How to Beat the Heat

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Are you dying in the heat? Well, I am! Here are nine tips on how to combat this sweltering heat, save a couple of hundreds and help the environment in small ways...

I know that we like to position ourself as sunny Singapore, but seriously, this is RIDICULOUS. The weather in Singapore has been so incredibly hot recently! It's driving me insane.

I find myself spending most of my time holed up in an aircon room and if I must step out of the office or home, I grudgingly insist on cabbing it and I will only head to a place that has (drum rolls please…) aircon!

I know that sitting in aircon 24/7 is bad for both me and the environment. Plus it means less savings for the kids college fund! So, I've gone on a witch-hunt to source for tips on how to combat this sweltering heat, save a couple of hundreds and help the environment in my own little way.

Here are nine ways to beat Singapore's horrible heat:

1) Dress Appropriately

The easiest and smartest thing to do is to dress for the heat. Besides avoiding your long sleeve shirts and skinny jeans, be sure to avoid dark coloured clothes too. Light colours such as whites, pastels and khakis help to reflect sunlight so you don’t walk around baking all day.

Besides considering colour, ensure that you are using the right material. Wear more cotton and linen, which are easy and breezy. Avoid polyester like the plague; it holds in heat and sweat, allowing you to stew in your own juices. Clothing made of synthetic 'sports' fabrics that wick away perspiration is also good.

2) Drink Right

This next tip is gonna be a little bit of a shocker - avoid drinking ice cold water! "What???” You ask? Well, the body has trouble adjusting to the temperature and loses more energy when you drink things that are too cold, so go for cool rather than ice cold.

Also stay away from tea, coffee, sodas and alcohol. They are diuretics (drinks that draw out water from the body), thus only increase our discomfort. Preference should be given to drinks that are high on magnesium and calcium. Besides water, think yoghurt drinks, milk, lassi and of course coconut water.

3) Eat Right

Eating onions, green mangoes, cucumber and melons are one of the best ways of preventing and countering dehydration.

In addition, according to The Red Cross eating smaller meals more frequently helps lower the heat from your body's metabolism. They also advocate avoiding lots of protein for the same reasons.

4) Avoid Appliances that Generate Heat

Stay away from using your laptop on your lap or using the oven to bake cookies. Using an oven, for example, can easily raise the room temperature 10 degrees. Save cooking (especially baking) for cooler hours. It is also a good idea to run the dishwasher and clothes dryer at night.

5) Be a Vampire

Close windows, doors, curtains and blinds early in the day, before the sun has had a chance to warm up the inside of your home or office. Open them once the sun has gone down. This will make the inside of your home and office cooler than the outside temperature.

6) Get Cooler Lights

Lights do add heat to a house and can raise the perceived temperature. To reduce the effect and save on electricity bills, replace incandescent bulbs (your cheap one dollar lights) with energy-saving/halogen/LED light bulbs. They use about 80 percent less energy, last about ten times longer and emit 90 percent less heat.

Still not convinced to switch. Well, consider that a typical Singapore household can save around $190 a year from their electricity bill, just by using 12 energy-efficient light bulbs (7 watts) instead of 12 incandescent light bulbs (40 watts) for 6 hours a day. (Based on the current tariff rate of S$0.1803).

7) Cross Ventilation

Open opposite end windows, or a door and a window opposite each other to improve cross ventilation. In cross ventilation air that comes in from one side of the building, flows out the other, thus cooling your apartment down.

8) Create Your Own 'Air-Con'

Dampen a towel in water, wring it out, and put it in the refrigerator until it's nice and cool. Then place the towel on your pulse points, such as the inside of your wrists and the backs of your knees to reduce your body temperature.

9) Give Yourself a Break

You're miserable, probably not sleeping well, and your head's throbbing. Don't beat up on yourself up just because you're not performing at your best. Try to cheer up and remember: this too shall pass. (In roughly about six months. Lol)