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Most healthy adults can cope with heat; their bodies are able to maintain normal temperatures...up to a point. The body maintains its temperature primarily through sweating. When body heat rises above the norm, the brain causes the blood vessels in the skin to dilate, providing increased blood flow at the surface of the body and supplying increased fluids to make sweat. As perspiration evaporates, it cools the surface of the body and lowers body temperature. If the humidity is higher, it is more difficult for the body to perspire normally.

Here are five ideas to keep your house and yourself cool:

  1. If your area cools off in the evening, take advantage of the cool evenings to cool off your entire house. Open windows and doors with screens to bring the inside temperature down.
  2. Consider using a whole-house fan. It is a "natural evening air conditioner."
  3. In the morning, close up your house and draw blinds and drapes so the house stays darker and thus cooler.
  4. If you have venetian blinds, close them or angle them upwards. That way, light is reflected up and into the room and direct rays of the sun are not let in.
  5. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away. For the infirm, elderly, and those who have trouble maintaining body temperatures (such as diabetics), set your thermostat lower (72 to 75 degrees) when you are home.