This post was originally shared on AllWays Health Partners' provider blog, Best Practice.
Summer is finally in full swing, bringing high temperatures and plenty of sun. Thanks to COVID-19, you're probably home more than usual during the hottest times of the day. This can mean working in the heat if you have no AC or rising utility bills if you're keeping cool all day. Here are some tips on how to stay cool in your home office.
Rethink your windows
If your home office has windows, they’re probably letting in lots of sunlight every day. This can make your home office much hotter and less comfortable as the day goes on. If your windows have blinds, keep them closed during the sunniest parts of the day. For curtained windows, consider replacing the curtains with thermal-backed curtains to significantly reduce the amount of sun coming into the room. The downside to thermal backed curtains is that they often don’t let any daylight in at all. If you prefer to still have some sunlight peeking through your windows without all the heat, try buying and putting heat-reducing film over your windowpanes. It’s quick and easy to install. You can even leave it on in the winter, as it helps keep warmth inside when the weather gets cold.
Don’t underestimate fans
Fans can be incredibly helpful for reducing the heat in your home office. If your home office has a ceiling fan, use it. It’s one of the most efficient ways to circulate air in a room, helping you cool down without turning up the AC. If your home office doesn’t have a ceiling fan, consider purchasing a USB fan to place on your desk. USB fans plug right into your computer’s USB port, making them less cumbersome than fans with long wires that have to be plugged into an outlet. However, if you have one of those fans, you may want to try placing it in an open window facing outside. This will help pull hot air out of your office.
Turn off electronics when you can
Electronic devices produce a lot of heat, and this heat can build up throughout your home office if you have a lot of devices on at once. Consider turning off electronics you don’t need or only need occasionally. Don’t just push the “off” button. Turn them off at the power source by unplugging them completely. Not only does this reduce heat and help you use less AC, but it also saves energy.
Staying cool in your home office involves more than just your office space. No matter how cool your office is, you’ll still feel uncomfortable and have trouble focusing if you aren’t hydrated. It can be easy to forget to drink enough water over the course of a busy day, but there’s a few strategies you can use to make sure you drink more water:
- Use self-check-ins. A few times a day, ask yourself if you’ve had enough to drink today. Many people can mistake hunger and thirst if they don’t pay attention to their body or how much they drink.
- Set alarms on your phone. If forgetfulness is a problem, setting alarms that tell you to drink water several times a day can be a great way o make sure you drink enough.
- Swap out a sugary beverage for water. You may prefer soda and sugary juice over water, but while they provide some hydration, the high sugar content is bad for your health. If you find water too boring, add a slice of lemon to give it more flavor.