10 Ways to Cool Your Home Without Central AC

Not everyone in the U.S. has the luxury of central air conditioning systems to help ward off the worst of the dog days of summer. Even if you do, there are days when your AC unit may be on the fritz or in need of repairs. Besides that, running an air conditioner constantly causes your electric bill to go sky high.

When the time comes for you to beat the heat without the benefit of central AC, these 10 ways might be of help.

  1. Use Blackout Curtains
    These curtains provide a layer of insulation on your windows that prevents the heat from coming inside your home and taking up permanent residence.
  1. Close Doors to Unused Rooms
    Focus all your cooling efforts during the day on rooms that are used most frequently by the family. Close off the doors to all other rooms so that precious cool air isn’t wasted on unused spaces.
  1. Make Your Own Air Conditioner
    There are a variety of DIY air conditioners on the market that offer limited success. Trial and error may net you one of the winners. Of course, some people swear by the method of placing a shallow dish of ice cold water in front of a fan for moving cool air through a warm room.
  1. Create a Cross Breeze in Your Home
    Open windows on opposite sides of the home to create a path of airflow throughout the home. Improve the flow of cool air coming into your home by placing a box fan in one window blowing into the room to draw in cool air and the opposite window (blowing out of the home) to remove warm air.
  1. Hydrate
    There aren’t enough good things that can be said about hydrating to help you keep your cool no matter what the weather or the temperature inside your home is doing. Drink ice cold water and see what a difference it makes.
  1. Install a Whole House Fan
    Whole house fans work by drawing fresh, cool air into your home through open windows on the lowest floor of your home and expelling warm, stale air through vents in the attic. It is an efficient way to cool your home and can, in some areas, eliminate your need for additional cooling, like air conditioning. An attic fan can help to cool a hot attic as well.
  1. Use Cooling Pillows and Sheets
    There are a variety of gel pillows designed to have a cooling impact while you sleep. Additionally, there are sheets on the market designed to wick moisture and heat away from the body, so you sleep cooler at night.
  1. Cool Yourself
    Use a cool, damp washcloth at pressure points (wrist, neck, etc.) to help your entire body feel cooler.
  1. Cook Sparingly and Wisely
    Consider alternatives to cooking during the hottest summer evenings, opting instead for microwave meals, crockpot preparations, meals served cold (salads and cold cuts, for example), or grilling outside your home.
  1. Switch Your Bulbs
    Rosie on the House did an experiment to determine which light bulbs burned hottest and which burned coolest. Believe it or not, there is a wide swing, 170 degrees per bulb between the hottest (halogen bulbs at 279 degrees) and the coolest (LED bulbs at 109 degrees). Incandescent bulbs were the second biggest losers at 215 degrees and CFL bulbs weighed in at 148 degrees. The more bulbs you have in your home, the more they can increase the temperature inside your home.

Little things to help you keep your cool can make a huge difference when you don’t have central air conditioning during the summer. Keep these 10 ways to cool down in mind if you find yourself in need of a little relief from the summer heat.