There’s no doubt about it, America is addicted to air conditioning. Although US residents account for just 4.5 percent of the global population, the country consumes more energy for AC than the rest of the world combined.
AC does, however, have a big positive social and economic impact, helping to cut absenteeism and boost productivity. With no air conditioning to cool us down in summer, vast areas of the US would come to a standstill.
If such a heavy reliance on AC has you sweating about how you’d survive the summer without it, fear not! Even if the worst happens and your AC breaks, here are ten ways to keep your home cool.
1. Reset Your Ceiling Fans
You might never have paid much attention to the rotation direction of your ceiling fans, but you should if you want to maximize their cooling effect.
Set your fans to run counter-clockwise at a high speed in summer. This small change helps the fan’s airflow to create a fresh breeze that will help you and your home feel cooler.
2. Block Out Daytime Sun
It’s tempting to open the drapes or pull up your blinds to let the light in during the day. But when the temperatures soar, this means you’re also welcoming heat into your home.
While you’re waiting for your AC to be repaired, which you can find out more about here, keeping your curtains closed during the day can make a big impact on how much your house heats up. Then, when the temperatures drop in the evening, take advantage of thermodynamics and open your curtains to let the heat out.
In fact, even if your AC is working fine, you should employ this tactic throughout summer as a way to save money on your energy bills.
3. Use Doors to Control the Airflow
As well as blocking out light, you can control airflow throughout your house by keeping doors closed during the day.
Closing off rooms when they’re not in use, such as bedrooms during the day, will help prevent daytime heat from entering. Then, when the evening comes, open your doors and windows to let the cooler air flow through your home.
4. Create a Sea Breeze
Wondering how to cool a room fast without AC? Try this fan hack for a DIY air conditioner that’ll transport you to the ocean shore in no time.
Position a shallow oven tray full of ice in front of a standing fan. As the ice blocks melt, the air from the fan picks up cold water from their surface, creating a cooling mist.
5. Swap Your Bedding
If you already have trouble sleeping, the heat only serves to make it more difficult to drift off.
But while you’re searching for how to stay cool in the heat of the night, one simple solution is to change your bedding.
Just as brushed cotton and flannel sheets can help keep you warm in winter, Egyptian cotton bedding helps you keep cool in summer. This is because sheets and pillowcases made from this kind of lightweight cotton fabric are much more breathable and stay cooler for longer.
6. Hang Out Your Sheets
While we’re on the subject of sheets, a great way to cool down a room is by hanging a damp sheet in front of an open window once outside temperatures have dropped. You won’t get the same cooling mist effect as the fan hack but it’s a good trick for chilling the air.
7. Heat-Proof Your Bed
Putting slightly damp sheets on your bed can also help you chill out at night. Or, you can cool down your sheets down by placing them in the freezer before bedtime.
Make use of your rubber hot water bottles in summer by sticking them in the freezer for ice packs that won’t melt or stick to your skin. Placing one or two on your sheets and pillows before you hit the sack is a great way to heat-proof your bed.
Another great tip is to keep a bowl or bucket of cold water near your bed, then dip your feet in it whenever you feel hot during the night.
8. Switch Off the Lights
Incandescent light bulbs waste around 90 percent of their energy through the excessive amounts of heat they emit. Getting rid of these and replacing them with eco-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will help to lower your electricity bill and the temperature inside your home.
That said, even CFLs give off some heat. In the height of summer, make the most of the long days and late sunsets by relying on natural light as much as possible.
9. Make Use of Extractor Fans
Cool house ideas don’t have to be complicated. One way to stop temperatures rising inside your home is to make use of extractor fans in your bathroom and kitchen.
While a cold shower is more refreshing in summer, if anyone in the family does have a hot shower, make sure to turn the bathroom fans on first. The same goes for using the exhaust fan in your kitchen, which helps to pull the heat away from the stove and out of your home when you’re cooking.
10. Get Barbecuing
Of course, a better idea might be to forgo using your oven and stove at all in the summer. After all, if it already feels like 100 degrees at home, turning on a 400-degree oven will only make things worse.
Instead, why not make use of your barbecue set and get grilling outside? Not only do you avoid heating up the house, but you’ll also get to enjoy the seasonal novelty of dining alfresco!
No Air Conditioning? No Problem! How to Stay Cool in the Heat
No air conditioning might seem like a nightmare situation as summer approaches.
But, thanks to these great tips, if your cheap AC breaks down on you, you’ll know exactly how to stay cool while also saving energy and money.
For more ways to keep cool in the heat, here are the top summertime must-haves for warm climates.