It looks like it’s going to get pretty hot this summer with temperatures of 35 degrees already being forecast. That’s tropical! All that outside heat together with all the technology humming away in out gadget-dens is going to make for a pretty sticky time. So how can us tech-freaks stay cool?
Here are some decidedly low-fi ways to keep you and your home nice and cool that don’t involve getting the soldering iron out.
Although fans are great at circulating air, what good are they if the air is already hot and humid? If anything, you are simply moving around the heat as opposed to dissipating it and that motor at the back is probably making the room warmer. So, grab a bowl with a large diameter and fill it with ice. Place this bowl behind the fan. As the ice evaporates, the cooled air will be blown through the fan.
Of course, balancing an electrical fan over a bowl of ice is fraught with danger, so make sure it’s on a solid surface.
This is a particularly effective method if you have lots of windows around your home that allow a breeze to enter. Wet your curtains with a spray bottle (from the garden centre) until they are damp all the way through. As the air blows in, the water will evaporate and once again, the entering wind will be markedly cooler. If your drapes are expensive or they cannot get wet, the same effect can be enjoyed by hanging a wet towel in front of the window. An added benefit here is that the air will be moist; ideal if you suffer from dry skin or eyes as the temperatures rise.
The way that our bodies keep cool is by evaporating the sweat from our skin, so it is critical that you have a steady breeze within your home. Experiment by opening the windows on opposite sides of the house. Depending on where you live, you will soon find that the right combination creates what can be called a "wind tunnel" from room to room. During the evening, cooler air will be able to circulate adequately and best of all, this air is fresh from the outdoors. This is particularly useful if you are worried about electric bills.
This is another take on the last suggestion. There are many window-mounted fans that are meant to be placed in a manner so they blow the cool air in from the outside. However, one may not be enough to allow for adequate ventilation when it is hot. Place one fan in a window of the room that you are planning on staying in. This fan should be blowing towards you. Position another in a window on the opposite side of the house. This one should be blowing towards the outside. When used in tandem, you will be able to increase the effect of the "wind tunnel" that we mentioned earlier.
If you simply cannot seem to get cool even with the use of other means, it is likely that your body is having trouble regulating its temperature. It is a common misconception that the best way to lower your core temperature is by placing a wet rag over your head. This is actually not the case. Dampen a handkerchief or a small towel with cold water. Wrap this around your neck and make certain that it covers the carotid arteries (the big veins on either side). The water will cool the blood as it passes through; keeping you regulated from the inside out.
Not geeky enough for you? Well I’m going to experiment with a home made air-conditioner this week, I’ll let you know how it goes!