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20 Tricks to Keep Your House Cool Without Air Conditioning

When the weather heats up, turning on the AC also means emptying your wallet. To avoid the high cost of air conditioning—and to be more environmentally-friendly—follow these cool tips.

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Curtain with warm sunlightPhoto: Shutterstock

Close the blinds

Windows can let in about 25 per cent of summer heat. Block the heat with shades or blinds during the sunniest hours to keep your home cool sans air conditioning.

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Ceiling fanPhoto: Shutterstock

Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise

A ceiling fan isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it appliance. In the summer, the fan blades should rotate counter-clockwise (as you look up at it) to push the air straight down. Increase the fan speed on really hot days.

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Pink insulationPhoto: Shutterstock

Insulate your attic and walls

Many of the things that help keep your home warmer in the winter also help keep your home cooler in the summer. For example, insulation: it lowers energy bills by keeping the cool air in and the heat out. Insulation can be surprisingly inexpensive, too.

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Sealing tape for windowsPhoto: Shutterstock

Strip in the cool

Weather stripping is in the same category: it’s thought of as a winter measure, but is equally helpful in summer, as it keeps cool air from escaping through doors and windows. Weather stripping is very inexpensive and doesn’t take much time to install; you can strip the area around a door in less than half an hour.

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Man doing laundryPhoto: Shutterstock

Bake and wash at night

Large appliances give off significant amounts of heat. Save the operation of ovens, ranges, dishwashers, and clothes washers and dryers for evening hours when cooler temperatures will offset their output.

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DehumidifierPhoto: Shutterstock

Consider a dehumidifier

Moist heat is much more uncomfortable for people and pets than dry heat. Dehumidifiers suck the moisture out of balmy summer air in your home, making it much more comfortable, even at higher temperatures. Ideally, keep indoor humidity under 60 per cent. To save on electricity costs, use a unit that turns off when humidity drops below your targeted level. Use the water gathered by the humidifier to water your plants.

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Air conditioning, closing doorPhoto: Shutterstock

Shut doors to unused rooms

If you absolutely must use your air conditioner, confine the coolness to where it’s most needed-rooms that you spend most of your day in or bedrooms at night. Shut doors to areas that do not need to be cooled.

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Home remedies for hemorrhoids: IcePhoto: Shutterstock

Hack a fan

With a bowl of ice and a fan, you can create a faux ocean breeze. Simply fill a mixing bowl with ice or an ice pack, and put the bowl in front of a fan. Turn the fan on, and the air will mimic a chilly, misty breeze.

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WindowPhoto: Yaroslaf/Shutterstock

Install cooling curtains

Sometimes opening all the windows just doesn’t cut it, in which case, spray a sheet with cold water and cover the window’s opening. The breeze will hit the sheet and pass through the cool, damp fabric, which can help bring the temperature down in your home.

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Copper tubingPhoto: DJ Srki/Shutterstock

Make a DIY air conditioner

Feel like getting crafty? You can create your own air conditioner by using a fan, 3/8 copper coil, a water pump, ice, cooler box and a plastic pipe. Check out this tutorial for all the information you’ll need.

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Bathroom fanPhoto: tab62/Shutterstock

Turn on your bathroom fans

Your bathroom fans, as well as the exhaust fan in your kitchen, drag the hot air that rises and push it out of your home.

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Insulated window filmsPhoto: Gila

Try insulated window films

Window films offer a tonne of benefits, from cutting energy costs to providing you privacy while still enjoying the view and light of the great outdoors. They can provide up to 98 per cent infrared heat reduction compared to unprotected windows, and reduce temperature imbalances in your home.

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Chill pillowPhoto: Comfort & Relax

Purchase a chill pillow

You’ve switched out your flannel sheets for a lightweight set, and there’s another way to cool down at bedtime. Consider purchasing a special pillow that contains cooling gel that disperses your body heat.

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How to cool your house without ACPhoto: You Touch Pix of EuToch/Shutterstock

Install an awning

Installing an awning above your windows will work to shield your home from the sun’s rays. This will ensure the amount of heat your home absorbs is reduced.

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How to cool your house without ACPhoto: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Hack your windows

Open the top section of your windows on the downwind side of your house, and the bottom section on the upwind side. This will create a cooling pressure current. You can make things even cooler by facing a box fan out the window.

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How to cool your house without ACPhoto: BOONJAEM/Shutterstock

Try planting vines

Planting vines will work similar to installing an awning. Vines like ivy grow quickly and provide cooling shade. The climbers reduce temperature by blocking the sunlight that heats up exterior walls.

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Open windows at nightPhoto: VASILYEV ALEXANDR/Shutterstock

Open windows at night

Take advantage of those breezy summer evenings and open your windows at night to promote a cross-breeze that will help you and your family sleep better. The cooler air will circulate all night, allowing you to start fresh with a cool home in the morning.

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Duct boosterPhoto: Family Handyman

Give your ducts a boost

With its easy plug-in-and-power-on design, installing a duct booster fan can draw more cool air into a room that’s too hot. Simply choose the design that’s right for you, place it in the register vent and plug it in for a quick and easy way to cool your space.

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How to cool your house without ACPhoto: M.A.U/Shutterstock

Get rid of incandescent lights

Incandescent bulbs waste an estimated 90 per cent of their energy in the heat they emit, so if you’re trying to keep your home cool without purchasing an air conditioner, small shifts like switching to compact fluorescent lamps can cool your home while also lowering your energy bill!

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How to cool your house without ACPhoto: Rachata Teyparsit/Shutterstock

Set up your fan in the right place

Because fans merely keep air moving around, rather than actually cooling the air, it’s best to set up your fans in windows or hallways so you can create a cross breeze that will draw in cooler air from the outside (or a cooler part of the house) to the warm areas.

Next, read up on these brilliant home improvement hacks!

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman