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Beat the Heat this Summer with these Home Improvement Tips and Projects

Beat the Heat this Summer with these Home Improvement Tips and Projects

Do you find that your home gets way too hot during the summer months and you need to find a bit of relief? There are all kinds of simple things that you can do in order to cool your home down, and you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money. In fact, most of the things you can do won’t cost anything at all. Here are a few ways you can beat the heat this summer (and get some things done around your home).

1. Block Sunlight

When sunlight beams in your home, it can really heat it up. Your pets may enjoy the comfortable sunbeams, but you won’t enjoy the heat. Simply close the blinds or curtains during the hours when the sun shines in. Keep the windows open to allow air to pass through and circulate.

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2. Make an Air Conditioner

You can easily make your own air conditioner without spending a single penny. All you have to do is fill a bowl with ice, and place it in front of an electric fan. The fan will blow the coolness from the ice throughout the room.

3. Use a Damp Sheet

An old desert trick that really works is to hang damp sheets in open windows. The air flowing in will be cooled by the dampness in the sheet and lower the temperature inside your home by several degrees. This is also a good way to dry freshly cleaned sheets, and you don’t have to use the dryer or stand outside in the heat hanging them out on the line.

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4. Maintain Your AC

Make sure that routine maintenance is regularly performed to ensure that it is running efficiently. It should be inspected by an HVAC technician, and you should replace the air filter every month so air flows through easily. Learn more about this and other household maintenance tips at Invitation Homes.

5. Run Appliances at Off Peak Times

When temperatures are lowest (early mornings and evenings), this is the best time to run appliances. They throw off heat, so you don’t want to use them when it is really hot outside. Another option is to invest in small appliances that don’t give off as much heat, such as electric roasters, slow cookers, and pressure cookers.

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6. Do Inside Projects

When it is hot outside, start doing things inside that you have been putting off. Hang those pictures, or clean up that basement (you will also stay a lot cooler if you are working in the basement). Avoid working in the attic when it gets too hot.

7. Use the AC and Fans Together

When you use an air conditioner and a fan at the same time, you get a much cooler home. Don’t worry about using more electricity. With the fan helping to circulate the air, the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your home, so there will be little difference in the amount of electricity used.

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8. Cool the AC

The outside portion of your air conditioning unit should be in a shaded area. The cooler it is, the better and longer it is going to work. Plant some shrubs around the unit, or even create a shade screen all around it. Either way, in addition to helping to keep your home cool, it will also be an attractive addition to the property and cover up the ugly air conditioning unit.

9. Use Your Ceiling Fan Properly

In the hot summer months, make sure your ceiling fans are switched so they move counter-clockwise. This will move the warm air upward, leaving more comfortable, cool air throughout the home.

Featured photo credit: Binyamin Mellish via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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