8 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool Without Using The Air Conditioner

Summer is here and the temperatures are rising. However, if you are on a tight budget like most people, you are probably getting worried about turning on your air conditioner to keep your home comfortable. Here are eight ways that you can easily implement to keep your house cool and you more comfortable without burning a hole in your wallet.

Our ancestors before us have found ways to stay cool, even in the hottest climates, without even using the air conditioner. Take a page from that playbook to keep your home comfortable without relying on energy-intensive resources by incorporating the ideas below.

large window open and white curtain blowing inside

Open the windows

Generally, if your house is decently insulated, keep the windows and blinds closed when the sun is shining. More specifically, keep the windows closed when the outside temperature is hotter than it is inside, and open the windows when it’s cooler outside than inside. However, opening the windows and creating a cross-breeze is one of the most effective ways to cool a home, especially when you combine it with the other ideas mentioned in this article such as box fans. If you have ever been to a tropical resort, they typically do not install AC’s and rely on the cross-breeze from the surrounding ocean.

Also, taking advantage of the cooler nighttime and early morning temperatures can help out here. Just before the sun starts to hit the house, you can shut the windows, close the blinds, and crank up the box fans that you have throughout the house.

living room with blinds on the windows

Rely on the blinds

The best type of blinds to rely on in your home are faux wood blinds. Faux wood is an insulating product, meaning heat doesn’t readily pass through it. The same can’t be said of roller shades or aluminum blinds, which are some of the least efficient window coverings available.

dark bedroom with gray blackout curtain

Blackout the light

Blackout curtains and shades will reduce the amount of heat which is transferred via your windows by as much as 24 percent, keeping the rooms where they’re installed cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This will allow you to use your heating and cooling system more efficiently and save energy.

Corgi lying in front of a purple fan

Use plenty of box fans

The key to using window fans as a cooling method is to bring fresh air into your home anytime the air outside is cooler than the air inside. When the inside air is cool enough to offset the predicted daytime temperature, turn off the fans, remove them from their windows and then close the windows.

Box fans placed in or near windows can help draw in cool air from outside or pull warm air out of a room depending on how they are placed. If the blades face the window screen, the fan helps pull hot air out of the room. Flipped the other way, it draws in air from outdoors.

person sealing window frames

Insulate against the heat

Having your home well insulated is the best way to keep the heat out during the hot summer months. Insulation works in all seasons not just summer. However, during the summer it can actually keep cold air inside your house and the hot air out, just like it keeps warm air in and cold air out during the winter months.

close-up of stove knob turned off

Avoid using major appliances

During the dog days of summer, try not to use major appliances like the oven or stove. These appliances run counter to keeping your home cool. Try taking your cooking outdoors by grilling. It can save you money on your electric bill and keep the heat out of your home.

If you have a washer and dryer in the home, try moving that to a separate building like a shed outside of the home. These appliances give off a tremendous amount of heat. If you have ever walked into a laundromat, then you know the feeling.

To avoid using the dryer, try hanging the clothes outside on the line. On a sunny day, they will dry in the same amount of time as a dryer takes, and it will save you money on top of that.

white house with large tree and several bushes in front yard

Good Landscaping Design Can Keep The Heat Out

Trees help reduce your heating and cooling costs. Trees save energy through cooling in the hot summer months and provide a windbreak during winter. Place these trees on the south and west sides of buildings for optimal effect. Shade all hard surfaces such as driveways, patios and sidewalks to minimize landscape heat load.

patio with lounge seats under a green and white striped awning

Awnings can keep the heat out

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows, according to the DOE. For best results choose awnings in light colors that reflect more sunlight. In the winter, you can roll up retractable awnings to let the sun warm up your house.

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