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10 Ways to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning in Your Home

When it starts getting hot in summer and your home does not have AC, how can you keep cool? Here are 10 ways to help stay cooler when the temp rises!

It may sound strange especially if you happen to live in a place that has hot summers, to not have a good air conditioning system installed in your home, but plenty of people get by just fine without it. There are some pretty effective tricks you can use to stop the mercury rising too high indoors and it doesn't cost much to do it either.

Check out these 10 handy ways to stay cool indoors when it gets hot outside:

  1. Shade Your Home:

    By placing awnings to cast shade on those south and west facing walls that soak up the bulk of the sun's heat during the day, you can help prevent your house heating up so much and that heat radiating inside.
  2. Fit Blinds to Windows:

    Similar to the first point, you can help reduce the amount by which your indoor space heats up by covering windows that get the sun with blinds and even thick curtains. The idea here is to keep your home's windows from acting like a greenhouse by blocking the sun's rays from entering.
  3. Paint Your External Walls White:

    If your walls have a flat surface or are already painted, change the color to pure white to maximize your walls' ability to reflect heat. Dark walls will absorb heat and the darker they are the more heat they will absorb. Conversely, the lighter they are the better they will reflect heat and help prevent the house from warming up.
  4. Keep Doors and Windows Closed During the Day:

    Yup, by keeping the main openings to your home closed when the sun is up, you'll prevent a lot of that heat entering your indoor space and heating it up.
  5. Cook Outdoors:

    Following on from that last point, summer is a great time to get your barbecue or outdoor grill out of the shed and put to use. If you're grilling out on the patio, all that heat generated stays outside. That's much better than having your stove or oven pump out its heat into your kitchen and force the indoor temperature up by several degrees!
  6. Install LED Lighting:

    If you're still using incandescent light bulbs in your home, you are not just wasting electricity but helping to keep your rooms warmer than they need to be. While Thomas Edison might not be too happy at you ditching them, his marvelous invention wasted as much as 90% of the energy it used as heat, not light! Modern CFL bulbs are much more efficient and use way less power, but best of all are the latest LED light bulbs that use even less and convert nearly all the energy they use into light, not heat.
  7. Wear Fewer Clothes:

    It may sound pretty obvious, but when you're indoors, do you really need to wear those long pants and that shirt? Go for lightweight shorts and tops made of linen or pure cotton as these feel cooler and allow your body to breathe. The less you wear, the cooler you will feel as body heat is trapped by any clothing. So  cover your modesty with lightweight underwear or best of all, ditch the clothes if you dare!
  8. Use Ceiling Fans and Regular Fans:

    While fans only push air around a room and don't actually cool it in any way, a breeze maker WILL make you feel cooler by evaporating your sweat. In summer, you should also set ceiling fans to rotate anti-clockwise as this creates a more effective chilling effect on people (believe it or not!) while regular fans should oscillate to keep everyone in a room cool in turn.
  9. Use Extractor Fans:

    When you're cooking in the kitchen, make sure you have your extractor fan on to extract the hot cooking air out of the house. Similarly, when taking a bath or shower, use the bathroom's fan to carry that hot, steamy air outside. If you are running computers in a room, say a home office or study, you might also want to consider installing an exhaust fan in that room. That's to expel the heat all those electrical devices throw out, which can be quite considerable and can heat up a room in no time at all during summer.
  10. Buy an Evaportative (Swamp) Cooler:

    Lastly, you can really make a difference to the inside temperature by running an evaporative cooler or two indoors. These devices chill dry air by forcing a breeze across a damp membrane to create cooling by evaporation, hence their name. They use a fraction of the power of air conditioning, but can drop the temperature in a hot room by as much as 30 degrees! They only work in low humidity (see my article on ventless coolers for more details).

Just because it's summer and the thermometer is telling you that you should be spending more time at the pool than indoors doing anything doesn't mean you have to suffer an overly hot house.

Making some often inexpensive improvements to your home can help it cut the amount of heat it absorbs during the day and radiates at night to make the indoor temperature a lot more comfortable than you'd believe possible without running an air conditioner.

Go ahead and try some or all of the above strategies for a cooler living experience and you might just be surprised at the difference you can make to the comfort level inside your home during summer.


Posted on Thu, Jan 22 2015 in Air Conditioning | 4 Comments

Previous Post: What is a Ventless Air Conditioner?

4 thoughts on "10 Ways to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning in Your Home"

Lee Bilberry says:
April 6, 2018

10 ways to stay cool for the summer, thank you for sharing that information. I also read that a lighter colored roof also help in decreasing heat penetration. The evaporated cooler seems to be a much healthier system to have an cost effective.
I do live in a area where humidity does seem to be an issue yet I'm working on a solution for that thank you again.

Cook says:
May 27, 2016

Hey Karen, it depends on the model you get. The larger capacity ones have 7-8 gallon tanks that last for 12 hours or more on the low setting so you wouldn't run out overnight. Make sure you check the tank capacity on the model you choose.

The Honeywell CL30XC has a 7.9 gallon tank and it can run a whole day before needing a refill. They're on sale at Amazon right now.

Karen says:
May 27, 2016

I like the idea of a "swamp cooler" I live in Cheshire, CT. Question is – if you have to empty every 2 hrs. – then it wouldn't be good for sleeping time. Any thoughts on that?

Angelina says:
April 9, 2016

Those are some great tips, thanks so much for writing them. As our home has no AC, my family has always suffered with the heat in summer indoors but this year we're taking some of your advice to heart and definitely buying a swamp cooler for some low cost cooling! Thanks again!