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When summer comes to mind, we focus on picnics, lounging on the beach and tasty iced drinks. But, here are some ways to stay cool when intense heat and humidity make it impossible to sit comfortably, let alone sleep through the night.

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Use the night air
During the summer months, temperatures may drop during the night. If this is the case where you live, make the most of these refreshing hours by cracking the windows before you go to bed. Just be sure to close the windows and blinds before the weather gets too hot in the morning. Once the window has been opened, position a fan across from a window, so the wind from outside and the fan combine in a cooling cross breeze. For a bigger sensation, set up multiple fans throughout the room and make the airflow even more boisterous.

Keep your blinds closed during the heat of the day
Up to 30% of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades and curtains can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Closing the blinds essentially prevents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially true for south and west facing windows.

Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise
Hint: your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally! Set counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed. The fan’s airflow will create a wind chill breeze that will make you and your guests “feel” cooler.

Swap out the sheets
Not only does seasonally switching up your bedding freshen up a room, it’s a great way to stay cool. While flannel sheets and fleece blankets are fantastic for insulation, cotton is a smarter move this time of year as it breathes easier and stays cooler. Something else to try – a buckwheat pillow. Buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them and they won’t hold to your body heat like conventional pillows.

Stay away from the stove and fire up the grill
Summer is not the time to create a new casserole or chicken specialty. Chow down on cool, room temperature dishes (salads anyone?). Replace big meals with smaller, lighter dinners that are easier to metabolize. If hot food is desired, then fire up the grill. You’ve always wanted to get more mileage out of your outdoor furniture and accessories.

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