Trying to beat the heat this month? Good news: Your ceiling fan can help. While it won't help on the most brutally hot days, by reversing your ceiling fan's blade direction, you will be pushing cool air down, circulating it through the house. To find out how to do it, read more
San Francisco is in the midst of heat wave, and as much as I love putting on my Summer dresses, I'm not a fan of looking like a stick of melted butter. If the temperature in your 'hood hasn't risen yet, trust me, it will. So, I have a few tips for conquering the heat when it does. Not so fast, they have nothing to do with blasting the a/c: you know that's not eco friendly. To hear my tips, read more
A few years ago, I watched a contractor install a swamp cooler (also known as an evaporative cooler) on an elderly woman's roof. Her home, which had previously been uncomfortably, even dangerously hot, was given immediate relief when the evaporative cooler was turned on. Evaporative coolers work by drawing exterior air into special pads soaked with water. The air is cooled by evaporation, and then circulated throughout a room or home. Evaporative coolers, which work best in hot, dry climates, are significantly less expensive and more energy efficient to run than air conditioning units. Do you have one in your home?
For anyone seeking an eco chic lifestyle, air conditioning is a conflict, to say the least. If it were easy to acclimate ourselves to living a sweat-filled life, we would have, long ago. But, it turns out that the ability to control the climate indoors is a big life-saver when it comes to being comfortable and getting things done. One way to cut back on air conditioning use in the Summer is to plant trees, shrubbery, and vines near (or on) your home. They'll produce natural shade, and soak up the rain, not to mention look good while doing it. For a start, try growing Virginia Creeper vines or cheap grapevines.
Dwell recently featured the Lighthouse, a London-area show home by British architects Sheppard Robson, which uses the sky as a resource for temperature control. The primary feature of the house is its windcatcher, "the ultra-modern descendant of an ancient Middle Eastern cooling tool," which allows residents to "directly manipulate the flow of air into and out of the home," (hot and cool air) by opening and closing its shuttered apertures, depending on the season — without the use of electricity.
The building's structure also gets natural, floor-to-ceiling daylight, light wood, white walls, and plenty of glass which keep it bright, and the traditional placement of sleeping and living quarters have been switched, so that high traffic areas (living areas) get maximum exposure to its large windows and rooftop light shaft upstairs. Once a few of its kinks are worked out, the Lighthouse’s total energy bills will be roughly $60 a year. While "the Lighthouse" is certainly a fitting reflection of Sheppard Robson's efficient use of light, its name is also a metaphor for the structure, which serves as a beacon, guiding the way for energy-efficient residential design.
Due to the nice weather, summer may be the time where you actually get out and and get moving. However, along with summer comes some culprits for sabotaging you efforts at staying healthy. Canada.com has identified the top ten most notorious culprits:
AIR CONDITIONING: When eating out, consider sitting on a patio rather than in a cool restaurant. You'll be less likely to order a calorie-laden special of the day like lasagna while outdoors but while dining inside a cool eatery, it might be appealing.
BARBECUES: Hamburgers, hot dogs and big hunks of meat are traditional barbecue offerings potentially providing an excess of fat and calories. And these days, because of the ease of firing up a gas grill, barbecues can often be a daily occurrence. Raise the nutritional quotient by including plenty of grilled vegetables or barbecuing some fish on a regular basis.
BEER: While drinking beer on a hot day is not a new activity, it's the amounts consumed that may affect health. Research shows that in excess, the beverage may really contribute to a beer belly and it's this location where fat raises disease risks.
COOLERS: Mixed drinks and bottled coolers can pack a mighty caloric wallop. A couple of servings can set you back about 500 calories. Alternatively, the same amount of alcohol combined with soda water or a diet mixer is less than half the total.
ICED COFFEE BEVERAGES: These popular beverages may seem just a little richer than a cooling iced latte made with low-fat milk. But at 500 calories a pop for some offering topped with whipped cream, the caloric totals can surpass those you might consumer at a meal.
Ice cream, salads and social events made the list too, so read more
OK people, just because you're sweating, does NOT mean you are burning calories. Just because you're not sweating doesn't mean you're not burning calories. Caloric burn depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise.
The environment plays a big role in how much you sweat. If you exercise in an air-conditioned room, you will not sweat so much because the cold dry air works to quickly evaporate your sweat. Your body can easily cool the heat generated by your exercise.
Exercising in a hot and humid room will just exhaust you faster, and you won't burn as many calories because you will stop working out sooner.
On the same note, when you go into a sauna, you're not burning calories - you are merely sweating. Any weight loss incurred is likely to be water-loss from perspiration, and will be regained as soon as you drink fluids.
Sweating is simply a way to cool your body so you don't overheat. Some people prefer to workout in ways that make them sweat, because they feel like they've worked hard. Other folks like to sweat because it's cleansing, and releases toxins from their body.
So now we know, a good workout and a good sweat do NOT go hand in hand.