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3 Ways To Cool Your Home Without Using Electricity Or Spending Money

Updated on April 15, 2019
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren is a fixer-upper of "TLC Needed" houses. She explains DIY methods simply to homeowners who are not in the construction trades.

More Heat Waves Worldwide Require More Cooling Strategies

The increased summer heat waves and droughts caused by climate change are pushing me to my limits. I've been noting unusual warming in Pennsylvania since 2011.

In July 2011, my area had 20 days of 90 degrees F or higher which is far above our normal temperatures for July. As if that weren’t enough, we had a three day streak over 100 degrees F with an all-time record breaking 106 degrees F.

In 2018, our region's temperatures and sustained high humidity levels were unusually high and onerous. Temperature records for June 2018 were broken all over the world.

Now, in spring of 2019, I feel that our gardening "last frost date" has come 6 weeks earlier than the norm of decades.

While I urge my legislators to DO SOMETHING to save the world, I still need to get cool without spending any more money.

3 Ideas

When you have finally GONE BALLISTIC over the unbearable, oppressive heat in your apartment or house and DON’T CARE what anyone thinks about your measures to stay cool, then these are the tips for you.

1. Hang Towels

Yes. I assume that you own some towels.

Home cooling experts recommend blocking the sunlight, also called “heatlight,” from entering.

People with money can buy black-out types of heat reflecting curtains or heat reflecting film to apply directly to the window glass.

We ingenious people are going to accomplish the same heat blocking by hanging towels over the already closed curtains. It is an extra layer of blockage and costs nada. Additionally, the placement is 100% adjustable, so if you do have a window air conditioner, it is very simple to place the towel to hang above the unit.

In contrast, another set of curtains would probably need to be rigged or pinned and take time and aggravation to position, in addition to the expense.

If you do not have enough towels, other big pieces of fabric, such as sheets or tablecloths would be better than nothing. Or, if you are really without enough towels, cardboard from flattened boxes can be used.

Towel Blocking Sun's Heat

A towel hung at the window blocks heat from sunlight.
A towel hung at the window blocks heat from sunlight. | Source

2. Never Open Your House Windows

This one works, but it requires a sacrifice if you a breeze or the even the smell of non-breezing fresh air.

However, once a home is cooled, it is easier to maintain the coolness and lowered humidity than to regain it. (This parallels pain management medicine which advises that it is easier to keep pain in check than to let it increase and then try to reduce it again.)

So, any rooms in which you have an air conditioner should be fiercely protected as if they are sanctuaries. Keep the door to the room shut. Keep the windows closed. Put a draft dodger at the floor by the door. Be extreme. The weather certainly is.

3. Live In The Lowest Floor Of The House

Heat rises; cool air sinks. We all know that from grade school science. So, if there is any sort of clean live-able space in your lowest level, live there.

In the summer, I have set up a card table for dining in the lower level, because it gets unbearable trying to eat meals in the un-air-conditioned dining room upstairs. It is no big deal. I have slept in lower level family rooms, dined in man caves, and in global warming extreme heat, I would be happy to live in a garage if that is the coolest place.

In the days before air conditioning and before television, men and women often would sit in their basements with the radio listening to the baseball game. They were smart cookies. The basement is the coolest place in the house.

If you are one the many who are being cheated out of summer because Mother Nature is throwing us into the bake oven, get smart and get cool.

Don’t give your hard earned bucks to the power companies.

Be sensible and unconventional. Your neighbors may start to think you are the brightest bulb on the block.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan


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