Oklahoma is entering the hottest part of the summer with no relief in site in the near future. Staying cool during these sweltering days can be a challenge. There are a number of things you can do to stay cool in the summer without using air conditioning, or at least without using it too much. Check out these cool ideas I found from the AARP for saving on the cost of air conditioning.

Draw the Curtains or Install Window Awnings

Especially on the sunny side of your house. Room temperatures can rise by as much as 10 to 20 degrees from direct sunlight. Using drapes with the thick liners on them will help keep the room cool as well. Of course, the curtain on the window at the end of the sofa has to remain half open so Tooter can keep an eye on what is going on outside.

Turn Off Lights whenever possible

They produce a lot more heat than you think, plus they're obviously using even more electricity. David gets mad at me because I am constantly shutting off the lights behind him. There is no need to have the light on in the kitchen if we are in the living room, right?

Avoid using the stove or oven during the summer

This one is my favorite! Grilling outdoor is always fun (especially since the men usually do the cooking) and there are less dishes to do. Also, eating cold foods and drinks helps to lower your internal body temperature. I love cold watermelon on a hot day! What is your favorite summer food?

Think twice before opening the windows.

I like to open the windows early in the morning to let the cool morning air in but, if the temperature outside is warmer than inside, leave them closed. Most homes tend to keep warm air out and cool air in. I have an indoor/outdoor thermometer in my kitchen and if the temperature outside is below 73 degrees I throw all the windows open to get a nice cross breeze. I love the smell of the fresh air.

Damp cloths in front of a fan.

My grandmother used to use this trick. She would soak a dish towel in cold water and hang it in front of her fan. When the cloth dried out she would soak it again and place it on the fan. If you add a little Febreeze to the cloth it will add a nice smell to the house. David and I live in a home that has no central air, I have always wondered how our grandparents survived the summer without central air.

Run your ceiling fans

Make sure they are rotating the correct way. You should see a switch on the motor above the blades. You want them pushing the air down in the summer and pulling it up in the winter. After moving the switch turn the fan on and you should be able to feel the air moving.

Do you have any tricks for staying cool on these miserably hot days? Share them with us.