How to cool down without air conditioning
Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels
In 2020, the heat of summer is made worse by the fact that people have been urged to stay inside their homes as much as possible. This not only makes for cabin fever and other unpleasantness but adds to the energy bill. Air conditioning, whether a central, room unit or mini split system, is expensive even in normal times. Now, people stuck indoors are looking for ways to cool down without an air conditioner.
Take a Cool Shower or Bath
Cool showers or baths on a blisteringly hot day are amazingly refreshing. The temperature of the water may be disconcerting at first, but if you give it time, if you linger in the shower or tub, it will be the best feeling ever as your core body temperature is lowered a few degrees.
One tip is to use peppermint soap, which tricks your body into thinking it’s experiencing something cold. Use a loofah to scrub down or throw a peppermint bath bomb or two into the tub. Cool water is also better for the skin than water that is scalding hot. This is especially true if your skin is sensitive.
Water Water Everywhere
Drinking a glass of icy cold water also feels good when you’re hot, but the real benefit of drinking lots of water is to allow our body to cool down. It can’t do that if it’s not well-hydrated.
Heat exhaustion is a real risk during hot weather, especially if you’re older. So make sure you get at least eight 8 ounce glasses of clean water a day.
When you’re feeling hot another way to cool down without an air conditioner is to press cold compresses or towels dipped in cold water on your pulse points, most commonly your wrists or your neck. These are where you can feel your pulse because the blood is coursing close to your skin.
Fans made specifically for the window can make a room deliciously cool, but even a plain box fan put in the window can lower the temperature. One trick is to place the fan facing out. This pulls the hot air from inside the room to the outside and allows cooler air to come in.
You can also just sit or lie near a fan to keep cool and invest in ceiling fans. During the summer, arrange them so that they rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down over you. Battery-powered and-held fans are surprisingly cooling, and come in lovely pastel colors.
Open the Windows in the Morning and Night
The temperature outside is coolest at night and in the early morning, so make sure to open the windows during that time to let the cool air rush in. Opening the windows also creates cross ventilation.
Put screens in the windows to keep out varmints, and close the windows when the sun comes out. If you’re worried about burglars, keep the windows closed when you’re not home, and follow the next step:
Close the Curtains, Shut the Blinds
Close curtains and blinds in those windows that face the sun from morning until evening. These simple acts keep sunlight from heating up the interior of the house.
One way to really keep the sun out of a room is to put up blackout curtains. Though they may recall curtains put up during wartime, they don’t need to be unattractive or black.
Sleep in the Lowest Room in the House
If you have a basement, sleep in it as the weather starts getting too warm for you to sleep comfortably in your usual bedroom.
If you have a one-story room or apartment, consider sleeping in another bedroom that’s cooler during the summer.
Freezing Bedclothes Doesn’t Help
Putting sheets and blankets in the fridge or the freezer won’t keep you cool during the night. Bedclothes warm up amazingly quickly, even before you get between them.
An even worse idea is to wet them before putting the bedclothes in the freezer. You’ll not only warm them up after a few minutes, but they’ll be damp and can leave you with a moldy mattress.
Ditch Incandescent Lightbulbs
Incandescent lightbulbs have always been inefficient, for they produce more heat than light. They produce so much heat that not only can’t they be touched when they’re on, but they can raise the temperature of a room several degrees.
Start using LED lights instead of incandescents, which are slated to be phased out anyway. LEDs are cool, just as bright as incandescents and energy-efficient.
Cook Outside or Cook in the Early Morning
As anyone who cooks knows, an oven not only makes the kitchen hot but can make the whole house hot. Cook early in the morning when it’s cool, or cook outside on the barbecue grill.
Another idea is to cook dinners early in the morning and put them in the fridge and heat them up when it’s time to eat. Emphasizing salads and other cold foods also keeps you cool during the summer. Of course, hot weather is an excuse to eat popsicles and other cold desserts, but don’t overdo it. Too much sugar in the body isn’t good if you’re overheated.