How to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning

by Guest Contributor

How to cool off without air conditioningSummer is fast approaching, and many regions of the country are already starting to feel the heat. As the dreary days of winter start to disappear, the climbing temperatures are encouraging more and more people to reach for their thermostats — only to find that their air conditioning units have fallen to pieces during the cold weather months.

Fortunately, air conditioning isn’t the only way to stay cool. Whether your unit is dead or you are looking for a low-cost way to beat the heat, here are a handful of ways you can survive spring and summer and cool off without air conditioning.

First, Call the Repair Company, Stat

More likely than not, you don’t know anything about what it takes to get an air conditioning unit up and running again. Instead of tinkering with the complex machinery, you should call your local AC repair company and make an appointment. The earlier in the year you request their assistance, the faster they will be able to respond; when the real dog days of summer begin, everyone will be clamoring for air conditioning help, so you shouldn’t procrastinate a known issue even while the weather is good.

Rethink Your Lighting

Traditional incandescent bulbs may produce that warm, comforting glow that you’re used to, but they also waste nearly 90 percent of their energy on heat rather than light. In the summer, when indoor temperatures can pass 90 degrees, you’ll be able to feel every watt of heat your lightbulbs produce. Instead of being unbearably warm and energy inefficient, you can switch to CFL or LED bulbs; they last longer, lower your energy bill, and are cool as cucumbers fresh from the fridge.

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Sunlight during the day can also warm the house through windows. To prevent your own private greenhouse effect, you should keep your windows closed and shades drawn during daylight hours. This simple solution can cool your indoor temperature about 20 degrees.

Install Fans

You can probably recall a time when a fresh breeze felt refreshing on a hot summer day, and having ceiling, window, and portable fans around your home allows you to recreate that sensation indoors at any time. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to each:

  • Portable fans. These are by far the cheapest and most varied of your fan options. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can easily move them here to there, but they can be noisy and their blast of air can be uncomfortably strong and direct.
  • Window fans. Mounted on open window sills, window fans are high-functioning alternatives to AC units, and they save more space and provide more powerful cooling than portable fans. However, window fans can be particularly unsightly, and there is a strong possibility they’ll fall from their perch and break.
  • Ceiling fans. Ceiling fans are useful in the winter and summer, as long as you have their rotation set correctly. They provide ambient cooling effects, are whisper-quiet (when balanced), and come in a variety of attractive styles.

Stay Out of the Kitchen

If you already can’t stand the heat, there is no point in cooking up a storm in a sweltering kitchen. Your stove and oven only add to the hot temperatures. If you don’t have a portable convection oven or grill, get one of each, and then you can take advantage of the evening outdoor weather while creating a pleasant seasonal meal.

Get Wet

You (as well as the average person) have 2.6 million sweat glands in your skin, but when indoor temperatures rise, sweat isn’t nearly enough to keep you cool and comfortable. Sweat’s cooling effect relies on the moisture’s ability to evaporate into the air, lowering the temperature of the skin it leaves behind. However, indoor temperatures may not quite be warm enough, windy enough, or dry enough to allow evaporation to occur.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can aid the body’s effort to stay moist and chilled using other water sources. If you want to stay inside, you can wet a wash cloth or hand towel with cold tap water and drape it over various parts of your body, like your forehead, neck, and chest. Of course, one of the best ways to beat summer heat is to get drenched with water, which you can achieve plenty of different ways, from a soak in an icy bath to a swim in an outdoor swimming pool.

While you absolutely shouldn’t dally in fixing your AC unit, you can rest assured that there are dozens of ways to survive the spring and summer heat without it (for a short time). This year, you can adopt some or all of these cool methods to cut your energy bill, even if your AC is up and running just fine.

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About Guest Contributor

This article was written by a guest author. For more information about this author, please see the bio information listed in the article. If you would like to write an article for Money Q&A, please visit our Guest Posting Guidelines page.


Guest Contributor has written 221 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexis

It’s very interesting topic on How to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning. I’m sure many will be glad to read this article. Thanks for sharing it. Fantastic post!

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jim

Install a whole house fan in the attic. Open up the basement doors & turn the fan on. Better & cheaper than a/c.

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Joe Fusco

On the hottest days, it can be tough to face it when your air conditioning breaks down. Having fans does help.

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Keara Littner

It makes sense to try and get any air conditioner repairs out of the way as early in the year as you can. As you mentioned, more people are going to be calling repair companies during the summer. Aside from avoiding the rush to get a repair technician, it should be nice to have your system ready to use by the time summer sets in.

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Air Conditioning Repair Northern NJ

It is important to note that heaters and air conditioners, like all others types of electronic equipment, need to be maintained. Not maintaining the air conditioning and/or heating can result in inefficient energy usage, which will increase one’s electricity bill.

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Audrey Blakeney

Summer heat is almost unavoidable if choose not to use your air conditioning unit the whole time. However, staying cool is still important, so the tip you shared about turning of the lights when you can, so that they don’t heat up the house is very helpful. With the summer months starting to get hotter and hotter, I will be sure to follow these tips to save money and energy when I don’t have my unit on.

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ava laurie

If you close you’er windows and let the fan roll, it will get cooler. It may take awhile but it does in fact work pretty well. When ever the AC isn’t working this is a great alternative.

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jamesrod214

I like your very first tip about calling the repair company. I would also say that if you don’t have an air conditioning unit, call an AC installation company. It’s the best way to stay cool. However, if it’s not available these are some great tips!

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Martin

My fan has just been out of order so that I want to buy one, but I’m wondering a ceiling fan or a portable fan has better using time.

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June Robinson

My husband and I just moved to a very warm climate that we are not used to, so we have struggled to stay cool. I like the tip you give of rethinking your lighting by switching to LED lights that don’t give off so much heat. I also have a friend who said that she got her windows tinted, could that be an option? Thanks for sharing this!

Reply

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