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Twenty-one Natural and Cheap Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

Updated on November 21, 2016

Cool Down When It Gets hot

Better real late than never. Since we're in the middle of summer with the hottest days of the year, here are some cheap and natural ways to stay cool this summer without raising your utility bills on electrical costs. Don’t let them sweat, when you can cool down with these cost-effective ways all season long. Stay tuned this late August for my autumn health hub to bring these seasonal hubs come in full circle around Labor Day Weekend.

You can keep the sun out by drawing your blinds during day and opening them at night

How to cool down naturally

Expand Fan Base and use the AC

Moving air accelerates sweat evaporation, when fans are most effective for cooling people directly. Don’t overlook your open basement doorway as a fan location, although ceiling and window units do the job. Place a fan facing your living space to fill cellar air into the floor, unless your home has high radon levels or mold. (Note: When the heat index “feels like” and reaches 99 Degrees Fahrenheit, fans stop being effective.) Fans help circulate air and make you feel cooler, even in an air-conditioned house. Be sure to clean fans regularly, if you’re bothered by allergies or asthma. If you have more than one fan, and it’s cooler outside than inside, position two fans in your windows, so one pushes hot air out, and the other brings cool air in. To decrease your energy bill between 6-18%, set your AC at 78 degrees instead of 72; if 78 sounds warm to you, don’t worry since it’ll be plenty cool when it’s hotter outside or 90 degrees.

Use cooler light bulbs and replace them

An incandescent bulb radiating 90% of its energy as heat is a “little heater.” Replace them with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit 75% less heat. So whenever possible, switch electronics like computers to sleep mode, and realize that dishwashers, TVs, computers, and other applause generate heat, so limit their use.

Hit the Shower

Anything that puts water in touch with your skin cools you down, because that water evaporates, which stimulates sweating. Try taking a cool shower and then relax by drying yourself in front of a fan —but don’t towel off completely. Take frequent baths or showers with tepid or cool water. You can achieve the evaporative effect by misting with a spray bottle or applying a cool cloth on your neck.

Turn the tap on, bring water spray bottles and use sports drinks

It almost goes without saying to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. So drink lots of plenty of water! If you’re tired of plain water, try infusing them with foods that contain water—a medium apple, a watermelon wedge, cheddar cheese, cooked broccoli, roasted and skinless chicken breasts, coffee and tea. You can make your own flavored refreshing drink by adding some fresh fruit slices, herbs and veggies to your water. Orange with mint and cucumber with lemon are two refreshing combos, since infusing them in easy. Slice the elements you want for flavor, put them in pitcher with water, and keep it in fridge. Fill spray bottles with water and keep it in fridge for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors. By drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes, combat dehydration.

Window Shields and drawing blinds

About 40% of your home’s heat comes in through windows, especially those facing east and west. Curtains, shades and blinds should closely fit windows and be a light reflective color to block it. Try installing Energy Star windows with a low E-coating which deflects heat, or an easier more is to buy a clear, heat control window film from a home improvement store like Home Depot and apply it your standard windows. Keep the curtains drains and blinds down, if you’re not at home—this stop sunlight from getting in and heating up your home. Simply drawing the blinds during the day can really cut down on heat inside the house— a simple fix that many people forget. White or light colored drapes are the most effective at blocking out head; so ditch the dark shades and get a lighter set for summer.

Cotton bedding and pillowcase freezing

So keep cool with cotton sheets and loose-fitting PJs, since many of us have trouble nodding off in a room warmer than 75%F. If it’s still hot out, when you’re going bed, stick your pillowcase in the freezer for a bit before you go to sleep. That you’ll you’ll fall asleep on a nice, cool pillow.

Outdoor Exercise

Take advantage of cooler time (early morning/late evening) by altering your outdoor exercise patterns. Scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead of running or decrease level of extortion, if you can’t change the time for your workout.

To cool your home during summer nights, open your windows to catch a light breeze

On the cheap

1. Go to the library.
You can read free books, magazines, wifi, and surf the Internet with free air conditioning all day at the library than at hone instead. If you have kids, check out programs your library has to offer this summer like story tome and book clubs.

2. See Matinee Movies
Movie theaters pump air conditioning. If you’re planning to see a new movie, see a matinee, when the tickets are cheaper. You’ll get out of the heat while the sun’s shining.

3. Wear light colors on loose-fitting linen and cotton clothing (and use sunscreen)
Like dark colors do, light colors reflect light instead of absorbing it. So why sunscreen? While wearing light colors will keep you cooler with light-fitting clothing, they’re not as effective at blocking the sun’s harmful rays from your skin. Cotton and linen clothes will keep you cooler than synthetics, which makes you sweat. So you remain protected by considering applying a daily lotion that contains SPF 30 and dress accordingly.

