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14 Ways to Keep Cool in Your Home Without Air Conditioning

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14 Ways to Keep Cool in Your Home Without Air Conditioning

Here in the South, the weather has definitely taken a turn toward the sweltering. There have been some unseasonably warm days already, with highs in the 90s, and the temptation to flick the switch on that A/C unit to “on” is very strong. Before using the air conditioner, consider this: home cooling accounts for 5 percent of the energy we consume in the U.S. each year. That’s about 140 million tons of CO2 emissions annually! Here are some ways to fight that urge by keeping your house cooler naturally.

1. Keep the shades drawn during the day. When sunlight streams through the windows, it creates a miniature greenhouse effect in your home.

Related: Cool Curtains: Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly

2. Reflect the heat. If you do want to open the windows, consider investing in some reflective window film to help keep the heat outside where you want it to be.

3. Let the cool evening air in. If temperatures are on the chilly side after the sun goes down, crack a few windows open to let a breeze come through and cool the house. Just be sure to close them before the temperature starts to rise again!

4. Insulate! You want to keep cool air inside, so grab that caulk gun and seal off anywhere that air might be escaping. A handy draft dodger can help seal up those tricky leaks at the bottoms of doors and windows.

5. Get rid of incandescent lights. Not only do those suckers use more energy, they generate a lot more heat than CFL or LED light bulbs.

Up next: more ways to keep cool without A/C!

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
3:01AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

Good info, thanks for sharing.

2:32AM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

thanks for good tips

8:33PM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

Happy Summer :) Stay Cool.

6:10AM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

Thanks for sharing this article. Unfortunately, where I live (on the south tip of Texas), living without A/C of some kind is not a wise decision. We keep the A/C turned up at night and into the day, draw the blinds, we have the trees, caulking, tile floors. fans, etc, but with regular humidity at 90+%, one pretty much needs A/C to remain comfortable. I have to bring the dogs inside otherwise they can't breathe either. If we lived someplace where the temps were not in the 100's all summer, I could live without.

1:27PM PDT on May 25, 2014

stay cool

7:36PM PDT on May 20, 2014

My AC unit would shut down so much during the day that it drove me crazy. I was prepared to just throw it out when my brother recommended Atlas Trillo in San Jose CA. I’m so happy I listened... They did an amazing job! My AC now works like new! I recommend them for AC servicing, visit their website

5:32AM PDT on May 14, 2014

Good tips = thanks

3:29PM PDT on Apr 23, 2014


11:13AM PDT on Apr 9, 2014

My apartment gets super hot in the summer. For some reason they installed AC in the hallways of the building but not actually in the units.

5:23AM PDT on Apr 6, 2014

I don't have air conditioning. I have deciduous trees around my house, which give me shade in the summer and let the low winter sunshine in. I also keep the windows closed and drapes drawn during the heat of the day. In addition: my furnace is in the basement and on the especially humid days I either turn the heat off and the blower on to bring cool air up from the basement; or open the basement door, and put a fan at the bottom of the steps to push cool air up, which I circulate around the house with the ceiling fans.
I've had people come into my house on a hot day and remark how nice and cool it is. Occasionally Someone one will even ask if I have air conditioning
Sometimes I just work on projects in the basement where it's always at least 10 degrees cooler.
If you have a basement, set up a place where you can sit and read or add Wifi and do your online reading down there on hot days.

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