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

Updated on July 26, 2018
Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe knows how to cool down in the summer. Some of these cost-effective ways were tried and true to beat the heat.

Cool Down When It Gets Hot

Summer is officially here. The temperatures will be high with unbearable heat closer to the 90s. Your health could be at risk, if you don't protect yourself from the sun's burning ways. To help prevent dehydration and from receiving other ill health affects, stay hydrated and cool all season long. Don't let them sweat when they can cool down. Check out these twenty-one cheap and natural cost-effective ways to stay cool without paying high amounts on your next utility bill.




Draw Your Blinds at Night

How to Cool Down Naturally

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 evaporating effect by misting with a spray bottle or applying a cool cloth on your neck.

4. 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 a pitcher with water, and keep it in the fridge. Fill spray bottles with water and keep it in the 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 the level of exertion, if you can’t change the time of your workout.

Open Windows for a Light Breeze

On the Cheap

8. 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 home instead. If you have kids, check out programs your library has to offer this summer like story tome and book clubs.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Eat Strategically and Freeze 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.

12. 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 you 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.


13. No Cooking in Oven and Cook Outside


Plan for meals that only use the stove top, microwave, or grill instead of using the oven, which can drastically increase heat in the 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?

14. Cold Lotions

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

15. 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.

16. Good Thermostats
You’ll waste big bucks to cool your 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 minutes to set it up to save money. If you don’t have one, invest in purchasing one.

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

18. Ceiling Fans
Set up your ceiling fan correctly, since most fans have two 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.

19. 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 outside gets too unbearable, a nicely landscaped backyard that provides plenty of shade will give you a cool place to retire to.

20. Send the Heat Somewhere

Your attic is probably full of hot air rising right now. It can cause your air conditioner to work overtime 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.

21. 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 every couple of years, take it into a repair shop to ensure that it’s running at its peak efficiency.


Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

This summer, you can beat the heat and stay cool all season long with these twenty-one cost-effective cheap and natural ways. It would help you save your life if you stay in the shade, let the breeze in, and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids. It would also save your money on your future utility bills every year. So why don't you give it a try, and don't sweat the small stuff today?

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    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're welcome Nyesha. Hope it helps you this summer. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      3 months ago from USA

      You offer some great advice here! Thanks for the tips about cooling down in the summer.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      7 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for stopping by Sky and commenting. Thanks for the link.

    • profile image

      skyfallingyet 

      7 months ago

      I totally agree with you, Great Article, especially about the attic heat. There is a way to use that heat to lower your electric bill and cool your house using an electric dryer. This hack lowers your electric bill 2 ways, 1) it makes it so that the electric is spinning the dryer only and removes the hot air from the attic to dry the clothes and then shoots this hot air out the dryer vent out the side of your house.

      This is so cool, I thought I'd share it with you. https://mwands.com/cut-electric-bill-heat-clothes-...

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      2 years 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.

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Akriti.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 

      2 years ago from Shimla, India

      This is informative

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      thanks Sheila! good for you

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure. Stay cool this summer!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      3 years 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!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      3 years 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.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      3 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Rebecca! Stay cool this summer!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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!

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 

      3 years ago from 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      Emese Fromm 

      3 years 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 :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years 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!

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Flourish! I hope it works!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

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

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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!

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

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

    • Kristen Howe profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Mary for the vote and for commenting.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years 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.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      3 years 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!

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