Dos and Don’ts: Stay Cool without AC at home

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Is it just our imagination or Summer seems to have gotten hotter in the past few years? Without getting into the debate about what’s causing this phenomenon. It appears that above-average temperatures and prolonged heat waves are here to stay. This is great news for ice cream parlors and cooling equipment manufacturers and contractors. But not so much for anyone else without an air conditioning unit or system at home. Trapped heat in a home after a long hot summer day results in poor sleep, mood swings, and possible heat-related health issues. So, how do we stay cool without AC at home? We have a few “cool” tips for you to try out below!

Remember: the Sun warms everything it shines on. So the best ways to keep your home cool are:

  • Shield your rooms from sunlight.
  • Expel trapped heat inside your home.
  • Bring in cool air from the outside.
  • Create air movement within your place for some cooling effect.


  1. Close all your blinds and curtains to reduce solar heating inside your home.
  2. Shut the doors of the hottest rooms at your place to stop the heat from spreading to other parts of your place.
  3. Close your windows early in the morning and open them when the outside temperature is cooler later in the evening.
  4. Turn on the bathroom fan and range hood fan in the kitchen.
  5. If you have a forced-air furnace, turn on the furnace fan. Cool air will be coming through your vents if the furnace is in the basement or crawl space.
  6. Turn on your ceiling fan if you have one. The fan should be running in a counter-clockwise direction to create a cooling effect.
  7. Install window fans (they can push out warm air and bring in cool air from the outside. The best part? They are inexpensive and easy to install. (Find a cheap window fan)
  8. No window fans, no problem. Place one regular fan right by the window in the hottest room (facing outward). On the same floor, place another fan right by the window where outside air is cooler than inside (facing inward). This setup will draw in cool air and expel hot air.
  9. Stay cool by aiming a fan towards you.
  10. Hot air rises so stay/sleep in the lower floor, on the floor or basement when possible.
  11. Place a Summer Sleeping Mat on your mattress for a better sleep.
  12. Drink plenty of water (better yet, cool your water jug inside the refrigerator or make spare ice cubes to go with your water, it’s refreshingly good!)
  13. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing/pajamas to stay cool.
  14. Take a cold shower or bath to stay cool.
  15. Set up a tent in any outdoor space under a shade deemed safe within your property and camp outside.
  16. Go to a nearby air-conditioned place such as the mall, public library or a movie theatre.
  17. Invest in a good air circulator fan.


  1. Avoid using your kitchen stove or oven because you don’t want to add more heat to your place.
  2. Avoid using your dryer. Use a clothes line instead and save money on electricity.
  3. Avoid using the dishwasher because its drying cycle generates a lot of heat.
  4. Don’t leave too many lights ON in your home. All light bulbs generate heat (including LED bulbs).
  5. Don’t open your windows when the outside temperature is hotter than inside (depending on your location, keeping your windows closed between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during very hot days is a good guideline)
  6. Don’t think mini-blinds are enough to shield your place from the sun. Use thicker black-out curtains over your mini-blinds for better heat insulation. The same curtain will keep you warm during cooler months.
  7. Speaking of mini-blinds, if you have horizontal slats, don’t tilt the slats upwards. Tilt them downwards (so the curved side is facing you) so it’s easier for the heat to escape).
  8. Don’t leave ground floor windows open all night to prevent break-ins.
  9. Avoid drinking alcohol during very hot days because it would cause dehydration and may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  10. Don’t use a window fan to bring in outdoor air which is hotter than inside.
  11. Avoid going outside during the peak temperature of the day (usually around 3 p.m.)
  12. Don’t wear socks at home so your feet are more comfortable
  13. Avoid wearing tight and dark-coloured clothes outside during hot days.
  14. Don’t forget to put on your sunscreen regularly if doing activities outside.
  15. Avoid staying under direct sunlight. If must, use an umbrella for shade and drink lots of water.
  16. Don’t expect the same level of performance when doing physical activities outdoors during very hot days, let your body cool down and replenish with cold water.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it is entirely possible to stay cool without AC at home in our region anyways. We may resort to AC someday. But before we do so, tips above have served us well. In any case, if you can afford installing an air conditioning unit (central or portable) and don’t mind the noise and paying for higher energy bills and regular maintenance afterwards, you can certainly enjoy the coolness of AC at home during the hottest days of the year.. In this particular instance, money can certainly buy happiness (of being cool).

Finally, this is unrelated to home cooling but just two friendly reminders:

  • Check on family/relatives/friends/neighbour especially elders and those with health issues who live alone during extremely hot days.
  • NEVER leave anyone especially children or pets in a parked vehicle because when the outside air temperature is 23ºC/73ºF, the temperature inside a vehicle can be more than 50ºC/122ºF which is extremely dangerous.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you find it helpful, please share it with your friends and family. Thank you!

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