Don't forget that you probably haven't really used it since last summer. Like any other machine, sometimes a really simple cleaning to remove dust and dirt will do wonders for efficiency.
Water from the damp towel evaporates as the hot air moves through it, making the air cooler as it enters your house.
Dampen a sheet (wet it and wring it, or spritz it with a bottle) and use it as your blanket.
Have lots of fruits and veggies with high water content like leafy lettuces, corn on the cob, cucumbers, watermelon, and summer squash.
As for not actually cooling you down, ice cream and ice-cold beer are on the list. (I know, I'm shocked too.) Apparently, "anything ingested that is lower than actual body temperature will initially produce a cooling effect systemically," according to Gerard E. Mullin, the director of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, so these foods don't do much in the way of cooling your body past the 5 mins you take eating it.
Check out more in LifeHacker's Beat the Heat feature!
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