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5 Ways to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning

Updated on October 18, 2014
Diane Cass profile image

Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.

Sweltering Under the Blazing Sun
Sweltering Under the Blazing Sun | Source

No AC? No Problem!

You don't have to have AC to stay cool during the dog-days of summer. All it takes is a little ingenuity and creativity...and sometimes a little cash helps. Here are 5 things you can do to beat the heat. Some are free, others involve spending a little for a few hours of relief, but all will give you welcome coolness during the hottest part of the day.

Cooling off with a fan and a wet t-shirt
Cooling off with a fan and a wet t-shirt | Source

#1 Cheap Way to Stay Cool

What you will need:

- a fan

- a bathing suit

- a t-shirt

- water

- a towel

Step 1 - Put on your bathing suit with the t-shirt over it.

Step 2 - Take a cold shower and soak yourself thoroughly...don't dry off.

Step 3 - Position the fan to face you while you watch TV and turn it on high. If you have a ceiling fan, position a chair directly underneath it.

Step 4 - Place the towel on the chair or sofa you will be sitting on.

Step 5 - Sit in front of the fan and enjoy a movie or read a book.

Step 6 - Repeat all steps if you get too dry.

This is a fantastic way to stay cool when you have no air conditioning. When I was pregnant, and due, with my first child, it was 105 degrees in the shade and we had no AC. I dreamed up this method of cooling off by necessity and it worked great. If you need to get up and get things done, use a swivel fan or a small portable fan to carry around with you to different rooms as you move around the house.

Previewing the last Harry Potter movie
Previewing the last Harry Potter movie | Source

#2 See a Movie

$ - $$

Movie theaters are always cool. There are usually lots of great movies playing during the summer season, so take advantage of the offerings and go see movie. If you have a second-run theater in your area, you can spend the whole day watching movies and not spend very much money. Our local dollar-theater offers movies for only $.50 cents on Mondays and less than $2 on other days. What a deal! Even if you visit a full-price theater, you will have had a great time and will have kept cool for a couple of hours. Skip the over-priced popcorn and soda to keep the costs down.

A Good Book to Read
A Good Book to Read | Source

#3 Go to the Library


Take a trip to the library. Most libraries are air conditioned, so they are a good location to cool down. Find a quiet corner and curl up with a book from your favorite author. Bring the kids and let them read or participate in children's programs at the library. Listen to books on tape or browse the internet on the libraries computers.

Night at the Museum

Museum Display
Museum Display | Source

Go to a Museum


Museums are air conditioned, and they are fun. Check their website to see if they are hosting any cool events on the day you plan to go. Sometimes you can take part in hands-on discovery programs for the kids, an IMAX film or other fun activities. You will need money for admission. Other additional costs might include lunch, purchase of items at the museum store, or fees for special programs.

Cooling off at Taughannoc Falls, NY
Cooling off at Taughannoc Falls, NY | Source

#4 Find Water


Find any body of water or nearby spray park, fountain or sprinkler. Put on your bathing suit and jump in. Most cities have municipal pools or beaches, but some cities will actually open the spigots on the fire hydrants on hot days. The pools or beaches are usually very low cost to residents, and the fire hydrants are free. Some hotels will open their pools up to the public for a fee. If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, lakes, ponds or rivers, pack up and spend the day in the cool water.

Going Shopping
Going Shopping | Source

#5 Go Shopping!


The mall is a very popular place on a hot day. You can have lunch, window shop at the expensive boutiques, check out the clearance racks at the department stores. Who knows, you may even find a few bargains to make the day worth while. To mitigate your damages, leave your credit card at home. Take out enough cash to have fun with (well, maybe a little more than that) and relax, sipping iced tea at the food court.

What do you do to keep cool on hot days?

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    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      I can remember putting wet washcloths in the freezer. Nothing feels better than an icy washcloth on a hot day! Put it on your head or on your face for almost immediate relief. I also know that if your elbows are cool, the rest of your body is cool. Dunking your elbows in a bowl of cold water feels great! Those of us who grew up before AC was so commonplace learned lots of tricks to keep cool! :)

    • profile image

      bossypants 6 years ago

      It's going to be a hot one, today, so I'm staying in and reading my favorite writers' Squidoo lenses. :) Love the shopping hamster, Diane -- I think that needs to go into your Zazzle store, don't you? And, it was fun to see my favorite cool dog on this lens!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I was going to recommend the library, but you already included that one. It was fun when we were kids to run through the lawn sprinkler getting wet and cool. Guess that would look funny for adults.