7 Ways to Stay Chill — No AC Required 

by Team eLocal
Light grey and spacious basement area with staircase.

Hot weather can make your living space unbearable if your air conditioner isn't working or you can't afford to install one. Below, you can find out how to stay cool without AC.

What Are Some Ways to Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning?

1. Close Curtains and Windows During the Day

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Closing the windows when your room feels sweltering may seem counterintuitive, but it could actually help stop your room from getting any hotter. Outdoor air is often hotter than indoor air during the warmest part of the day, so shutting the window prevents more warm air from entering your room.

Sunlight shining through your windows can also make your room hotter. Blocking the sunlight using blackout curtains or blinds may not be practical in living rooms or kitchens, but it's a good way to stop your bedroom from overheating during daylight hours.

2. Open Windows at Night

Consider opening windows at night once the temperature outside cools down. This will allow colder air into your room and help you stay cool without AC. Placing a tower fan near the doorway and another fan by the window helps create a cooling cross breeze and can blow hot air out of the window. Don't forget to close the windows in the morning as soon as the temperature rises outside to stop your room from heating up again.

3. Switch Off Indoor Heat Sources

Switching off your central heating during hot weather is a no-brainer, but there are other, less obvious heat sources that could be making your home feel extra hot. Ovens, hobs and washers are common culprits, so you might be better off sticking to cold food and waiting until the evening to do your laundry.

Hairdryers and curling irons can also add significant heat to your room. Light bulbs also generate warmth — especially old-fashioned incandescent bulbs — so it's worth being mindful of turning off the lights when you don't need them.

4. Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Reversing your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise pushes cooler air downwards, creating a more comfortable air temperature directly underneath. Conversely, leaving your fan spinning clockwise can push hot air downwards into your living area, so it's worth reversing your ceiling fan as soon as the temperature outside rises. This tip can also help cool your room down more effectively if you have air conditioning, but it isn't powerful enough to cool your room properly.

5. Use Cooler Bedding

One of the toughest things about living in a home without air conditioning is trying to sleep in a hot bedroom in the summer. High temperatures can make your bed feel sweaty and uncomfortable, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.

Fortunately, you can make your sleeping environment more comfortable by using bedding made from cool, breathable materials like cotton. Consider having a spare pillow to hand to replace your existing pillow if it gets too hot during the night. You can also purchase special mats that react to your body heat to cool you down. Place them on top of your sheets if you're struggling to sleep.

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6. Make a DIY Air Conditioner

If your room is stiflingly hot, you can make your own air conditioner as a makeshift solution. Make a large ice block by freezing water in a plastic container. Alternatively, you could use ice trays to make plenty of regular ice cubes, but they will melt faster than a big block.

Next, place your ice block or cubes in a tray or bowl and put them in front of a desk or column fan. The ice will cool down the air from the fan to make the immediate surroundings more comfortable. This method won't cool an entire room down effectively, but it could make the temperature around your desk, couch or bed more bearable.

7. Retreat to Your Basement

Light grey and spacious basement area with staircase.

Have you noticed that the upper floors of your house tend to feel hotter than downstairs? That's because hot air is less dense than cooler air, causing it to rise. Therefore, you can escape the heat by retreating to the basement if you've tried all the tips above and your house is still uncomfortably hot.

You could also consider sleeping in a ground-floor room if you don't have a basement, as it will likely be cooler than an upstairs bedroom. Removing your mattress from the bed frame and placing it directly on the floor can also help you keep cool by staying as low down as possible.

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