Summer in the city isn’t always so pretty. There’s nothing like a sweat-drenched, sleepless night on flannel sheets to make you facepalm yourself for not buying an A/C unit. Even if you don’t want to spend the cash, or send your electricity bill spiking dramatically upwards, there are some measures you can take to make sure that your cozy little home doesn’t feel too toasty.
First things first: be smart about what you’re doing with your windows. While an apartment’s best feature can be windows that face the west, that sun-filled space might be too hot to bear. Closing your shades on the scorching sun can cool the room off by 20 degrees or so. Also, place fans near your windows to catch any crossbreeze for optimal cooling. Especially at night, when temperatures drop, even just slightly, this can make all the difference.
Also, ditch the heavy sheets and comforter you hibernated in all winter. Switch in lighter, cotton sheets and buckwheat pillows, which breathe more and avoid trapping your body heat.
For even more energy-efficient cooling, change your lightbulbs from heat-expelling incandescents to environmentally-friendly CFLs. You can also set your fan to counter-clockwise to maximize circulation of cool air and produce stronger breezes.
More than anything, use your head. No, the Fourth of July is certainly not the holiday of pot roasts and lasagna—cook outside on the grill to avoid adding another 500 degrees to your already infernal kitchen. Drink cool drinks and keep in the shade! In just a few months, we’ll all be wishing it were this hot out, so eat some ice cream, and relax.