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Readers Respond: How do you stay cool without cranking up the AC?

Responses: 20


I shared my list of ways to stay cool without cranking up the heat now I want to hear your best stay-cool tips.


I live in Oklahoma. My AC broke, so I've been keeping a fan in the window at night. In the morning, I'll go outside to see if there is wind or even a breeze. If it's blowing from the north, I open the north windows, keeping a fan blowing in while i have a fan across the house blowing outside. this blows hot air out and lets in cool. It works, but it always gets really really hot during mid-day; so i just take a cool shower, don't dry off and feel the fan air. It's awsome.
—Guest jjkjdrfl


Another way to think of a 40 watt lightbulb is that it's a combination 5 watt light and 35 watt heater. More efficent lighting flourescent or LED) means less heat load. So less heat for your A/C to remove or less heat impacting you if you don't have A/C. Since removal has a significant inefficency, there is a big pay off in avoiding the heat in the first place
—Guest Hot Guest

The lazy crazy days of summer!

I grew up without a/c on a farm in the heartland of Missouri. I enjoy summers very much and have adapted to the hot temperatures. Drink plenty of cool water straight from the well during the day. Often I get up at 4:00 a.m. and get much of my outside work done before it gets really hot by mid-day. By the middle of June I cover my windows with a heavy paper....wall paper works wonderful. This works really well on the west and south sides of my house. Homemade ice cream, lemonade and ice tea are treats to look forward to on these hot days.

Cool Kat

Wear as little as possible; shower a few times a day; go naked.
—Guest angela

Tips to stay cool

Avoid wearing clothing around the neck area and drink cold coffee in the summer instead of hot. Saves on energy/cooler temptation, alot.
—Guest Deb


Run the inside of your wrists under a cold tap for a few minutes... very effective
—Guest jay

How I keep cool

I keep my a/c on low, and use a fan on high. I go window shopping where they have a/c. I use a cooling spray. We also use a towel.
—Guest LaChelle

beat the heat

i keep my air around 80 degrees - if you are coming inside from 100plus degrees outside -- 80 degrees with low humidity inside feels pretty darn good.. we also use fans to help circulate the a/c.. we close off the bathroom -- who wants to step out of the shower to chilly air anyways?? we also keep the laundry room shut off.. we use a clothesline to dry clothes as much as possible.. only run the dryer on rainy days.. we do dishes - laundry - etc. before sunup or after sundown.. no baking in the summer.. unless it is a chilly rainy day and we have the air off.. we grill alot or use the crock pot.. or have coldplate suppers... i hear horror stories from friends family of 200 -300$ electric bills and shudder.. our highest ever was around 120$.. it is normally around $80-100$ in the summer.. we are also blessed (was this way when we bought the house) with shade trees that keep our house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter... and lots of nagging at my son to turn off lites - etc..

Air Cond.

I live 6-floors up and facing East, in the summer my apt. is like living inside a microwave oven--taping aluminum foil to my east-facing windows has been an improvement, but I've switched to paper (my D-TV antenna was having problems/plus the alum. foil was getting quite hot). It's lowered the temp by 10 degees[F]--(that's minus a AC). Using a 5000/BTU AC..really means never turning it off, but the combination of covering the east-facing windows and the AC...and a large fan stirring the air..keeps the temp below 80 degrees[F]. I once lived in this apt. w/o AC and would need to take cold showers for 30 minutes. When I first moved in, I purchased a 12,000 BTU/AC...and it was like living inside a refrigerator. It's a very small apt. I think diet might help keep a body cool, but that's a hit-or-miss attempt.

In the 50's no one had a/c

I was born in the 40's and up until the 60's, lived in the deep south and no one had a/c. We drank a lot of ice cold water with lots of ice, that's the quickest cool off you can get. Keep exercise to a minimum and stay out of the sun from noon to late afternoon. We usually took a nap at the hottest part of the day (2-4pm) and used attic and window fans. They are quite effective, especially at night--however--you have a safety problem, now, with window fans.
—Guest Cal

Staying COOL

I live in the tropics and I found the best way to stay cool is get around the house in my jocks. Most of the people living in my area -- male and female -- do the same. We do have ceiling fans that go 24/7.
—Guest grumpy

being frugal

If possible, under the given living arrangement , a/c one closed off room in the internal dwelling area.
—Guest keoco

Doors windows

I go way back before almost everyone had at least a room air conditioner. The summer rules for doors and windows are: Open at night -as soon as the coolness sets in, and shut during the day -- usually by noon at the latest!
—Guest n8rwtchr

Shower in AM and PM!

I notice that if I take a shower when I wake up on a very humid day I feel a lot better all day long. By the time I return home, I feel all dirty, sweaty and hot again. So, back in the shower I go for my PM shower. It works, as far as I can see. I used to do this when I lived at home. It worked then and it works now!

keeping the house cool with no A/C

Since 1995, we have opted out of cooling our whole house with A/C. We have all our windows open at night (after 8:30), turn the attic fan on, and then when we get up in the morning (7:00) we shut off the attic fan, close all the windows, and run two fans in the house. This keeps the temperature at least 10 degrees cooler in the house that it is outside. We do not use the oven in the summer--I use a crockpot and plug it in on our deck, or we grill. I keep watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes in the fridge for a cool snack. We also air dry our clothes, take cool showers, use insulated curtains, and use flourescent lights (they burn much cooler). All this effort has saved us thousands over the past 15 years!
—Guest mammahop

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