How to stay cool if you don’t have AC or can’t open windows

SEATTLE — With a heat wave happening this week in most of Washington, people are looking for ways to keep cool.

Like many, if you don’t have air conditioning, it may feel like an oven inside. Top that with not being able to open your windows and you’re looking at miserable conditions.

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Whether one or both situations apply, there are some things you can do. Public Health — Seattle & King County came up with ways to lower the heat inside your home and keep your body cool.

Reducing the heat

Block the sun with shades during the day, then open them at night. Curtains and shades can help keep the heat out. But at night when the lights are out, keep the shades or curtains open to let the windows release heat.

Trap heat with closed doors. If you have a room that gets hotter than other areas of your home, close the doors to keep the heat trapped inside.

Turn off the lights — they generate heat. Only use the lights you really need.

Limit use of electronics. Your computer, TV and video game console heat up the home, so turn off anything you’re not using.

Try to keep oven or stove use to a minimum.

Put a bowl of ice in front of a fan to circulate the ice-cooled air.

Hang heavy blankets over windows. Painter’s tape can be used to keep them up to help block the heat.

Ways to cool your body

Sip cool beverages. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, even if you’re not thirsty. Alcohol or caffeinated drinks can cause increased dehydration. If you’re sweating a lot, sports drinks can help replace salts and minerals.

Take a cool shower. Note: avoid extreme temperature changes if you have just been outside in hot weather. Too much of a temperature change can lead to hypothermia, especially in elderly adults or very young children, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County.

Put on a wet scarf, bandana or shirt. This is a quick way to cool down.

Eat light meals. Eating hot, heavy meals will add heat to your body.

Stay on the lowest floor. If you are in a multi-story home or unit, the lowest level will stay the coolest.