Staying cool during the warm months can be difficult (and that’s an understatement). But before you give up and just sweat your life away, there are some really great tips we’ve collected to teach you how to cool a room. Generally, knowing how to cool down a room can come down to a few basic areas: removing heat sources, lowering your body heat, or remove the hot air. Check out the following tricks to cool down any room in your home, whether you have AC or not.
Remove Heat Sources
Lots of items and appliances in our homes create heat. Targeting these heat sources can help make your home more livable when the mercury starts to climb. To learn how to cool a room down, start by removing some of these heat sources:
You don’t need to actually remove these appliances, but it can help to reduce your use of them. Turn off the heat dry option on your dishwasher, stop using your dryer and instead hang-dry most of your clothes. Try to cook meals without using your oven or stovetop. Instead, opt for salads, sandwiches, smoothies, or grilling outdoors.
- Light bulbs:
All sources of light can give off some heat, so you want to use as few of them as possible. Alternatively, switching to more energy-efficient bulbs can provide some heat relief. Incandescent light bulbs create the most heat, so switch them out for LED bulbs.
- Screens and computers:
Using your laptop or computer can add heat to your rooms. Shut them off for the night or when you’re done working to help not only keep your room cool, but to lower your electrical bill too.
- The Sun:
Not surprisingly, the massive ball of burning gas that keeps our planet from freezing over can also be a big heat source within your home. When it shines through your windows it can really heat things up, especially in summer months. This is particularly true for windows that face west or south. You can install light-blocking shades or honeycomb blinds that will add a layer of protection against the sun’s rays.
Lower Body Heat
Sometimes you have to focus on yourself rather than looking for outside solutions. Try these quick tips to help with your own personal cooling:
- Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water before bed can help keep your body hydrated when sweating during the night. It also helps your body to stay cooler throughout the day.
- Take a cold shower
A quick cold shower can be an instant solution to the too-hot blues. Make sure to get your hair wet and let it air dry so you can reap the benefits long after the shower is over.
- Use cotton
Cotton sheets breath much better than other fabrics. Take it another step and get your sheet wet. Ring it until it’s damp and then place it over your body before bed. The slow evaporation will help keep you cool most of the night. Turn on your ceiling fan or place a box fan aimed at your bed to take this effect to the next level.
- Go solo
Body heat is a huge factor in staying cool, and we’re not just talking about your own body heat. Sleeping with a partner or child can make it harder to stay cool, so try going solo for a night or two. Sleep on the couch or have everyone run down to the basement and sleep on air mattresses to help stay cool.
- Freeze your clothes
It may sound crazy, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Place you clothing (specifically, your pajamas) in a large, air-tight, resealable bag, and then place it in the freezer for a few hours. When you take it out, your clothes will be pleasantly cold. Just make sure that there’s no moisture on your clothes before you freeze them — cold clothes feel good; icy, dripping clothes not so much.
- Use a fan
Sitting under a ceiling fan or in front of an oscillating fan help trick your body into believing the room is cooler than it actually is. Put a bowl of ice in front of the fan to create a cool, misty breeze. Grab a cold drink and let your body relax.
Remove Hot Air
How to cool a room? Well, if you can’t remove the heat sources or cool down your own body, then your last option is to remove the hot air itself. Here are some ways to do that:
- Open the windows:
Let any cool air in. Of course, if it’s hotter outside than in, you’ll want to keep them closed. Be strategic about this: open the windows in the early hours when it’s cooler outside then shut them in the afternoon.
- Create convection:
If you have double-hung windows, lower the top sash and raise the bottom sash in each window. This will help cool air to flow in through the bottom and for hot air to escape through the top sash.
- Create a cross breeze:
To accomplish this, focus on having airflow from one side in, and out another. You can do this in a bedroom if it has two windows by aiming a fan out one window with the second one open. For rooms with just one window, open up the window and find another room on the opposite side of the house to help flow from one room to another, creating a cross breeze.
- Use Your Exhaust Fans:
Kitchen or bathroom fans that vent to the outdoors can help remove heat as well — so turn them on! You can also turn large fans into exhaust fans for your whole house by aiming them out the window of the upper floors while keeping all doors open. This will remove the heat from the hot upper stories while drawing cool air in and up from the first floor.