7 Tips for Cooling a Room Without AC
Cooling a Room Without AC
Summer is upon us, and that can mean seeking refuge from some of the season’s uncomfortably hot weather. If your rental unit doesn’t have an air conditioner — or if you’re just trying your best not to use it around the clock — there are still plenty of things you can do to keep your home cool. These DIY methods are some of the best ways to cool a home without the help of air conditioning.
Keep the Windows Closed and Covered
During the hot summer months, the simplest thing you can do to keep a room cool without AC is making sure the windows are shut. For those of us who love the fresh air, this can be a hard sell — but trust us, it works. If the air outside is hotter than the air inside, keeping the windows shut will help the inside of your home stay a little cooler.
And because about 76% of sunlight that enters your home through the windows turns into heat, it’s a good idea to keep your blinds drawn or your curtains closed. The Department of Energy suggests medium-colored drapes with white-plastic backing to reduce heat inside, and some people even opt for blackout curtains to keep windows covered and block the sunlight out completely.
Shut and Insulate Your Doors
If you’re spending most of your time in one room, consider closing the doors to the rooms you aren’t using as often — like bedrooms or bathrooms. Closing off parts of the house keeps the cooler air concentrated in a single area, and can help the room you’re using the most cool down faster and stay cool.
If you have doors with gaps at the bottom — especially those that lead outside — invest in some insulation. Weather strips are an inexpensive option, and you can put them on yourself.
Don’t Use the Oven
Put that Sunday roast on hold, because nothing heats up a room like a 400-degree oven. Burners also emit some heat, so be strategic about which kitchen appliances you’re using. Opt for outdoor grilling instead, or any seasonal summer recipe that doesn’t require heat.
If you absolutely need to use the oven, wait until the outdoor air cools down later at night and open some windows.
Swap Your Light Bulbs
Kitchen appliances aren’t the only things that bring in unnecessary heat during the summer. Light bulbs are another culprit, albeit a less obvious one. Incandescent light bulbs give off the most heat by wasting 90% of the energy they use, so making the switch to CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) or LED bulbs can make a difference in keeping your home cool. An added bonus is energy-efficient bulbs like these will also help lower your electric bill.
Use Fans the Right Way
If you live in a home without air conditioning, fans are your best friend — as long as you’re using them the right way. Since fans move air around rather than cooling it, what you do with a fan and where you put it matters.
Creating a cross breeze with fans is the best way to circulate cooler air and push hot air out. Find the coolest part of your house (either the coolest room or outside air from a window in the shade) and angle the fan towards the hottest part of your house. This should help draw in cooler air from one side of the house and push the hotter air out.
For a make-shift air conditioner, try placing a large bowl of ice at an angle in front of a fan. This easy trick blows the cold air coming off the ice into the room.
Manage the Humidity
If you live in a humid climate, the humidity can make the summer heat feel even worse. While a dehumidifier won’t reduce room temperature, it will help control the sticky, thick air that makes hot days even more uncomfortable. Since humidity decreases the rate at which our sweat evaporates, we often feel much hotter and sweatier in humid weather, so investing in a dehumidifier can keep your home more comfortable during the humid months.
Let the Night Air In
Finally, if you live in a place where the temperature drops at night, consider yourself lucky and open the windows before bed. Working with the outdoor temperatures can save you money and help keep your house cool. Just make sure you close the windows back up in the morning to keep the cool air in before it gets too hot outside.
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