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How to Keep Your Home Cool Without AC

Living Insights

Save money on soaring energy bills by using low-cost, energy-efficient enhancements to stay comfortable even when the temperatures keep rising.

As a modern 21st century resident of planet Earth, most of us have become accustomed to staying at a certain comfortable temperature all year round. Even when temperatures drop to below freezing in the winter and climb into the three-digit scorching numbers in summer, we expect to have a certain level of comfort.

But we often pay dearly for this comfort, especially as our energy-efficient enhancements become less and less efficient. The good news is that there are some simple ways to “keep our cool” without breaking the bank.

Simple Physics

Not to get too technical, but thermodynamics (the study of heat and other forms of energy) tells us that hot air rises. So, when trying to cool a home with open windows, be sure to open the windows at the top of the house to push the hot air up and out, thereby moving the cooler air through the rooms near the bottom. Well-placed fans can push the warmer air up and out, replacing it with cooler air in the rooms below.


If a home has a basement, this is the perfect place to hang out when temperatures rise. The earth around the basement walls stays at a set temperature no matter the season. Therefore, when looking to cool off, grab a fan, point it up towards the top of the basement stairs and enjoy the cool.

Cook Outdoors

Grilling is often a fun summer activity done with friends and family. Don’t limit grilling to just parties or weekends. The less appliances used in a home during the day, the less heat that builds up in the kitchen. If you’re not up for grilling or don’t have room for a grill, try cooking vegetables later in the evening for the next few days or eat a no cook meal such as salad.

Using the AC

If you have to use the AC, then try to use it less. The less heat that builds up in a home means that the AC doesn’t have to work as hard to remove the heat. Try these no-cost ideas:

  • In the early morning, before the heat breaks, close as many windows and window coverings. Then, in the evening do the reverse. Pull back the shades and open the windows to fill the home with cooler air.
  • Check the lights in the house. Incandescent lights give off a lot of heat. Replace them with LEDs that are made with cooler light-emitting diodes.
  • Instead of drying clothes in a heated clothes dryer, try the old fashioned clothes line.

Plant a Tree

Now this one may take more than a day to work, but one full-grown tree that shades a home can act as a one-ton AC unit. If you don’t have 20 years to wait for a tree to grow, next time you move, look for homes that have full grown trees already in place.

There are so many different ways to cool a home without cranking up the AC. Check with local contractors who specialize in weatherproofing homes to find out if your home needs some updating.

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