You’re hot. I’m hot. We’re all hot. But what can you do to keep yourself cool when you don’t have air conditioning?
Never fear, because science has the answer. You don't necessarily need a fancy machine to keep the temperatures in your house down. With a bit of trickery and some minor adjustments, you too can survive the hottest months of the year.
So give some of the suggestions below a try and see if any can alleviate your summer woes. And if you've got your own remedy for keeping your house cool, why don't you go ahead and post it in the comments for others to enjoy.
Keep your blinds and curtains closed
This might seem obvious, but draw your blinds and curtains to prevent your windows acting like a greenhouse. Up to 30 percent of heat can come from windows, so by keeping them closed that heat will be reflected back outside, and you’ll keep the temperature lower. You could even use blackout curtains to make this effect even better. Red, orange, and yellow curtains will reflect the most heat.
Open (and close!) doors
While it makes sense to keep as many doors open inside your house as possible to create an air flow, try closing doors to rooms you aren’t using. This will prevent cold air heading into these rooms, meaning only the ones you really want to stay cool benefit most.
Enhance your fans with bowls of ice
If you have floor fans blowing in your house, try placing a bowl of ice water in front of them when you switch them on. This will make the fans blow the cooler mist from the ice around the house as it evaporates, rather than just recycling the existing warm air.
Create a fan network
You can get smart with your fans to improve the air flow in your house. Use open windows (and the bowl trick) to move cool air through the house, rather than just having fans blow it around in a circle. You could have one fan blowing into your room from the door, for example, and another blowing hot air out of the window, creating a good air flow.
Don’t do anything
Seriously. Turn off your computer. Don’t run the dryer. And, of course, avoid doing jumping jacks in the living room. Just sit there, perfectly still. Okay not quite, but still, turning off your appliances and lights is a good place to start.
Be smart with your windows
Open your windows at night when the air is cooler to let in that colder air. But when the Sun comes up, close the windows (at least for a bit) to trap the cold air as long as possible. You’ll probably need to open them at some point, though.
Spin ceiling fans the other way
It might seem odd, but cooling your house is all about moving hot air away, rather than blowing it around. One good way to do this is to set your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise, so that the blades pull up air, rather than pushing it down.
Drinking water is a bit of a no-brainer. Aim to drink about 2 liters a day and you’ll keep yourself nice and hydrated. But water has other uses too! Fill a spray bottle with water and give yourself a good dousing when you are hot, or freeze a handkerchief or ice pack and use it to cool your neck, arms, and legs.
Swap and cool your sheets
Opting for cotton or silk sheets can help keep your bed more breathable and give you a bit of a cooling effect when you hit the hay. For a quick blast of coolness to help you get to sleep, you can also try putting them in your freezer in a plastic bag for a couple of minutes before you go to sleep.
Grow some houseplants
Certain plants including cacti and bromeliads get their water from the air, rather than you watering them. This means they can remove some of the humidity from the air in your house, keeping you cooler.
If all else fails
Move to Antarctica.