How to Cool Down a Room Without an AC or Cooler
The summer means a lot of things: a vacation from school, beach time, and unfortunately, suffering under sweltering heat. We have been experiencing higher than normal summer temperatures in the past years, and it’s unlikely to stop. Getting exposed to extreme heat can be dangerous — it can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be fatal. Aside from that, it’s hard to think or work at all when it’s so hot. It’s also hard to sleep, which affects our bodies less quickly than a heat stroke, but it’s still detrimental to our health.
One way people beat the summer heat is by staying indoors and turning up the air conditioner or cooler. However, using the AC or cooler almost all day will definitely hike up your electric bills.
Why Does My Electric Hill Hike up Every Summer?
Obviously, we don’t want to overheat, so we do everything we can to cool down. Aside from that, cooling appliances such as ACs and coolers work harder due to the heat. They generate more energy and will make your bill go higher.
Everyone’s at Home
Summer means school vacation, so kids are at home 90% of the time. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, everyone has to stay at home to be safe from the virus. The summer of 2020 was especially hard for everyone. For example, you may need to work from home. Your kids have to entertain themselves however they can from inside the house, mostly through watching TV and playing video games. Your spouse might be working as well. Combine all that with your AC working overtime, your bill will see a significant hike.
Higher Energy Demand
Because of the two previously mentioned factors, there is always a higher demand for electricity every summer and causes the market price to increase. Providers would also put additional charges for maintenance and repairs. This is for if ever power plants or transformers break because of overheating.
What If I Don’t Want To Use the AC?
For all their advantages, air conditioners and coolers also have disadvantages, even aside from the cause of high electric bills. Here are some of them.
Long exposure to air conditioners can dry the skin and nasal passages. This can cause flaky and itchy skin.
Of course, people feel uncomfortable in extreme heat, but heat intolerance is when someone has an unusual sensitivity to heat. A slight rise to the temperature might make one feel dizzy and have difficulty breathing due to heat intolerance. Spending a long time inside air-conditioned rooms can make someone have heat intolerance.
Respiratory Problems and Allergies
The air from ACs not only dries nasal passages but also the mucus membrane. As a result, you can be more vulnerable to colds and other respiratory illnesses. Your allergies can be made worse by constant exposure to ACs — especially when the system isn’t properly cleaned and maintained.
Harmful to the Environment
Materials used in making AC units, such as plastic, are non-biodegradable. Countless AC units dumped in landfills contribute to the worldwide garbage problem. Aside from that, using ACs can contribute to climate change. Fossil fuel used to generate electricity releases carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas. Because ACs require a lot of energy to function, it causes the release a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere. Another greenhouse gas involved in AC is the cooling agent usually used, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
No AC, No Problem
Here are some ways to keep rooms cool in summer without the AC or a cooler:
Open Your Windows at Night
This will allow cool air to circulate around your room. Open the windows once the temperature drops. If it’s raining, open them enough to let cool air in, but not the rain. Close them immediately in the morning as the heat picks back up.
Keep Curtains Shut in the Day
This will lessen the amount of heat that can get inside a room. Use dark curtains for more coverage. If you can, get a blackout curtain as it completely blocks the sun out from your room.
Switch to LED Lights
If you can’t avoid turning on the lights, switch to LED bulbs instead. Other light bulbs such as fluorescent and incandescent lights generate heat. This can contribute to the higher temperature in your room. LED lights, on the other hand, don’t heat up. It also gives off a brighter light and consumes less energy.
Adjust Ceiling Fan Settings
You can set your ceiling fan to run counterclockwise in the summer. This creates a breeze in the room, cooling it down. When it’s winter, turn it back to a clockwise setting to bring the hot air down to keep a room warm.
Use a Dehumidifier
Hot days also mean humid days. A dehumidifier helps lessen the humidity and make you more comfortable, even in the heat. You can use the moisture the dehumidifier collected to water your plants.
Go for a Makeshift Cooler
An oldie but goodie combination — box fan and ice. Fill a bowl with ice and put it in front of the fan. Once you turn it on, it will bring a cool breeze thanks to the ice.
Change Your Cooking Habits
Schedule your cooking in the early morning or at night for a cooler experience. You can also use your grill to cook food outside, so your kitchen won’t get hot at all. Cook up big batches of food, so you only have to cook once the whole day (or for a few days, if you’re okay with reheating food in the microwave). Avoid using the stove and the oven if you can. Prepare salads and other dishes that require minimal or no heat.
