It can be difficult to stay cool in summer, especially if you live in a warmer climate or have a home without central AC. It’s easier to keep cool if you can stay indoors during the hottest part of the day; however, if you do have to go outdoors, there are some things you can do to keep the heat off. Check out our tips for how to stay cool in summer, whether you’re indoors or out.

When Indoors

Keep windows shaded

Hang blackout curtains over your windows and keep them closed during the sunny parts of the day. Unlike other curtains, blackout curtains absorb the sunlight and work really well on larger windows.

Make sure to keep your windows also closed during the day. Leaving your windows open will bring in the hot air from outside. If your windows don’t close completely or have leaks, use a towel to block the air flow.

Use a dehumidifier

Humidity can make the summer heat feel more unbearable, so keeping it at a low level can help it feel cooler inside. Using a dehumidifier during the day can keep the moisture in your home down. In fact, even if you have a window AC unit, a dehumidifier can still be helpful to remove moisture from the air before it returns to the air conditioner.

Avoid using appliances that create heat

There’s a reason salads are a big hit in the summer months and soups are saved for fall and winter. Using your oven and stove in the summer adds heat to your home, making your whole kitchen feel like an oven. To avoid this fate, try to stick to using your microwave or an outdoor grill for cooking instead. If you do need to cook inside, use something like a panini press or a griddle.

Additionally, your dishwasher can make your home feel hotter. Try turning off the heat dry option and stick to air dry during the summer.

Be creative

If your home doesn’t have AC, you may be wondering how to cool a room. One solution is to use a box fan, but instead of having it blow air onto you, point it to blow air outdoors. This way, it will push hot air out. If you have ceiling fans, adjust the settings to the blades run counter-clockwise. This way, it pulls hot air up and out.

You can even make your own air conditioner by placing a shallow bowl or pan full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze created from this will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, giving you a nice cooling mist. You can also try sleeping downstairs or with a mattress set on the floor.

When Outdoors

Stick to the shade

If you are spending time outdoors, find a spot in the shade to rest. Avoid spending more than 30-45 minutes in direct sunlight during the day. You can take an umbrella or find a tree to sit under to give your body a bit of a break from the glaring sun. If you’re going somewhere with few shady places to sit, you can sit under the open tailgate of a car with the windows open.

Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing

Clothing in lighter colors like white, yellow, light blue and light pink are the best picks when you’re out and about for keeping cool. If you’re running errands or heading to work, wear clothes from materials like cotton, linen, or silk.

Keep hydrated

Although this tip can be good for whether you’re indoors or out, it’s especially important if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. Drink at least 96 fl oz of water on hotter days. You can achieve this by drinking at least a cup of water each hour.

Up your vitamin C intake

Researchers have found that vitamin C increases your tolerance for heat by delaying your sweat gland fatigue. This cool tip for how to cool down helps reduce the occurrence of heat exhaustion and even heat rash. Vitamin C can also keep your body temperature from rising during heat exposure. And all you need is a mere 250 milligrams.

If you don’t have an air conditioner, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of ways to stay cool without AC during the hotter months of the year.

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