questionshow to beat the summer heat?

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I asked a similar question within a different thread a while back. The one suggestion that REALLY helped was from @shrdlu (sad face). She said to soak small towels in cold water and keep them on your major pulse points -- wrists, legs, etc.

I totally feel for you though, I'm in the same position. My room hit 94 yesterday...even with multiple fans going. Thank heaven my lab is nice and cool.

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I found this item http://www.amazon.com/TechNiche-Evaporative-Cooling-Skull-Cap/dp/B0002EWKWU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1274923148&sr=1-3 There aren't pictures, but the other colors are flag print, royal blue, and black. $9.99 plus $4.99 shipping. There are others on the site too.

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Ceiling fans if you can install.

If not having a rotary fan in each room. Especially the bedroom. I also have dark drapes in my bedroom to keep it dark and cool.

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A couple of cheap box fans that will fit into your windows are a good start.

You want to set them up so that one is "pushing" air into the house and the other is "pulling" air out - like an exhaust.

Placement is very important. You want to channel airflow through your house and around rooms.

Place the fans at opposite ends of the house and make sure that doors are open to allow air to circulate from your intake fan to your exhaust fan. When set up properly, you should be able to feel a breeze.

Also - be sure to close the shades during the day - that can make a big difference when the sun is shining through a given window.

Oh, and to @fidet's point about cool rags - one around your neck (and your carotid arteries - a fairly major "pulse point") is a big help.

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@anotherhiggins: you put box fans in your windows? man I keep all my windows closed up. Well I do have central air too, but there is no way I am letting in the summer humidity down here.

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Just how badly do you want to be cool? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OZUI30/ref=s9_k2ah_gw_ir03?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1EARXKGZY8V3GX7V935Z&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846 Under $500 delivered, it's portable and what little installation there is to be done is minimal. These things work pretty well.

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We open all windows and use fans in the windows, (as described above) at night- when it is coolest- then to close all windows as soon as we wake up. Close curtains or blinds to keep out as much sun as possible. Then use the fans to cool us.

**If you have a basement that is cooler, you can use the fan to blow that air up the stairs. That has helped us when it has gotten too warm on the main floor.

I highly recommend a pedestal fan that rotates. I have had really good luck with the Vornado brand, though I'm not sure if they make a pedestal version.

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@hobbit: Me? No, I turn on the AC. But the OP said, "the current residence doesn't have AC..."

So "Turn on the central air" isn't really valid advice.

Besides, @arosiriak said there is a "swamp cooler". That indicates that s/he lives in an area with very low humidity since in the south that would be considered a torture device. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler)

But two times stand out in my mind when I was without AC during a southern summer. I used to rent a house where the AC went out and took several days to be repaired. I also lived in an apartment down here after Hurricane Fran and was without electricity for about a week during a hot and humid September.

Leaving your windows closed without AC doesn't keep the humidity out - it keeps it in. You can get an oven effect where it is hotter inside than outside.

NOTE: I still remember those periods because I was miserable. I'm not saying fans are a great solution in our area, but it's better than nothing.

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Actually, @arosiriak, assuming you /do/ live in a really dry area, you could set up your own swamp cooler fairly easily.

The first time I traveled to the southwest I was horrified to see what appeared to my southern eyes to be artificial humidity machines. But sitting down to dinner I watched in amazement as a fine mist of water blew out of pipes and landed on my skin without getting me wet. In the low humidity, the small water droplets evaporate instantly upon contact with your skin. The evaporation cools you down.

But, seriously, why not get a cheapo window AC unit? It looks like you can get one for about $130:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_p_6_5?rh=n%3A1055398%2Cn%3A!1063498%2Cn%3A361395011%2Cn%3A510180%2Cn%3A3737671%2Cp_36%3A1253526011%2Cp_6%3AATVPDKIKX0DER&bbn=3737671&ie=UTF8&qid=1274967286&rnid=331544011

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@anotherhiggins: one of the few (okay many) times I am glad I was born in the 20th century. I don't think I could survive with out AC in my house. It is bad enough my truck doesn't have it.

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Hey, thanks be to my fellow wooters... I've been doing all I can, I'm just worried about what happens when it keeps getting hotter. So there's no confusion, I do keep the windows closed and have dark drapes (some are the crazy-thick thermal drapes) drawn most all of the day.

Mostly I was just thinking of doing the exhaust-style fan system, but now I'm definitely considering a window AC unit with some extra fans for circulation. Thanks @anotherhiggins, for the link to the cheapy AC units. I'll check with Amazon's reviews, but anyone know the best brands for the cheaper end of the AC units, and/or fans? Like I've heard and said, I've done fairly well with Vornado in the past.

Oh, and no worries about humidity - once you get to the right places here along the West coast, the humidity isn't bad, so I suppose a swamp cooler isn't the worst idea - it's just that ours looks like cancer in a box :)

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@hobbit: Ouch. A vehicle without AC? I'm sorry. That's going to really suck over then next few months.

The AC in my wife's car went out last summer. She insisted on getting it fixed ASAP. I don't blame her.

@arosiriak: "cancer in a box"

LOL

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fans at night in the upper rooms, if you have them. to blow out the hot air. I realize if you live in a one level home, in this day and age that leaving windows open at night isn't as feasible due to security issues, but if you can it really does help. Southern and Western facing rooms are THE worst at night and late in the day, but awesome in the early morning when it is cooler. Growing up in the NW I had the Western Bedroom, I hated it. Slept with my window open all night long, we had no AC, but we only needed it for a week really. The Dog's Kennel was outside my bedroom or I would never have done that.

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@lavikinga: Have you personally used a portable AC unit? I've been looking at them, trying to decide if I want to go with one of them, or a traditional window unit. I haven't been able to find anyone who has actually used a portable unit though to get opinions. I'm looking for something to supplement my central AC in my 2nd floor bedroom--it is extremely hot in there, even with the AC on and fans blowing. So, if you or anyone has experience with portable units, I'd love to hear what you think! Thanks!

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@maisyday: I've been around them when they've been used and they worked very well.
My husband was attached to the USS John F. Kennedy before she was decomm'd. On occasion when a reception was being thrown on really hot days, these were used to cool the Captain's In Port Cabin. The In Port Cabin is about 20'x30', wood paneled with carpeting, so not as cool as nice metal bulkheads. The ship's A/C couldn't always keep up with having lots of bodies coming and going through the hatches, so they would use two of these to cool the room. Very effective.
We're thinking about getting one for our western facing bedroom. The Florida sun is awful from June until October and the room heats up something fierce in the late afternoon.