Every year the summer heat seems to worsen. So, many wonder how could we stay cool during the summer? Of course, AC!!! Below are some tips and tricks for surviving without air conditioning, but what would you do if the power grid is taken out by an earthquake, storm or tornado?
When a major catastrophe happens during the sweltering summer season, remaining cool and hydrated would be important. It is a problem people don’t talk about often. The risk of overheating can’t be overlooked. Are you aware that about 400 Americans die per year of heat? In fact the National Weather Service claims that the number one weather killer is overheating. And note this knowledge is recent. Most Americans already have air conditioning access!
So we need to do something about that problem as preppers and survivalists.
1. Heat-Blocking Curtains
You could go out and buy the best money you can purchase blackout curtains with thermal insulation. Or you could just make your own. Just be sure to put the curtains which completely cover your windows. Remember black absorbs heat so lighter colors are working well. The main purpose is to keep the sun’s overbearing rays from coming inside, and to baking everything and everyone inside.
2. Seal Air Leaks
This is a very important decision to take. You don’t want any cool air end up generating to escape outside. This is why this list is so significant. So, make sure to search for air leaks around your doors and windows. Caulk or weather stripping can be used to cover it up.
3. Trees Make Shade
This tip is based on where you live. If you are unable to plant trees, then you are out of luck. You could go ahead and skip to the next. If you have no trees around your building, then you should probably start right now. Think of where your house is daily struck by the sun. Which door and windows? These are the places you want to provide shade. You can brush off this tip but trust me, it makes a big difference.
4. Hanging Structure For Shade
If you are unable to plant trees for shade then consider installing some sort of fixture to block the light. Awnings, exterior shutters, or blinds can be used. This technique works well, because instead of trying to get rid of the heat, you won’t let it come in.
5. Shade For Walls
How successful vines are in keeping a house nice and cool is indeed a surprise. They will actually raise the incoming heat 50% through your walls. They are also growing rapidly and can offer great results. You don’t want to harm the walls so it is important to do your research into which form of vine is right for your home.
6. Open Your Windows
It depends on the environment. When you get a breeze or a reasonable amount of wind, open your windows and doors. Yet make sure they are kept covered with curtains. You wouldn’t want direct sunlight to come in!
This will help distribute clean, fresh air all over the house. Evidently, if there is no wind you want to keep your windows closed during the day. As soon as the sun goes down however, make sure to open windows and doors back up.
7. Make A Cooling Cave
If you live on your own land and are willing to dig, making a cooling cave can help you stay cool during the hot summer months.
Think of the past when we didn’t have electricity or advanced innovations to keep cool. How did it happen with our ancestors? People lived in caves long ago. Why? For what? The soil is a natural insulator. Heating takes a long time but also a long time to cool. This project will be useful to you and your family throughout the whole year.
You can find plans on the internet, or simply create your own. I’ll give you some of the fundamentals. It’s pretty much a large metal box in the ground with air entry and exit. It should be at least 4 feet below ground. If you’re making it large enough, you’ve essentially built a cave room. Or just a bunker.
That works so well because the average underground temperature is 55 degrees year-round in many places. Running two fans through the house through the cave gives you free A/C! During the winter, you can run the reverse, just be sure to have either one huge cave or a few small ones.
With humidity heat only gets worse. So objectively, it will help you feel cooler by removing as much humidity from the air as you can. The explanation why it is difficult to cool down with high humidity is because our sweat has no place to evaporate with all the humidity in the air. It is pretty much like being trapped in a sauna. The dehumidifier can be purchased online or in a store. Or, if you want to keep it natural, there’s a bunch of online guides on how to extract moisture naturally.
Related: The Best Places To Live Off The Grid
9. Make A Swamp Cooler
Swamp coolers, otherwise known as evaporation coolers, are useful and easy to make. But in a very humid environment these won’t work contrary to the term. For a warm, hot climate, swamp coolers work best. There are many in-depth online guides showing how these can be built for very cheap.
10. Hang Wet Sheets
This will help cool off your house when there is a breeze. Simply wet a sheet or your curtains and the breeze coming in from outside would become significantly cooler.
11. Stay In Your Basement
Heat rises. Everyone knows it. And, most definitely, the basement is at least partially underground. The basements can be 10-15 degrees cooler than your house’s main floor.
Unplug and try not to run all the unnecessary appliances during the day. Anything that has been plugged in, even if it doesn’t run can produce heat. There are also several common heat producing appliances. Things such as washing machines, dryers, stoves, etc. Wash your clothes early in the morning and dry out your clothes line-dry, instead of heating the house with the dryer.
13. Cook Outside
One or all of these tips you’ve followed to keep your house cool. Don’t spoil it with inside cooking. Stove tops and ovens generate so much heat, even after cooking is finished. You can cook or get a simple propane burner with your grill, or you can make your own rocket stove for free. If you have to cook indoors, cook outside during the early evening hours and open the windows to get that hot air out.
I believe we lost the outdoor connection and our understanding of nature. Our ancestors had already long ago found out how to stay cool. We simply forgot with all the new inventions nowadays. Many of the ideas in this article have to do with the way we used to live in the past. Think of castles with trees all over the place and vines creeping up the sides, kitchens outside the house and living in caves. The examples are infinite.