There have been record setting temperatures across the country and it leaves many homeowners asking for ways to keep cool. Let's look at some cheap and easy ways to beat the heat.

The first step is to treat your body right. Our bodies have natural cooling mechanisms, such as sweating. In order for this process to work, though, we need to keep properly hydrated. Dehydration is deadly.

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  1. flushed face
  2. dizziness made worse when you are standing
  3. cramping in the arms and legs
  4. sleepy or irritable
  5. headaches
  6. dry mouth, dry tongue; with thick saliva.

If a loved one faints or starts to have convulsions, seek medical help immediately.

To safeguard your body be sure to drink plenty of water. Sugary drinks don't count. You need to be drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day and possibly more if you're in the heat for hours. You lose fluids through your sweat, so the more you sweat the more you need to drink.

If you like to take runs outside, consider doing this in the early morning or evening time, when the heat of the day has passed. You'll be putting your body under a lot less stress.

The same goes for how you dress. Heavy clothes and unnatural fabrics, such as polyester, don't allow for breathing in the material. Choose cotton and linen that are lightweight. Short sleeves are great, but don't forget about light-weight cover-ups that can keep you cool and protected from the sun.

Swimming is another great way to help your body cool down. Most communities have pools or lakes that cost just dollars a day. Or you might even have a pool in your own backyard!

Next, for added outdoor fun, consider shade covers for your patio. Gazebos, awnings, and even pergolas can offer some protection from the sun.

To help your home beat the heat, there are multiple layers of cooling. First, consider using an exhaust fan to pull hot air out during the day and cool air in during the night. Next, be sure your ceiling fan blades are set to move hot air up during the Summer months.

The next stage of home cooling are air conditioning units. Hot air rises, so second stories are notoriously hot. If you don't have central air, you may consider trying to cool your upstairs first before seeing if you need a second unit downstairs.

There are a couple different options when it comes to air conditioning. First, the gold star award goes to central heat and air, which while pricey, can be incredibly convenient. Next on the list are portable AC units. These are more energy efficient that their window-unit counterparts. The downside is they cost double the price. The upside? They can be moved easily from room to room as needed.

Try some of these tips and stay cool this Summer!

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