4. Eat Strategically and frozen water bottles

Drinking and eating cold things helps us cool down. If you eat spicy foods, it can also help chill us out, because they induce sweating. A few frozen water bottles in the freezer can do a lot. Put one in your bed with you, when you sleep at n right, and one behind your neck, when you’re watching TV. Bring it to drink—if you’re going out and about—slowly, leaving you with something extra cold to sip on. You’ll have a supply of cold water with you as the ice melts.

5. Windows Open at night and cross currents
Wait until evening to open windows to let cool air in, instead of opening them during the day, which makes your house hotter. Often people wonder why it doesn’t seem to help much on a hot day, when the open the window closest to them. Opening windows across the room from one another, you can create a wind-tunnel effect that will cool you down, when one window will offer a slight breeze.

6. No cooking in oven and cook outside
Plan for meals that only use stove top, microwave or grill instead of using the oven, which can drastically increase heat in kitchen. When you use your oven, it’s going to quickly transform your kitchen into a sauna. Consider cooking outside instead on hot days. Do you really need an excuse to fire up the grill in the summer?

7. Cold lotions

To use on hot, overtired feet, try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the fridge.

8. Don’t overuse the AC.
The difference between a fan and an air conditioner are pretty dramatic, while a fan does use electricity. An average AC consumes about 900kWh per month, whereas a fan consumes about a tenth of that—a cost savings of more than $100 per month. Ask yourself, if flipping on a fan and putting on a pair of shorts will be just as good, before you crank you the AC.

9. Good thermostats
You’ll waste big bucks to cool you home when you’re not around with old school thermostats keep the temperature constant all day long. Good programmable thermostats can let you set to turn the AC off when you go to work, or raise the temperature a little after you’ve gone to bed. If you have one, take 10 minute to set it up to save money. If you don’t have one, invest on purchasing one.

10. Portable fans
Use small, portable battery-powered fans. There’s versions that you can attach a water bottle to it to spray a cooling mist.

11. Ceiling Fans
Set up your ceiling fan correctly, since most fans have 2 settings. The first creates an updraft, which is useful in the winter months to displace warm air that has risen to the ceiling. The second for summertime use that pushes air down, creating a cooling breezing. Check to see if it’s the right setting during the summer months to ensure your fan is doing its job.

12. Garden wisely
In the summer, you can use your garden to your advantage. You can shave a few degrees off your indoor temperatures by strategically planting trees to limit light through windows. You’ll provide a little buffer between your home and sun by allowing ivy to crawl across your walls outside, similarly. When the temperature inside imply gets too unbearable, a nicely landscaped backyard that provides plenty of shade will give you a cool place to retire to.

13. Send the heat somewhere

Your attic is probably full of hot air rising right now. It can cause your air conditioner to work over time, when a mass of hot air above your head can warm the upper levels of your house. A simple way to cool things down is installing an attic fan to exhaust this air.

14. AC seals and check-up

Don’t let the cool air escape. Your AC can do double duty in the summer with leaky doors and windows. An inexpensive way to trap cool air is caulking around windows and weatherstripping around doors. All sorts of gunk like leaves and dust can clog your AC over time. It can make your AC much less efficient, when this debris can dramatically cut down on air circulation through the machine. For a checkup and cleaning ever couple of years, take it in to a repair shop to ensure that it’s running at its peak efficiency.


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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 21 months ago from Fresno CA

      Great advice. Much appreciated. Good reminders too for those things we already knew but forget when it gets really hot. I'm going right now to put some water bottles in the freezer!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Denise. Enjoy the frozen bottles. Better late than never on positing it. (Hope it passed HP inspection.) Thanks for stopping by and checking it out.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 21 months ago from New York

      Certainly each example is one to be taken to heart. We forget about little things like light bulbs. Now with LED we're about to reduce not only the heat emitted by light bulbs but the electricity used!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Mary for the vote and for commenting.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 21 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips Kristen. Sometimes the simple common sense things can add up to big savings. We try to be attentive to keeping the house cool, cheaply in the summer and a few of these we did not think of and will utilize. Thanks for the tips.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Bill. I'm happy to share this exhausted list of tips for staying cool in the summer, even on the cheap side. I'm glad it's helpful and useful for everyone here on HP.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 21 months ago

      Voted up as useful and interesting.

      We actually used that go the library thing when we lived in an apartment without A/C. Putting a pillow case in a freezer seems crazy but if it can be done in a sanitary manner, why not?

