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Ideas for Staying Cool In The Heat - Tips For Keeping Your House Cool With No Air Conditioning

Updated on September 29, 2010

As I write this article, I’m sitting in my living room and it is VERY hot and humid! It’s around 80 degrees but the humidity has got to make it in the mid-90’s. Not a great feeling. I have been procrastinating putting in my AC unit because a.) it costs around $75 a month in the summer to operate and b.) it is really heavy and I need to bug a male friend to come over and install it. I'm not sure if I'll personally be able to get through the summer without my A.C., but I definitely think it would be possible where I live. For now, I'm putting off installing the unit for as long as I can stand it!

I thought I’d share some tips for staying cool in the heat and how you can go about keeping your house cool with no air conditioning!

Benefits of Window Fans - Tips & Tricks

Obviously, you’re going to need a fan. This will circulate dead, hot air and definitely help you feel a bit cooler. My favorite thing to use is a window fan; so easy to install! My window fan has two fans in it. One blows air in from the outside, the other blows hot air out of my home to the outside.

The cost of operating a window fan is so cheap compared to running an AC.The trick with using a window fan is that sometimes it can do more harm than good – that is if it’s REALLY hot and humid outside. Why would you want to bring that air into your home? On a day like today, the window fan works fine because the air outside has a brisk feel to it. On other days, it’s only beneficial to use window fans at night to cool your home down. They can actually get almost as chilly as an Air Conditioner, it just depends on the weather outside. I love using them at night, because all the cool air will be in the house in the morning and will help keep things cool for the hottest part of the day, the afternoon. One tip is if it’s really hot inside your house and really hot outside, simply change both of the fan’s settings to output so all the hot air leaves your room and goes outside.

Creating A Cross Breeze to Cool Down

If you don’t have a window fan, the other thing you could do is simply open a window or a screened door to allow a cross breeze. If the windows are adjacent, this won’t do much good. I like to keep my living room porch door open slightly and the window in my kitchen open – this creates a good cross breeze between the two because of the layout of my house. Obviously, the same concept applies to using a window fan – if the air outside is ridiculously hot, it is in your best interest to keep your windows and doors shut because that just allows in even hotter air.

Mist Yourself with Water

Another thing that I do is spray Evian water (it is sold in an aerosol can) over my body and face. It has no chemicals in it and is very pure – great for your skin. If you don’t want to spend $8 on a container of Evian pressurized water, simply fill a spray bottle up with spring water or even tap water and use it the same way. By spraying a thin layer of water on your skin, it helps cool you down similar to how your sweat cools you down by evaporating.

Portable Mini Fans

Another awesome item is a portable spray bottle water fan. It’s a mini fan that allows you to mist yourself. You’ve probably seen them at amusement parks, sporting events, etc. They are really awesome for indoors or outside. They really do work.

Other Great Tips to Cool Down in The Heat!

  • Drink lots of ice water. This is one of the easiest ways to cool your body down, fast! I like to keep frozen water bottles in the freezer and then drink them throughout the day. Hint: Before you freeze water bottles, drink about 2 oz of the water so when the ice expands, it won't deform your water bottle.
  • How do you dress? For the ladies, wearing nylon or lycra under-garments can get really warm. Cotton is best for the summer. Men, same for you although most guys where cotton under garments, anyways.
  • If the sun beats directly onto a certain room in your house, it’s going to heat up faster! Keep the shades drawn to eliminate extra heat.
  • If you’re working in the kitchen and don’t need the sink while you’re preparing a meal, fill it with cold water. Depending on the size of your kitchen, this can REALLY help cool things down while you’re slaving away over a hot stove.

Good luck staying cool and beating the heat this summer! Make sure to share your tips on staying cool in the heat and keeping your house cool with no air conditioning in the comments box below.

Recipe Ideas for Hot and Humid Days

Meal Ideas for Hot Days - tons of free yummy recipes and meal ideas for those hot summer night and days! No cooking required. Keep your kitchen cool.

My Handpicked Products from to Help You Stay Cool!


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    • profile image

      moes 6 years ago

      If you spray water all the time on a.c.unit.Over time it will lime up.

    • profile image

      Mr Kool 7 years ago

      I'm an Air Conditioning Service man and have been experimenting with ways to make a/c cheaper to run.

      I found if you can take the a/c drain water and spray it over the outdoor a/c coils, it raises the efficiency of the system and lowers the temp of the air coming into your house, making it run cooler and less time, saving you some dollars. So run the drain into a "condensate" pump, run the 3/8 clear plastic tubing up and connect to 3 misting nozzles and placed them on, but pointing away from the coil, the pump plug or recepticle needs to be wired so that when the unit comes on, so does the pump.

