Modern Homemakers

Heatwave Hacks: How Families Can Stay Cool Under Fire

As the heat index in the Philippines continues to rise, we look into ways that families can keep cool this summer.

This heatwave is no joke. Schools have even suspended classes to prevent teachers and their students from getting heatstroke. And as much as we’d like to leave the aircon on 24/7, this will cause our electric bill to skyrocket!

But did you know that there are more efficient ways to beat the heat? Besides staying hydrated, here are some hacks to fight the heatwave.

beat the heat: girl working

1. Use electric fans to circulate cold air.

When we activate the aircon, we program it to cool the room to a certain temperature. To do so, it activates the compressor—the part of the aircon that helps “cool” the air.

But with the heatwave here, the aircon “works” harder on its own, which is why turning on at least one electric fan or two will help circulate the air to maintain the room’s temperature. With the cold air staying around longer, the aircon won’t have to leave the compressor running.

Although fans use electricity, their consumption is far less in the long run.

2. Clean your aircon and install a filter.

Cleaning the aircon at least once a week is a must, especially if we have pets at home. That’s because all the fur and pet dander can get caught in the machinery. It may not do too much damage at first, but once it accumulates, it’ll destroy the aircon’s inner workings. But by installing an aircon filter sheet, we cut the amount of time cleaning from once a week to once a month. They sell those filters in most hardware stores.

To clean the mesh, some prefer using warm water, dish soap, and an old toothbrush. The soft bristles work wonders on the dust that builds up over time!

3. Change the linens from dark color to light color.

Black absorbs all of light’s colors, which can make the room hotter. Swap them out for brighter colors like white or any pastel color to let the light “bounce out.”

Doing so also prevents the sofa, the chairs, and the other places from getting “too hot” to sit on. While this means making dirt stains more obvious, it’s nothing a little soap and water can’t clean off if it’s still fresh.

4. Install dehumidifiers.

What makes the place extra hot is the moisture that accompanies the heat. Given that the Philippines is humid, it’s difficult for anyone to breathe in. A humid climate is also the perfect set-up for bacteria to grow and infect people.

Although there are a lot of dehumidifiers to buy online, we can make our own by using plastic buckets that they sell biscuits in and drill small holes at the base. Then, fill it halfway with rock salt and let it start collecting liquid from the air. We can throw the water into the toilet’s water closet or use the water to rehydrate our plants.

For smaller areas, some use small dishes filled with baking soda. It’s cheap, easy to find, and hassle-free to throw away. Once the baking soda becomes solid, that’s a sign to change it out.

5. Juice “watery” fruits and vegetables!

Watermelon, apples, strawberries, oranges, and cucumbers—these fruits and vegetables have the highest “water” content. They’re perfect for rehydrating us when we need to stay cool! Because they also contain antioxidants like Vitamin C, our bodies will be more prepared to deal with heat-related issues and less prone to stress from the heat (Sahin and Kucuk, 2003; Cumming, et. al, 2014; Pullar, Carr, and Vissers, 2017).

And if you’re busy or in a hurry, you can even buy ready-made fruit juices to beat the heat!

6. Declutter the house!

Heat gets trapped in all the clutter we have stored in boxes so it’s time to clean them out! Old clothes, old plates, and maybe a few old toys…if nobody else is using them then, it’s time to rehome them to someone else who could.

Doing so not only helps them but allows air to pass around the house too. Besides, several Facebook groups help people declutter their homes.

7. Avoid frying food!

Our kids may love fried chicken and we may love lechong kawali but not in this heat! Deep frying in an enclosed space traps the smell and the oils in the air which attract all the bugs we hate seeing. Oils, when they waft into the air also absorb more heat, making the place feel hotter than it already is.

Instead, go for summery fruits and vegetables, grill some meat, and make yourself delicious salads and colorful meals!

8. Install exhaust fans.

Exhaust fans are not just to air out the bathroom when someone decides to leave a smelly number two! They also help in removing the heat from the bathroom, which also reduces the amount of mold building up if we’re too busy and can’t always clean the bathroom.

Some homes install the exhaust fan in the ceiling while others plug it in a window for easy access to clean and repair.

Every little hack counts to fight off the heatwave!

According to PAG-ASA, the forecasted heat index (the heat we feel when it’s already humid and hot) is at an all-time high of around 42 degrees. That’s not something we want to subject our families to! After all, some family members, especially those with heart problems, are more prone to heart attacks and strokes because the heatwave makes it harder for their bodies to adjust!

These hacks may seem little in the short run but they will cool the house down and make sure everyone can enjoy the summer.


Cumming, K. T., Raastad, T., Holden, G., Bastani, N. E., Schneeberger, D., Paronetto, M. P., Mercatelli, N., Østgaard, H.N., Ugelstad, I., Caporossi, D., Blomhoff, R. & Paulsen, G. (2014). Effects of vitamin C and E supplementation on endogenous antioxidant systems and heat shock proteins in response to endurance training. Physiological Reports2(10), e12142.

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients9(8), 866.

Sahin, K., & Kucuk, O. (2003). Heat stress and dietary vitamin supplementation of poultry diets.

More ways to fight the Heatwave?

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