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Poetryman, thanks for stopping by and commenting as always. I owe you a threw comments on your hubs in return. Give it a try and see if you works on a hot summer night!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      great tips, the weather is indeed hot right now. I don't on aircond either

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Peach! I do use the AC from time to time, when I turn off the ceiling fans.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 21 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Kristen, That was great advice and the timing is just right. lol We here in NE PA are having a heat wave. I was surprised to read that cheddar cheese has water in it. I love cheddar cheese. I voted up and useful.

      Blessings to you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Rachel, thanks so much for commenting and stopping by. You learn something new everyday. It's been nice and humid over here in NE Ohio. Stay cool!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

      I like the pillowcase in the freezer idea and frozen water bottles in the bed idea! Great hub!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Flourish! I hope it works!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 21 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Excellent advise. I use the fan and air conditioner together, that way I don't have to set the air conditioner on quite so low.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals. That's what I do too. :-)

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals for stopping by and commenting. That's what I do too on hot summer days. :-)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 21 months ago from England

      lol! we have had our hot weather, it was so hot the pavement was melting! but now we are getting to August and here comes the rain! but never mind, I will keep these ideas in my mind for the next time! great advice!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Nell for commenting and loving the hub. Enjoy the rain! It's going to be a hot week over here!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 21 months ago from England

      lol! thanks Kristen, my brother said, 'I love August' I said 'Er no, it always rains in August'! and yes the forecast is agreeing with me! lol!

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 21 months ago from The Desert

      Great hub! Living in an area where we reach 120 in the summers, and outside temps don't go under 100 for at least three months, we use all of the above mentioned methods, especially the fans (only because "it's a dry heat" and they work, with the AC. :). You got them all! Great job :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Emese for coming by and commenting on this hub. Good for you for doing the fans and AC to stay cool where you live. That's too hot and high for me. LOL

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 21 months ago from Southern Arizona

      Kristen, these are all fabulous tips to help stay cool during the heat of summer. Living in the desert, I've tried most of these, but there were a few that were new to me. Today, it's currently 101 (a cool day for us this time of year). We have a floor fan and our ceiling fans on, plus the AC is set on 80. All of the blinds are drawn. This all helps to keep us cool and keeps our electricity costs down. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Linda. Thanks for the comments on my stay cool for summer hub. My AC is also set on 80 too!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 21 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Common sense tips that I actually need to follow. Thanks, Kristen!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Rebecca! Stay cool this summer!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 21 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Chris for stopping by and commenting on my hub. I owe you a few soon.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 21 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      These are all great tips for staying cool this summer. We have ceiling fans in almost every room and using them certainly helps.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 21 months ago from Peru, South America

      These ideas are very practical for cooling down. My favorite is keeping frozen water bottles in the bed, etc. Thank you!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're very welcome Vespa. And thanks for the follow!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Sheila for stopping by and commenting. Good for you! I have two in my apartment--bedroom and living room-dining room area.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 21 months ago from Northeast United States

      Voted useful and right in time for this hot summer :) Thank you for taking the time in writing this article.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Carrie! So good to hear from you! You're welcome. It took me about a month, give or take.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 21 months ago from East Coast, United States

      Great tips. I remember back in the day when not everybody had AC. The thing to do was place a fan blowing out of an upstairs window. Then open the basement door (hopefully you have a screen door there) . The draft pushes the rising hot air out upstairs, while pulling the cooler basement air up into the house.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Dolores. I live in an apartment with a screen door for my backdoor patio to the balcony. That's about it. Good tips!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 21 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Fine tips to chop down electricity bills in summer and I'm glad I follow most of them. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure. Stay cool this summer!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 20 months ago from Iowa

      Great tips. I always find that sticking my feet in cold water for a few minutes helps to cool me down tremendously.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Deb! Me too, when I had Lake Erie in the backyard of my condo.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All good suggestions. I'm happy to report the heat is gone and we are settling into blessed Fall. :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Bill. Same here--cool morning, warm afternoons and cooler nights. Is it fall yet? LOl

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 20 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      You have some really good advice here for staying cool in these hot summer days. We are replacing our windows and getting blinds on those that don't have any right now. Our ceiling fans have made a big difference too!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      thanks Sheila! good for you

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 19 months ago from Shimla, India

      This is informative

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Akriti.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 18 months ago from Templeton, CA

      Good hints. I used many of them this past summer. I had to save energy on smart days, so I would just take off for the library or do my shopping during those hours when I did not want to use electricity at home and it was just to hot to be at home without running the A/C.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Barbara. Good for you for staying cool this summer. It's been an Indian Summer week over here this week.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Barbara. Good for you for staying cool this summer. It's been an Indian Summer week over here this week.

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