How to keep your house cool without air conditioning

When it's scorching in Minnesota, it can be particularly tough at nights.
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We're not ones to complain about the heat in Minnesota given what we have to endure in the winter.

But for all our delight that it's sunny and hot outside, it can sometimes be a bit miserable when you're trying to sleep in a sweaty, stuffy bed.

The money/environmentally conscious among you may decide to deal with the heat without resorting to air conditioning, and there will be those who have no access to AC at all, or only a window unit.

For those people, we've tracked down some handy tips on how to keep your house cool without AC.

1. Keep yourself cool

This should be your starting point. For all the efforts you can make reducing the heat in your home, the main thing is that you're comfortable.

Lifehacker suggests keeping your body temperature down by drinking lots of cool water and fluids, as well as having iced treats on hand.

Wearing baggy clothing around the house, with Greatist recommending loose cotton shirts and shorts that take the sweat away from your body – linen is also good, as they're both "breathable" fabrics.

Choose light colors, they'll reflect the sunlight better.

If you're really struggling, put wet clothes in your fridge or freezer and apply it as a cold compress to your wrist and neck areas (your body cools down faster by applying to these areas).

2. Cover those windows

Family Handyman notes that 30 percent of unwanted heat in a house comes from the windows, so during the daytime when the sun's at its most intense, closed your blinds, draw your curtains, or even put tinted window film on your south or west-facing windows.

When it cools down later in the day, open them back up again so the captured heat can escape, and crack open the windows when temps drop in the evening.

3. Use fans (when it's below 90)

If you have a ceiling fan, set it to counter-clockwise during the summer at a higher-speed, as this will create a wind-chill breeze effect by drawing the warm air upward.

Otherwise, if you have portable fans, Apartment Therapy recommends putting a bowl of icy water in front of it so it can blow cooler air.

Bear in mind, there have been studies suggesting fans lose their effectiveness and can actually exacerbate the heat when it's too hot – the CDC recommends only using fans when the temperature in your home is below 90.

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4. Cook and clean wisely

You don't want to be cooking on a gas or electric stove at 1 p.m. when it's 95 degrees out – do any indoor hot food cooking during the cooler hours so you're not making a hot house even hotter, otherwise cook outdoors on your grill.

Same goes with laundry and ironing.

5. Check your bed sheets

If you have polyester sheets, take them off asap. You're far more likely to stay cool when you're sleeping if you're on cotton, linen and rayon sheets, according to Mulberry's Garment Care.

6. Argue with your partner

I mean, we're not talking a devastating argument here, but sleeping alone can have its advantages when it's hot, as you won't be next to another living radiator that is the human body.

If you're sleeping alone, Greatist suggests the spread eagle position is best to keep cool.

7. Bedtime prep

Tepid showers are a great way to bring down your core body temperatures and rinses off the sweat – one of those just before you turn in for the night will leave you feeling cool and clean.

And if you're really struggling, take your mattress to the lowest part of the house, where it's cooler. That might be the basement or, in a one-story home, putting it on the floor of your bedroom.

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