Ask the Readers: What Is Your Favorite Way to Beat the Heat?

By Ashley Jacobs on 29 July 2014 (Updated 5 August 2014) 62 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Jennifer, Olivia, and Pamela for winning this week's contest!

The summer heat can feel unbearable, especially when temperatures rise higher, and higher, and higher. It takes a lot of work to stay cool — or does it?

What is your favorite way to beat the heat? Is it a frugal method, or do you think the relief is worth any extra costs? What would you do if even your favorite tactic is not enough to keep the heat at bay?

Tell us about your favorite way to beat the heat and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For extra entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, August 4th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 4th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

When my husband and I were first married, our apartment had no A/C. We used to beat the heat by spending hours at Barnes & Noble.

Guest's picture
Bri

My absolute favorite way to beat the heat is by mixing a few drops of peppermint essential oil with water in a little spritzer and spritzing myself with it as needed. It makes me smell minty-fresh and really helps bring down my body temperature! I stick with doTERRA essential oils, since I trust them the most, but you could likely use any kind.

I often wear my daughter in a carrier more often than not (I'm also pregnant!), so this really helps cool both of us down!

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Gina

Open the windows, turn on the fans, and close the shades.

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Olivia

Air conditioning! But I have a programable thermostat and keep it at 75 during the day. In order to get the kids outdoors though, we bought a larger kiddie pool they all can fit in. It has been a big hit!

Guest's picture

Here in the Finger Lakes, it usually cools down at night. We make it cool enough to sleep by putting a sturdy fan in the window to suck the cool night air into the house.

When it gets abnormally hot and humid, we go sit in the river at the foot of the nearby water falls. It's hard to stay hot in the mist from the falls.

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Leslie

Keeping the curtains closed on hot days & if that fails head to the movies!

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Betty

My favorite way to beat the heat is a trip to the NJ shore. It is only about an hour and a half drive for me. Easy day trip. Cool breeze, ocean air, sun...I love it!

Guest's picture

I'd love to go to the waterpark with my whole family to beat the heat! #wbask

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Ernest S.

Instead of running the A/C, we run window fans. The fans exhaust air of the house during the day, and brings in the cooler air at night. Of course, when the temperature doesn't drop at night, then we have no choice but to run the A/C!

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Michelle N

I walk around with a bag of ice or an ice pack on my head. It looks silly but it sure feels refreshing!

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Anand Natarajan

Food: Always have some lime juice (no sugar, salt instead) in my refrigerator. Avoid spicy foods as much (makes you perspire more)

Clothing: As soon as I get home from work, I get down to my boxers

Shelter: Use window curtains and shut down bath room AC vents to maximize AC usage. Have a table fan for my bedroom to cut down on AC usage

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Elena

I like to drink iced tea and icy water to beat the heat

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Liz

We keep the windows open to get a breeze and use ceiling fans.

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Matt

I only turn the A/C on for a few minutes during the hottest part of the afternoon to get a quick breeze of cool air.

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Jennifer

Close up the house during the day (with light-blocking curtains and everything). Then when it cools down at night, open everything up and use big window fans.

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KelR1

I am a huge fan of AC. It's worth the little bit extra on my electric bill in the summer. I also love a good cold beverage while sitting in the AC.

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Happy Love

That's when I need a cold glass of lemonade or iced tea.

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MELISSA HANSSON

We love to see movies in the summer, but honestly it never gets too hot here. That's why I love the Northwest.

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Guest

Sip on cold ice water. I like mine flavored, but plain ol' water is good too.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Putting in extra insulation in our attic and additional ceiling fans in our dining room and our bedroom (in addition to our living room and kitchen) has really helped keep us cool with our ac this year. Of course having milder summer weather here in Ohio this year has helped, too!

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Liisa

Sundresses, sandals, and lots of cold things to eat/drink!

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Dee Dee

Open the windows after the sun goes down and eat some ice cream.

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Mel

I leave the house. Visit the library or mall.

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Jennifer Marie

We like to play in the sprinkler outside.

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Nicole Dziedzic

My favorite way to beat the heat is at the lake with my friends.

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amy pugmire

we swim a lot. whether its the sprinklers, splash pad, or water park, and we take water with us everywhere we go!

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sharon shafran

put a bucket of ice in front of a fan and it would blow cold air at you

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Laura J

To beat the heat we use the crockpot alot to avoid turning on the oven! We run dishwasher late at night or early morning hours when its cooler out and same for the clothes dryer!

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Tina

I love A/C in the summer, we use a programmable thermostat to keep the house at the right temperature when we aren't home, when we are, and at night, so we aren't wasting money with keeping the house too cool when we don't need it.

