple of hours. Close everything up tight once the day begins to heat up. Open them up again a couple hours after sunset until you head to bed.
- Wet a bandanna, put an ice cube in the middle, then roll it up and tie it around your neck.
- Invest in popsicles, or make your own by pouring soda, coffee or Kool Aid into ice cube trays.
- Try to spend the hottest part of the day somewhere air conditioned, such as the mall or the public library.