The Internet is positively lousy with tips on how to stay cool at home during the dog days of summer without relying on ye olde air conditioner (as much). I’ve addressed the topic before and, from personal experience I’ve found that a combination of portable fans, embracing my inner-naturist (I’m not drawing the blinds just to keep the blazing sun out), cold weather-fantasizing, and keeping properly hydrated is key to keeping AC abuse to a minimum.

With the weather currently hot-as-Hades in my neck of the woods, I’ve begun to yet again examine my love/hate relationship with modern air conditioning and the techniques I employ to keep my habit to a comfortable level where I don’t fear suffering a cataclysmic heart attack when I receive my July electric bill. I’ve been focusing a lot on the hydration aspect of things this time around — I suppose last summer was the summer of Dyson fans and underpants — and how to keep constantly refreshed at home.

I’ve suffered from a couple of gnarly cases of dehydration in the past — during warm stretches of weather, proper fluid intake has never been an automatic reflex of mine although when dining out at restaurants I chug water like its going out of style. When it’s super-hot outside, any reminders to keep the tall, icy glasses of agua a-coming are greatly appreciated.

Frequently, injecting a bit of fun and innovation into the summer hydration routine helps because really, there’s not quite as unexciting — and wasteful — as slugging back bottle after bottle of Aquafina in a sweltering apartment when there are stainless steel ice pop molds and cute polar bear-shaped ice trays out there for the taking.

Below, I’ve rounded up 10 accessories for keeping appropriately chilled at home during long stretches of brutally hot weather. Anything special that you break out during the summer to keep cool-headed and hydrated?

And by the way, a happy 11th birthday to you, air conditioner.

Onyx Ice Pop Mold @ West Elm ($39.95)

On Ice Beverage Dispenser @ Terrain ($68)

Tap is Terrific Glass Water Bottle @ Daytrip Society ($15)

Iced Carafe by Rokal VKB @ A+R Store ($32)

Brrrrr Polar Bear Ice Tray @ black + blum ($20)

Flavor Infusing Water Bottle @ UncommonGoods ($15)

The IceOrb by Fusionbrands @ A+R Store ($16)

Reuseable Ice Straws @ Sur La Table ($8.95/set of 6)

Garcia Recycled Tequila Bottle Pitcher @ Crate & Barrel ($24.95)

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Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

9 household hydration helpers for heat waves
As parts of the country enter day three of a heat wave, it's time to consider breaking out the big guns: Ice straws and stainless steel popsicle molds.