Hints for keeping cool, summer 2021

5 ways to feel cooler.

 If I told you that the shirt you are wearing makes the temperature against your skin about 20 degrees higher than the already super-warm air around you, and was increasing your heart rate, and I could give you a shirt to wear that would decrease this temperature sensation, would you be interested? Or that a simple film would reduce the temperature in your room 20 degrees, would you be interested? .

 1. Wear fabrics that are made of woven, not knit cloth. Sweaters are the most common knit and one of the reasons sweaters are so warm is because the knitting producing thick fabric of several layers. Thicker threads make a thicker sweater, fine threads make a thinner sweater. But it’s still a ‘sweater’.

Your T-shirt is a sweater. Yes, it’s a thin one, but it’s still a sweater. This is the first, most effective thing you can do to feel cooler. Get rid of the T-shirts.

 2. Choose a fabric for your clothing that is made of natural fibers,  cotton, linen, or silk. Mostly. Natural fibers wick moisture away from the skin better than man-made fibers. ( Yes, there are sports fabrics that are the exception to this, but they are not a typical garment fabric.) 

This does NOT mean that a cotton t-shirt is ‘good’. It’s the weave in conjunction with fiber which make the difference. 

Yes, linen wrinkles like mad, and for some that is a reason to forego this fiber. But you might want to rethink this. Linen fibers are hollow. When there is moisture in the air, the fibers fill up, and the fabric loses some of its wrinkles. When there is little moisture around, the moisture evaporates and the fibers shrink up. i.e. wrinkle. This also keeps the skin against the linen much cooler than without the linen.

A study done a few years ago found that the temperature on your skin under man-made fiber fabrics can be as much as 20 degrees HIGHER than the surrounding temperature. This results in an increased heart rate. How about that for a reason for wearing natural fibers?

And consider your children, dressed in a fabric that is forcing the temperature up 20 degrees.

What works best are shirts made with no collar, of natural woven fabric, and are loose-fitting.

 3. In your home, install solar film on the direct sun windows. This can reduce the UV rays by up to 95% — the ones that heat your home and damage your furnishings.( You can install it yourself, or have a glass place do it for you.) The temperature measured at one foot inside the window compared to one foot outside can be as much as 20 degrees. 

 4. Trick your eyes. If your home is decorated in the warm colors — (red, orange, yellow, olive green) —  you will feel that the home is warmer than it actually is. Get yourself a lovely blue glass for your water glass, use blue china, blue placemats, some pillows with blue in the print, blue towels in the bathroom, a small blue area rug, and full-spectrum light bulbs, you can reduce the perceived temperature of the room by about 20 degrees.

 5. Keep the air moving in your home. Use fans to move the air around, in and out of the room, rather than pulling the drapery and just letting the air sit still.  I’ll look for the piece I read about how some cheesemakers used the cross drafts in the home in conjunction with the stone and rock surfaces, to create very cool rooms without refrigeration. In rural Italy, I think it was….

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