You’ll probably agree that the heat and humidity during April and May are not something you can get used to even if you’ve always lived in the Philippines. Unless you reside in Baguio, Tagaytay, or other locations with relatively cool climate, or can afford to keep the air conditioner always on, the hot season can be unbearable. This is especially true if the ambient temperature rises to above 33°C or when the heat index goes up to 40°C or more. While you can’t control how hot the summer will be, there are several things you can do to stay cool and comfortable.
Apart from wearing loose breathable clothes and mostly staying indoors, here are some tips for surviving the scorching hot Philippine summer:
- Ensure that your refrigerator is working properly. Whether you realize it or not, your ref is one of the most important appliances you need to beat the heat. Consuming refreshing drinks and cold treats can significantly lower your body temperature and keep you hydrated. How can you enjoy ice pops, ice cream, and cold beverages if your ref and freezer are not working properly?Give your ref a quick check, especially if you have an older unit at home. If it’s barely keeping your food and beverages cold, even after adjusting the thermostat, you should have it checked and repaired immediately. If you’ve been using it for over a decade, it’s probably time to consider high-quality and energy-efficient refrigerators and chillers to replacement your unit at home. Before you worry about the cost of buying a new unit, know that you will probably end up paying more for maintenance and electricity if you continue using a faulty old ref.
- Invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner. As the summer months become hotter due to climate change, owning an air conditioner is no longer a luxury but a necessity for Filipinos. If you don’t want to purchase one for fear of high electricity bills, then you should realize that many energy-efficient air conditioning models are now available.When determining the suitable unit for your room, you should ensure that the air conditioner’s horsepower (HP) output matches the size of the room. You must also consider the number of room occupants and the amount of sunlight that reaches the area. For instance, an aircon with an output of 0.75 HP typically suits a room size of 17 square meters. But if the space is exposed to direct sunlight and at least 3 people use it regularly, it’s best to purchase a unit with a higher HP to cool the room more efficiently.Below is the estimated HP rating based on room size according to the Philippines’ Department of Energy. Be sure to make the necessary adjustments, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.
17 sq. m. – 0.75 HP
20-22 sq. m. – 1.0 HP
26-30 sq. m. – 1.5 HP
38-44 sq. m. – 2.0 HP
50 sq. m. – 2.5 HP
64-72 sq. m. – 3.0 HP
Besides considering the HP, check the yellow label to know the Energy Efficiency Ratio of the airconditioning unit you are buying. The higher the EER, the better it is because it will use less energy to operate.
- Keep your sleeping essentials cool. Getting a good night’s rest during the summer months can be challenging. The excess heat produced by your body tends to interrupt the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. If your air conditioner is having a hard time cooling your room, you may want to consider cooling the actual linens or beddings you use.Wrap your pillow cases and thin blankets in plastic and put them in the freezer or refrigerator for at least an hour before going to bed. The cold pillows and blanket will help lower your core body temperature and trigger the release of melatonin. Although your linens will eventually become warm, the temporary chill could help you feel more comfortable even as the air-conditioner works to cool down your room.
- Avoid coffee, tea, or soda. Although drinking fluids is advisable to keep yourself hydrated during hot days, not all beverages provide beneficial effects. If you are a big fan of coffee, tea, or soft drinks, you may want to resist the urge to drink them during summer. Even if you consume them with tons of ice, these beverages can make you lose more fluids because they are diuretics. They induce urine production, which means you’ll ironically feel more dehydrated after drinking them. Take note that the key to surviving the heat is preventing dehydration. As such, you need to consume liquids that effectively replenish body fluids like water, fruit juices, sports drinks, and coconut water. You may also try eating hydrating foods to keep your water level and electrolytes up. Cucumber, iceberg lettuce, watermelon, and pineapple are just some of the tasty produce that will keep you full and refreshed when the weather is hot.
- Use cooling patches. You’re probably familiar with those cooling gel patches that many parents use when their children have fever. Did you know that these can also provide relief from summer heat? If it gets too hot, you can stick a cooling sheet to your body’s heat zones such as your neck, wrist, or behind the knees, to lower your body temperature.You can also use an ice pack if you do not have patches, but it could be inconvenient since you must hold the pack in place if you want to continue feeling refreshed. Cooling sheets are adhesive, so they stay in place and offer relief for as long as eight hours.
- Prepare a facial mist. Revitalize and refresh your tired and parched skin by spraying it with cool hydrating facial mist. Get a clean spray bottle, fill it with a mix of one-part aloe vera gel and three parts water, then keep it in the refrigerator.Whenever the heat becomes unbearable, take the homemade facial mist out of the fridge and spray it lavishly on your face and neck. Besides cooling you down, the aloe vera in the water will also moisturize and keep your skin feeling soft and smooth.
The hot weather does more than merely make you feel uncomfortable. Heat negatively affects your physical and psychological health as well. That is why you feel exhausted, irritable, and moody when the temperature rises. Fortunately, you can minimize the impact of hot summer days by trying out the suggestions above.
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