How to keep your rental apartment cool during a heat wave
With no basement to hide in, high-rise dwellers quickly learn what it feels like when heat rises. This can be tolerated for the most part, but what about during those scorching hot summer heatwaves?
Don’t melt into a puddle on your parquet floors. Keep your rental apartment cool and ride out those heatwaves like it’s no big deal!
Window or portable air conditioner
While not as effective as central air systems, a window or portable air conditioning unit is your best friend when it’s hot and humid out. The downside is that unless you have more than one, they generally only work to cool one room. If it’s hard for you to sleep during a heatwave, install the air conditioner in your bedroom. If you have pets, make sure it’s set to run during times you are out.
If you can afford it, install the second unit in your living room. Sometimes you can buy them gently used for a good price, or new during off-season sales.
Close your curtains and blinds
While you love the sun shining through your windows, these rays are not your friend during extreme heat warnings. Close your curtains or blinds, and keep the lights off or low. It’s not a perfect solution, but it will make your place feel a lot cooler. Keep the windows and patio door open to the screen to allow fresh air to circulate, while still keeping the apartment shaded by the curtains.
Don’t use the oven
During the hottest days, it’s best to skip cooking any meals that require the oven. Even cooking on the stovetop can generate more heat than you probably want. If possible, enjoy cold dishes – such as salads and cold cuts, or heat up leftovers using the microwave if you have one. You can also treat yourself to some take out every so often on hot days for an easy meal during a heatwave.
Use light, breathable linens
While this tip won’t help you cool down the apartment, it will help you feel cooler on those hot and sticky summer nights. First off, take that duvet off the bed and sleep with light cotton sheets. If you want a blanket, get a thin cotton topper so you have the comfort of a real blanket without overheating your body.
Take a shower before going to sleep so you can climb into bed feeling fresh and clean.
Use fans strategically
If you want to circulate the air better, use a few pedestal fans to direct the cool air around the apartment. If you have a window air conditioner in one room, you can set up fans to direct the air into the other rooms to make your place more comfortable and livable during the heatwave.
Use LED light bulbs
Change all your light bulbs to LEDs, as they emit less heat. It might seem like a small thing, but when it’s practically boiling out, every little bit helps! Try to only turn on lights in the evening when it gets dark, and turn them off when you leave the room.
Leave during the heat of the day
If you’re home during the day and on weekends, try to get out of the apartment midday when the sun tends to be the hottest. Go to the mall, a community centre, library, or café with air conditioning so you can cool off and recover. If your building has a pool, maybe go for a swim to cool off.
This is especially important if there are young children or seniors living in the apartment.
Getting through a heatwave in a rental apartment can be a trying experience, but if you’re smart and prepared you can make it!
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