4 ways to stay cool on the 4th of July

Most people have Independence Day off from work, but your air conditioner will probably run longer than normal to comfort the people lounging around the house. Give the AC a break and cut down on your utility bill by using these simple tips to reduce the need for home cooling during your Fourth of July party.

Go for a swim

Going for a swim on a hot day not only cools you down while you’re in the water, but will leave you feeling cool and comfortable hours later. Now that it’s July, all of the local swimming holes, public beaches and neighborhood pools should be open. Show up early to beat the crowds and if you feel up for it, take a second dip in the late afternoon.

Use the BBQ exclusively

Traditional Fourth of July parties use the outdoor grill to avoid heating up the house, but some people still end up preparing side dishes inside using the oven or the top of the stove. Resist that temptation and limit the non-BBQ items to cold and room temperature foods like potato salad, chips and fruit salad that was prepared in advance.

Block out the sun

You should already keep your window blinds and shades closed during the day to stop your home from heating up, but don’t forget to shield your outdoor guests from the sun’s rays too. You can install a sunshade, umbrella or canopy pretty cheaply outside. If your garage naturally stays cool, consider opening the door and setting up some chairs inside to provide an oasis from the sunlight.

Cut that hair!

Now is the perfect time to change your hairstyle to a new summer cut, but even if you’re not making a radical departure, now might be a good time to trim things up to stay cool. As a bonus, you’ll get a chance to show it off to your family and friends at the party.

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