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Guest

I use a ceiling fan mostly and only turn my AC lower if I'm sweating a lot.

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lostAnnfound

Jump in the pool! we bought a used pool about 15 years ago and it is still getting used (though not as much as the kids are grown now). If it gets hot enough, that's where you'll find us after work.

To keep the house cooler, I keep the blinds & curtains closed as the sun works its way around. It helps a lot to reflect the heat.

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Kim

Ceiling fans and insulated curtains in the bedroom make it feel like a cool cave - it's always nice to take a break in there if the rest of the house gets too hot.

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Nancy

Ceiling fans on. Draperies and blinds closed. No cooking except in slow cooker. AC at 78 degrees on programmable thermostat. Flip afternoon outdoor activities to morning, such as working in garden and taking grandchildren to the park (9 AM instead of 1 PM). Season pass to the city pool, purchased early when it's discounted. Occasional afternoon movie: to minimize the cost, I buy discounted gift cards online in advance. This afternoon, we're going to the new Planet of Apes movie.

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Patty

We head to the mountains! About one hour away, but a different world (cool, refreshing) entirely!

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Bethany

Sit with the kids on the tile in the basement and have a popsicle.

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Diane

Keeping the shades down on the windows & the fans & ac blowing! Not the most frugal, but here in the south with the heat + humidity, there's no opening windows.

And when I've been doing yard work, a nice icy snowball afterwards really helps!

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Susan P.

We live where it is hot 95% of the year and everyone lives in the air conditioning - at home, in the car or at work. Swimming in the pool or at the beach is a fun way to cool off.

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Mary W

I stay cool by going outside only in the early morning and late evening when the temps. drop. In the heat of the day, I stay in the air conditioning.

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Tammy S

We open the windows at night to cool the house down and then close it up tight in the morning, Keeping all the blinds closed.

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Teresa

I make myself an orange juice slushy using orange juice, about 10 ice cubes and my blender. It always cools me down ... at least for a little while.

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Samantha

I've lived in a residence hall that doesn't have A/C for four semesters. The best way to keep it cool is to open the windows and curtains at night and close them during the day, always keep a couple of fans running, and invest in some of those cheap FlavorIce popsicles. Or, you can always just stay at the library all day.

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Kathy

I drink lots of cold drinks to keep cool, and dress lightly. Also use a home-made spritzer made of peppermint essential oil and water. I spray this on my face/body throughout the day to keep cool--it really works!!

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Louly

I won't even lie; I stay inside sometimes even on nice days because I HATE the heat. I am totally a fall/winter person. However, a trip to the grocery store or the mall is always a great way to beat the heat because they always have their A/C blasting.

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Susan Smith

I beat the heat by staying inside in the air conditioning or going to the pool with my children.

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Darcy

I love to head out to the beach, then stop at a brewery on the way home. Covered in salt water and sunscreen...maybe just a grocery store on the way home to grab a sixer.

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Alix

Having nice cool smoothies for dinner when it's too warm to cook. Healthier, too!

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Toni B

I love to go to the library---I love to read & I don't have to pay for the A/C :)

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Catseye

The hotter it gets, the more iced water I drink.

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J. Pario

~ Ice cream! ~

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Kristin Goodson

My favorite way to beat the heat is to go to our neighborhood pool! Theres a nice shaded spot and we can bbq there as well.

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Jennifer G

Totally ridiculous, but cheap, easy and it works! Stick your bare feet in a bowl of ice water - you'll be FREEZING, really fast :)

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Elle

We like to beat the heat with refreshing snacks like fruit or ice cream and lots of fans or if it's really hot, AC.

Donna Freedman's picture

Turn the window blinds inside-out to reflect the sun, dress lightly, drink lots of iced beverages, make meals cool and refreshing (salads, fresh fruits, yogurt, homemade puddings), move slowly, keep a fan going.
Or do what I did: Move to Anchorage, Alaska.

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Alissa A

I am completely willing to pay for the a/c.

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Guest

I sleep with an ice pack! We don't have an air conditioner, so some nights it can get really muggy. An I've pack helps me cool down without spending money.

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BRB

Our basement is the best way to get out of the heat. It is always cool down there!

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Lynn

We turn off all the lights that we don't need , open all the windows early in the morning to cool down the house , use fans strategically, keep our curtains closed during the heat of the day ,keep a few frozen hand towels in the freezer for immediate relief if it's a real scorcher. If all else fails then we turn on the AC

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Wendy Roberson Welch

Ice water and A/C!

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Amanda Sakovitz

I put the AC on.

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Tabathia B

Popsicles, ice cream and water by the pool and a/c inside

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Carmen

Stay indoors in the a/c and knit

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Thomas Murphy

I put on the AC to beat the heat.