    • profile image

      ethan 8 years ago

      can i keep my central air onn 69 in late april and may

      i turned off the furnace tell next winter

    • chicamom85 profile image

      chicamom85 8 years ago

      great hub, our air conditioner broke this year. I like the idea of the window fan.

    • Morris Streak profile image

      Morris Streak 8 years ago from UK

      You're right in that the window fans' comfort depends on how hot or cool the air is outside your house. It would really be cheaper that an air conditioner, especially on those hot nights that won't seem to end. We're all trying to find ways to cut down on consumption and cost, so this solution is appealing. I guess the same pros and cons also apply to the open windows as a solution to the heat. By the way, I'm into home improvement, particularly into windows, which is why I found your hub.

    • Joel Marison profile image

      Joel Marison 8 years ago from Singapore

      I like to sleep by an open window. The fresh air is so great, it keeps me close with the nature.

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 8 years ago

      It is about 10 degrees warmer here than it usually is and the heat is really getting to us. Thanks for the excellent tips, hopefully they will help us make life a little more comfortable.

    • bala99 profile image

      Bala Subrahmanyam Vishnubhotla 8 years ago from Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

      Keep the exhaust fans as high as possible and intake fans, opposite & below window level. Grow a thick, aromatic hedge like basil, opposite the intake fan. Hot air rises up, the exhaust fan evacuates this. The intake fan draws air from outside which gets relatively cool because of hedge, the additional gift is the cool aroma. Protect both the fans with a wire mesh; otherwise you will have to deal with bird hits and vermin. This works best in North - South configuration. If you can’t grow a hedge, hang a thick sponge in front of intake fan, with an arrangement to drip water on to it slowly. You will need to clean it regularly and de-odorize it. You have the freedom of choosing your perfume though. Good cross ventilation too.

    • stacya profile image

      stacya 8 years ago

      Here is a tip for desert dwellers like myself. Cool the house off at night. Open everything up and keep the fans on. Close everything up before the sun gets hot about 5:30am. Keep windows with direct sun covered. You don't have to sit in a dark house just open blinds/curtians as the sun moves. Then at about 2pm. Go to the Mall! or a movie! Stay away from parks without pools! And don't return before dark! =) hehe just a little random raving. It's only 8am and its 100 degrees (F)

    • Lena M. profile image

      Lena M. 8 years ago from Toronto

      I totally know where you're coming from! Toronto has very hot summers, despite what they say about Canada and its coldness. For those that live in a house with a basement, it tends to be cooler there so that's where I spend my time reading, working, etc.

      Haha Misha... I prefer running through a sprinkler every little while, makes you feel like a kid again!

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      @ Misha - a wet t-shirt would definitely help keep cool.;)

      @Christoph - Living on the 4th floor would be brutal without A.C. I sleep on the 2nd floor without AC and know how brutal that is.

      One office building in Arlington that I worked in last year had it's central air stop working for two days. Eeek! We were on the top mezzanine level of a 35 floor building. Luckily, the layout of the office was pretty open, so we were able to open windows on opposite ends and it really helped create a crossbreeze. A few window fans were also purchased and it really helped.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      I can't stand the heat, but I lived for many years without air conditioning in the city, top floor of a 4 floor walk-up. Talk about hot. Finally I got an air conditioner and since then I've had one. Now I have central air. Sooooooo nice.

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      Take frequent showers and wear a wet t-shirt. The side effect - extremely sexy ;)

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      woooo 113 degrees F is crazy. lol I would have to have an A.C! :)

    • Reena Daruwalla profile image

      Reena Daruwalla 8 years ago from INDIA

      Its about 45 degrees here (113 degrees F I believe) ....

    • lrohner profile image

      lrohner 8 years ago from USA

      Great info. I usually fill a small plastic bag with crushed ice, wrap it in a light towel and tie it around my neck with the ice bag at the back of the neck. I swear it lowers my body temp immediately!

    • girly_girl09 profile image

      girly_girl09 8 years ago from United States

      You're welcome! I'm putting off using it as long as possible, too. I live in New England where it gets SUPER humid in the summer and there are days where having an AC barely even helps the humidity. For me, it's such a pain to install and uninstall the unit every summer. lol Would be awesome to have a place with central air! I know out west and in the south central air is really popular, in the east central air is just starting to be the 'norm'.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Well its 105 here in Sacramento at the moment. We put off using the air con to the last minute but your tips will definitely help. thanks


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