Summer is one of the most enjoyable times of the year; picnics, camping trips, and days spent at the beach. But for those living in urban areas, it can also be brutal. With no natural shade, city streets are a few degrees warmer than rural areas during summer.
And with an increasing number of cities regularly dealing with serious heat waves, it’s important to know different ways to reduce heat island effect and keep cool. To help out our fellow city-dwellers who might be feeling a bit warm on hot summer days (or nights), here are some tips for beating the heat in an urban area.
When temperatures rise and humidity kicks in, we lose water quickly through sweat and respiration. If you don’t take water or other fluids regularly, you risk dehydration. Dehydration occurs when more fluid is lost from the body than taken in and can cause changes in important electrolytes, which can affect organs and bodily functions.
However, by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, tea, and fruit-infused drinks, you can maintain adequate levels of moisture, which our bodies need in order to regulate body temperature.
Turn up the Air Conditioner
Air conditioners offer an efficient and effective way to cool off any home or office building in record time. They are convenient and energy-efficient, and with proper care and maintenance, air conditioners will last for years
One of the best features many models come with is customizable temperature control settings, meaning you can get as chilly as you like and truly beat the blaring sun. With a suitable AC unit installed in your home, you’ll be well on your way to a comfortable summer day.
Create Shade with Trees
The placement of a tree around a house can provide shade from direct sunlight and help regulate surface temperatures. Vegetation acts as an effective barrier to air conditioning costs, providing a healthier living for humans and animals alike.
Trees protect our health by improving air quality, providing natural cooling shade for outdoor activities, and filtering out UV radiation that can lead to sunburns. Planting trees in cities can allow us to reap the benefits of their cooling capabilities while reducing energy consumption.
Wear Lightweight Clothing
Cool, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen work best to help keep you comfortable in hot weather, as they’re lightweight and absorb sweat without feeling too heavy or sticky.
Compared to wool and polyester, which trap heat and keep it close to your skin, these fabrics allow air to circulate more easily, helping you feel cool even during the most oppressive temperatures. Light colors also help keep you cool by reflecting the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them.
Install Green Roofs
Installing green roofs in a city can not only be aesthetically pleasing, but it can also help to keep the city cool. Like shade from trees and plants cooling a park on a hot summer day, green roofs can provide the same benefit.
By holding onto moisture, they absorb heat while releasing cool air, lowering temperatures of the roof surface and surrounding areas’ temperatures. Also, installing green roofs can provide energy efficiency in homes by acting as insulators and reducing energy used for heating and cooling.
Paint the Roofs White
Light-colored concrete and white roofs can be an effective way to beat the heat in a city. These urban materials are known for their waterproof, tough, and ductile qualities and the ability to be applied to complex rooftop shapes and designs.
Black and dull colors absorb more solar heat, leading to exceedingly hot rooftop surfaces. The use of bright, white roofs is highly effective in reflecting around 50% more light than traditional dark rooftops. This helps lower the temperature of a dense urban area quickly and efficiently and reduces air conditioning demands throughout the city.
When the sun goes down, it is time to open up the windows and doors to allow cooler air to flow into your home. It helps to switch out the hot, stuffy daytime air with the cool night breeze. Circulating this air will make your home more comfortable and significantly reduce indoor temperatures. However, before you head off for bed, do keep in mind that safety is key, especially in urban areas and always shut/lock your windows and doors before turning in for the night.
Visit a Cooling Center
Cooling centers are an essential respite during long, hot summer days and can be found in many urban communities. Acting as a haven from the sun, these centers provide fans and other resources like water or medical help to those seeking shelter from extreme temperatures. Cooling Centers are perfect for those who may not have access to air conditioning at home yet still need a break from the heat.
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels convert energy from the sun into electricity, electrical that can be used for heating and cooling. This means that if enough roofs in an area are covered with solar panels, less energy will be needed from the grid overall, reducing both temperatures and energy consumption. It can also create shade on those rooftops so they would cool down more quickly than unshaded roofs and require less energy for cooling overall.
Summer heat can be challenging, especially when temperatures rise beyond the norm. But it doesn’t have to be unbearable. With these top 10 ways to beat the heat, you can find relief from the sweltering summer days.