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How to stay cool without air conditioning as Washington state faces extreme heat wave

Bellingham Herald - 7/26/2022

Jul. 26—Washington state is under an excessive heat warning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration until July 29.

The excessive heat across the state is expected to bring an increase in heat-related illnesses, which kill more than 700 people each year in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If your body cannot properly cool off, you can get sick from being in hot weather. Factors such as age, obesity, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, prescription drug use and use of alcohol affect whether a person can stay cool enough to avoid sickness. The CDC urges those in warmer climates to stay cool, hydrated and practice ways to keep their body cool to avoid heat-related sickness.

How to avoid sickness in high temperatures

The CDC has a few recommendations of how to stay cool during excessive heat:

— Spend as much time as you can in air conditioning, as air conditioning is the No. 1 way to protect yourself against heat-related illnesses and death.

— Drink more water than you usually do and do not wait to drink only when you are thirsty.

— Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling device.

— Limit use of the stove or oven.

— Check on friends and neighbors, and have others check on you as well.

— Limit outdoor activities in the sun.

— Wear loose, lightweight, light color clothing, and don't wear many layers.

— Don't stay in a car, or leave children or pets in a car.

— Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

How to keep your home cool

When you do not have air conditioning in your home, staying cool can be very difficult. Here are a few ways we found to cool your home, without air conditioning from a Washington State University article:

— Open windows after sunset and leave them open until about 10 a.m. the next morning.

— Close windows during the hottest time of the day, from around noon until about an hour before sunset.

— Shade exterior windows from the outside instead of the inside.

— Place ice or cool water in front of a low-flow fan.

Alternative ways to keep your home cool

For those who don't have air conditioning, these do-it-yourself videos may help you create low-budget air conditioning systems:

There are more simple ways and hacks to keep you and your home cool during the hot summer, such as using cold packs on your neck or torso, putting ice near a fan to blow colder air or freezing T-shirts to cool you off.


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