How to Keep Cool This Summer Without Air Conditioning

For many, air conditioning is a luxury they simply cannot live without. Indeed, surviving summer without it would be completely unthinkable. But what if you cannot afford the additional expense, or if you are trying to cut down on energy consumption in order to be more environmentally friendly? For the more money-conscious and eco-friendly among us, there are several ways to keep cool this summer without resorting to air conditioning.

1. Keep Sunlight Out

One way to keep your home cool this summer is to avoid heat entering the house in the first place. During the daytime when the sun is at its fiercest, ensure that curtains or blinds are closed, particularly on south- and west-facing sides. Using lighter colored drapes will help further by reflecting the sunlight. At the end of the day when the air is cooler, open windows in order to allow cool air to enter.

2. Use Fans Wisely

Fans can be very effective at distributing cool air when they are used properly and, unlike air conditioning, their energy consumption and cost is minimal. If you have a ceiling fan, ensure it is blowing air down directly on you. At the same time, place freestanding fans by windows to blow cooler air in and try placing a bowl of ice in front of table fans in order to distribute cooler air. If you don't happen to own a fan because all you find in your area are costly brands, you can check out your local free-classifieds website and buy a second hand one in good condition for much less; if you clean and store it properly a fan can last you from five to ten years!

3. Beware of Heat-generating Appliances

Many household appliances generate heat, like the oven, fridge, iron, dryer, etc. so shut off as many as possible before leaving the house (not the fridge, of course!). At the same time, try to avoid using those appliances that generate the most heat during the warmest times of the day. Remember that incandescent light bulbs also generate a fair amount of heat, so opt for more environmentally friendly fluorescent bulbs wherever possible.

4. Cut Down on Humidity

Cutting down on humidity within your home will help you feel cooler. Simple changes such as doing laundry early in the morning or later in the evening, using bathroom vents where possible, and taking baths and showers at cooler times of the day will all help to lower humidity levels. If your home really suffers, it may be worth investing in a dehumidifier.

5. Insulate Your Home

Insulating your attic will keep heat out during the summer and has the added bonus of keeping your home warm during the winter. If your attic is prone to over-heating, consider investing in an attic-ventilating fan.

Even if air conditioning is not a viable solution for you, there is no need to sweat it out all summer long. By making some small, eco-friendly changes to your daily routine, you can prevent warm air entering and distribute cooler air throughout your home. Give the tips above a go for a cool, stress-free summer.