Unplug Unnecessary Appliances at Night
Electronic appliances generate heat. Multiple appliances working at the same time will give off a lot of heat and just contribute to the already hot weather. Before going to bed, unplug all unnecessary appliances for a cooler room and better sleep.
Turn the Exhaust Fan On
If you have exhaust fans in your bathroom or kitchen, it’s their time to shine! The exhaust fan in the kitchen can suck out steam from all the cooking. Same with the fan in the bathroom, it will pull the steam away from your hot showers. With this logic, it can also pull away from hot air from a room.
Consider Getting Your Home Insulated
Insulating the walls and the attic not only helps keep it warm during winter, but it also makes your home a bit cooler when summertime comes. How? It can keep cool air in and the heat out, while vice versa happens in winter.
Invest in Weather Stripping
You can also go a step further by weather stripping. While people also do this more often in wintertime, it’s also useful when summer comes around. This is a way to seal air leaks around doors and windows, making sure that cool air doesn’t escape from the cracks.
Get as Much Shade as Possible
Install awnings above your windows, so they will absorb the sun’s heat instead of the windows. Planting vines like ivy also provides shade and reduces the heat your home’s exterior walls absorb. If you have the space, plant a tree so it can provide shade to your house.
Apply Window Films
Window films block out up to 99% of the sun’s UV rays while letting light instill. You can still utilize natural light and see the outside thanks to window films. Some types of window films can also provide you some privacy as they can prevent people outside your house from seeing the inside.
Change Your Chore Schedule
Do chores such as washing clothes and dishes at night. This is because the cool night will offset the heat generated by the appliances you used. If you can, don’t use the dryer after washing your clothes. Take advantage of the heat and let them hang dry.
How To Keep You Cool
Now that we’ve given you tips and tricks on how to cool off a room, here are some ways to keep YOU cool during the summer. It’s no use cooling down a room if you yourself don’t feel cool.
This is the most essential method to keeping your body cool. Our bodies sweat to keep our body temperature regulated. Drinking water will help your body keep from overheating.
Put a Cold Pack on Your Pulse Points
Drape a wet, cool towel or a cold pack on pulse points such as the neck, wrists, groin, and elbows. These spots are where blood vessels are close to the skin’s surface. Using a cold pack in those places can help you cool down faster.
Savor Some Cool Treats
Eat some popsicles and ice cream to beat the heat. Though, you may need to ease up on the sugar if you’re overheated or prone to overheating. Sugar can stimulate your metabolism and can increase your internal temperature. Stick to good old water instead.
Don’t Sleep in Your Room
Hot air rises, so to keep cool while sleeping, get as low as possible. Sleep on the floor, if you’re in a one-level house. For multi-story homes, sleep on the ground floor or the basement if you have one. You could even sleep outside, if it’s safe to do so in your area, so you can brush up on your camping skills.
Don’t Sleep on Your Mattress
Use a straw or bamboo mat instead. While it’s a bit uncomfortable, you’ll sleep cooler as mats don’t retain heat, unlike mattresses. You can also set up a hammock or a cot for maximum airflow.
Use Light Fabrics
Wear clothing made with light, breathable fabric such as cotton, nylon, linen, rayon, and silk. As much as possible, also use bed sheets and blankets (if you’re the type to sleep with a blanket even in the summer) with these kinds of fabric.
Sleep With a Damp Sheet
Spray a blanket or towel with cold water. Then sleep with it on top of you to keep you cool through the night. Make sure to cover your mattress with a towel, so you won’t wake up to a wet bed.
Take Cold Showers
This will lower your internal temperature and keep you fresh and clean. Don’t immediately take a cold shower when you’re extremely heated. It might shock your body and make you have a heart attack. Rest your body for a moment before taking that shower.
Sleep Alone for the Meantime
If it’s possible or you have the space, sleep away from your partner. Body heat generates more heat, so sleeping alone might be needed for now. This also applies to pets — keep them in their own beds for now.
There are many ways to keep rooms cool in summer without the AC or a cooler. While not as instant, they can still alleviate the heat effectively. These methods are cost-effective, good for your lungs, and environment-friendly!