Here you are again— another storm, another power outage.
In the dead Florida heat, it’s agonizing waiting for the electric company to get your neighborhood up and running again. You and your family are melting and need some quick ways to cool off!
While obviously not as good as an air conditioning unit, here are a few ways to keep yourself cool without your AC until the power comes back on:
1. Take a dip in the pool
The pool: a Floridian's favorite hangout. Now, more than ever, utilize the water while you can. Although no electricity may mean warmer-than-usual temperatures in the pool, the moisture will naturally help to cool your body down.
Consider taking a drive to a public pool in another neighborhood, which won’t be as hot, and spending a day splashing around.
2. Stay hydrated
When you’re sweating, you’re expelling important liquid. While your body means well— producing moisture in an effort to cool you down— you’re also dehydrating yourself.
While sweating might be a helpful short-term solution for the heatwave, after a few hours of dripping out all the water in your body, you’ll wind up feeling even hotter! When not in the comfort of AC, down a glass of water every hour to stay refreshed.
3. Close off the hottest rooms
The areas of your house that face the most sun are probably the warmest, and they can seep hot air throughout your other rooms. In an effort to keep the coolest parts of your house cooler, shut the doors to the sun-facing rooms and put a towel under the bottom crack to trap all the hot air in.
4. Sleep downstairs
Remember: heat rises, so your upstairs may be quite toasty. Even if you can’t avoid the upper levels of your home during the day, consider sleeping on the first floor of your house to get some shut-eye without dripping in sweat.
5. Cover your windows during the day
Any Florida resident knows how strong the sun can be. Windows without UV protection can increase the temperature of your house by allowing heat rays in.
When you don’t have your air conditioning to counteract the problem, we recommend closing the blinds during the day. It’ll make for a deary environment, but your house will be at least a few degrees cooler.
6. Open your windows in the evening
While you’re downstairs to sleep, consider opening your windows to let a night breeze in and air out your stagnant house from lack of AC airflow.
7. Wear breathable fabrics
As much as we love lounging around in our sweatpants with the AC blasting, now is not the time for heavy or tight-clinging fabrics, which cause you to sweat or feel uncomfortable. If you’re just relaxing inside with the family (who won’t care how you’re dressed), throw on your swimsuit or sportswear, which allow for more bare skin exposure and ditch the heat-trapping fabrics.
8. Use a cooling towel or wet bandana
There are specially-signed cooling towels and accessories made especially for helping you feel refreshed when you don’t have AC. This PVA cooling towel, for instance, just needs to be soaked in cool water, wrung out, and draped around your neck or anywhere you’d like to cool off. Check out these cooling bandanas too!
9. Get a battery-operated fan (before the storm)
Not all fans run on electricity. Some can be powered by rechargeable batteries, even larger “industrial” looking fans. While most larger units of 18 inches run about $150, smaller desk units are less expensive and may be a worthwhile investment for a few days of relief. Don’t wait until after the storm to pick one up as this must-have item will be impossible to find.
10. Invest in a home generator
Hurricane Wilma in 2015 caused billions of dollars in damage and cut electricity to many SWFL homes for as long as 15 days. Can you imagine living without electricity for 15 days in one of the hottest states in the US? Most Floridians can’t even imagine 15 minutes without power!
If you don’t want 15 days of cooling yourself with a battery-powered fan or these DIY cooling tips above, a home generator is the best way to go.
To keep your home cool even after the worst of storms, you can either purchase a portable generator or a standby generator. While a portable generator could be an option for a day or two, you need a permanently-installed unit for long-term power. Learn more about how backup (standby) generators work, including how much power they can support and for how long they can run, here.
Which Generator is Right for You?
From powering the bare essentials and your AC to full-house operations, you have options when choosing a home generator!
Check out these four big questions to ask before choosing a generator.
Then, explore our free Backup Generator Guide, designed to help you choose the right sized unit, the proper fuel type, and the right brand for your SWFL home.