We have been wishing for this glorious hot weather for months and now that it is here, we are all looking for a little relief without pushing our air conditioning and our utility bills to the max. As we step into the long hot days of summer, here are some ideas for beating the heat without breaking the bank.
GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN
One of the fastest ways to spike the thermostat is firing up your oven. A quick and easy way to beat the heat is to avoid using your oven and stovetop as much as possible. You don’t want to stand over a hot stove to prepare a hot meal for your sweaty family. Create summer meal plans that revolve around cool salads, refreshing fruits/ veggies and grilled entrees.
Cold beverages and snacks help keep everyone in the family cool during the hottest days of the year. Keep your refrigerator and freezer stocked with cold water, seasonal fruits and vegetables, ice cream and popsicles. Ice cold watermelon just might be the perfect treat to beat the heat, with frozen seedless grapes coming in a close second. Of course, fresh Michigan cherries and blueberries are amazing options too!
HACK YOUR HOME
Make sure you have adjusted your ceiling fans to push air down as opposed to pulling it upward (as most fans are set to do in the winter months.) Make sure your windows and doors have good seals and aren’t letting cool air escape your home. Finally, draw your shades or curtains to prevent direct sunlight from entering windows as it can cause a significant spike in home temperature.
HIT THE GREAT OUTDOORS
One of the best parts of Michigan in the summer is the abundance of water. When the temperatures become unbearable, gather up your family and hit the beach, splash pad or pool. We have some of the country’s best beaches in Southwest Michigan and many of those beaches have additional activities for the family, including some pretty awesome splash pads.
Another great way to beat the heat without having to send your energy costs skyrocketing is to take the family out to enjoy an air conditioned venue. Afternoon matinees at the local movie theater, browsing at the mall, checking out a local museum or the library are all great ways to stay cool during the hottest parts of the day.
We have all heard it a thousand times, but we see the stories every year. Someone leaves their child or pet in the car for “just a minute.” In the summer heat cars are inescapable death traps for small children and animals. No matter how short your errand, DO NOT leave your child or your pet in your car. Take your child into the establishment with you for the errand and just leave your dog at home. Odds are, your dog would much rather be napping at home than in a scorching hot car while you run errands.
Heather Dombos is a Florida girl who brings a little sass & southern charm to everything she does. This wife, dog mom, and closet Trekkie loves reading, hiking, long days on the beach and exploring Michigan.