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How to cool a house without air conditioning

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Perhaps the household budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of an air conditioner, or maybe that window air conditioning unit or HVAC system broke at an inopportune moment. Whatever the case, when the weather gets hot, many people are left wondering, “How can I keep a house cool without an air conditioner?”

There are some easy, affordable ways for residents to keep a house cool without AC. And many of these tips can also be used by residents who do have air conditioning units as a way to lower electric bills and to save money on energy costs during the summer.

Improving a Home’s Air Circulation – Home Cooling With Fans

One easy way to cool a home without an air conditioner involves using fans to circulate the air through the home. Stagnant, still air feels hotter than air that’s circulated using a fan, so portable fans can be positioned in the main living area or bedrooms to provide relief during hot weather.

Portable fan units tend to be the better choice if funds are limited and only one or two fans can be purchased. Portable fan units can be placed in front of a window, in the middle of the room or wherever else they’re needed, while window fan units can only be positioned in windows, limiting their versatility.

Ceiling fans can be used to improve a home’s circulation as well, though caution should be used when using a ceiling fan in room with a cathedral ceiling. Heat rises and high ceilings allow the hot air to rise to the top of the room, making the air temperature feel cooler in the lower portion of the room. A ceiling fan can draw the hot air down from the ceiling, making the room hotter.

At night, when the air temperature drops, fans can be placed in windows to draw cool air into the hot house.

Cooling a House By Opening Windows and Drawing Shades

At night, the mercury will often drop to a more comfortable temperature. So opening the windows at night will allow cool air to enter the home. Closing the windows early in the morning will trap that cool air inside the house.

Drawing the blinds, shades or curtains on a home’s windows will also help keep the house cool during the day. A great deal of heat enters the home through the windows; covering the windows will help keep the house cool without an air conditioner.

Keep the House Cool By Removing Humidity From the Air

Another easy and affordable way to cool the house without air conditioning involves removing the humidity from the air. Humidity makes the air feel warmer, so by removing humidity from the air, the home will feel cooler.

Dehumidifiers can be placed in bedrooms and main living areas to keep the house feeling cool during the hot summer months. A dehumidifier draws the moisture from the air, collecting the water in a canister that must be periodically emptied.

To reduce humidity in the home, avoid activities like cooking on the stove or showering during the heat of the day. This can release humidity into the air, making the house feel hotter. Use of appliances that generate heat — like the clothes dryer — should also be avoided during the hot part of the day.

Other Ideas for Home Cooling on a Budget


For a household with a couple hundred dollars to spend, purchasing a portable air conditioning unit for the home can be helpful for cooling the house during hot summer weather. Portable air conditioning units are similar to space heaters in appearance and they do not require placement within a window. The portable AC can be placed in the main living area during the day and then moved to the bedroom at night to provide a cool, comfortable sleeping area.

UV-filtering reflective window film can also help keep the house cool without AC, as the film will reflect the sun’s rays away from the home. Insulating the attic and installing effective attic ventilation can help keep the house cool during the hot summer weather by preventing heat from accumulating in the attic and seeping down into the living space. Attic fans offer another cost-effective method of cooling a home by drawing hot air out of the home’s attic.

Residents should also consider home cooling when selecting house paint colors and shingle colors. Dark colors attract the sun; light colors reflect the sun. So make energy-saving paint color choices and pick light-colored roofing to keep the house cooler and to save money on electric bills.

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