No A/C? No Problem! Stay Cool With These Tips for the Home This Summer
Keep the House Cool Without the Expensive A/C Bills
Summer is in full swing! On one hand, that means endless days by the pool, ice-cold beverages, and a great tan. But if you don’t have air conditioning, it may also mean a very hot time indoors. While not having A/C during the summer may seem like a simple inconvenience, it can also be dangerous depending on how hot it gets in your location. For example, if you live in a region that hits 100 degrees or higher, no air conditioning can pose serious medical threats, especially for elderly and sick people.
Regardless of whether you opt for air conditioning this summer, keeping the house cool is safer for you, your family, your pets, and your plants. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, there are some tricks to help keep your home safe and cool during the hottest months of the year. You’ll feel more comfortable in your home, and you’ll love saving hundreds of dollars each month from not having to factor heavy use of your A/C into your electric bill.
1. Be Mindful of Curtains and Shades
According to Family Handyman, roughly 30% of unwanted heat comes into your home through the windows. Installing blackout curtains, insulated curtains, or tinted windows will could help to lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.
During the day, make sure to pull your shades down and close the curtains to keep rooms dark and cool. Blocking out hot summer sunlight is especially important for the south and west-facing windows, as these windows will get the most intense sunlight.
2. Switch Out Your Bedding
Once the temperatures start to rise, switch out your sheets to a lighter fabric that won’t hold onto heat quite so well. Linen and cotton, for example, will allow your skin to breathe throughout the night.
Bamboo sheets are another good option, as they are very breathable and don’t trap heat. New bedding technology, like cool touch bedding, uses gel technology to keep bed textiles cool to the touch and can be a lifesaver on those extra hot summer nights.
If sleeping is difficult for you when the temperatures are soaring, consider putting your pillowcase or sheets in the freezer for half an hour before you go to sleep. If sleeping during hot weather continues to be a problem for you, try a bed fan, which hooks onto the bed to quietly remove body heat that becomes trapped under sheets and blankets.
3. Be Smart About Fans
Change your fans so that they’re set to rotate counterclockwise. This will force cool air down on the room for a windchill effect. You can also switch on the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen, as they both pull hot air out of the house.
Place a box fan so that it faces out of your windows, as this will also pull hot air out of the house. House fans, which are a bit old-fashioned but still work well, can be located in the attic or top floor of a home where they will help to circulate air throughout the entire home.
4. Take Advantage of Cool Night Air
While you should try to keep your home relatively closed off to outside air during the day, when night falls, you can take advantage of cooler temperatures by opening your house up. Night time is the perfect time to put your box fan to use.
Create airflow by opening the windows on one side of your house and positioning your box fans to blow outside in windows on the opposite side of the house. Then open up doors throughout the house to create a nice flow of cool air. Remember to close the blinds and windows in the morning before it gets too hot.
5. Be Mindful About Heat-Emitting Appliances
During the hottest days of the year, be sure to avoid using your oven and stove. If you have a grill, this is the perfect time to take advantage of summer barbecue weather. Using a slow cooker is also a good tactic for keeping the kitchen cool while preparing warm meals.
When the temperatures are high, big heavy meals aren’t always the most appetizing sustenance. Think salads, grilled kebabs, smoothies, and chilled soups so that you can still enjoy nutritional meals without overheating.
6. Get Some Cool Air Blowing
Without a full HVAC system, you can still keep your home cool with window or wall air conditioning units. If your home air conditioning breaks midsummer, window or wall air conditioners are an affordable and energy efficient way to keep individual rooms of your house cool. Window air conditioners are generally available in a range of BTUs, to help keep various sized rooms nice and cool in the summer. To ensure that the window unit you choose is energy efficient, choose one with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating. You can find both window and wall units from hardware stores like Home Depot.
You can also create your own DIY air conditioning unit, like this one from Buzzfeed, using a table fan, a bucket with a lid, 1-½ inch PVC, a styrofoam bucket liner, a 1-½ inch hole saw, and a frozen gallon of water. Cut open the top of the bucket lid for the fan to nestle into it. Line the bucket with your foam and drill holes through both the bucket and the foam. Place the PVC through the holes; glue them for extra security. Place the frozen gallon of water into the bucket, then place the lid with the fan on top, and enjoy the blast of cool air!
With smart technology and a little creativity, it’s possible to keep your home cool this summer without breaking the bank with traditional air conditioning.