Skip to main content
Publish date:

How to keep your house cool without air conditioning

When it's scorching in Minnesota, it can be particularly tough at nights.
Author:

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.

Today's Top Stories

– Scorching hot temperatures of nearly 100 hit Minnesota.

– St. Paul mainstay Fabulous Fern's calls it quits.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

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.

Next Up

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

4th teen COVID-19 death reported in MN is the 2nd in as many weeks

All four teenage COVID-19 deaths in the state have been reported in the past two months.

Anil Menon

Minnesota native named to NASA's new astronaut class

When he's done training, he could be sent to the space station or the moon.

broadway pizza interior facebook

Gallery: Original Broadway Pizza auctioning off everything

Get your hands on some classic Broadway signage, train-themed decor and more.

art shanty projects

Art Shanty Projects to return to Lake Harriet this winter

The festival has made some creative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

After 'extraordinary' revenue growth, MN projects $7.7B surplus

But finance officials note there is still "significant risk" due to economic uncertainty.

amelia huffman

Deputy Chief Amelia Huffman named interim chief of the Minneapolis PD

She lives in Uptown and has been with the MPD for 27 years.

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Deputy injured when fleeing suspect crashes into his vehicle

The 34-year-old deputy was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Vineeta Sawkar

Vineeta Sawkar named as WCCO Radio’s new morning host

She succeeds the legendary Dave Lee, who retired earlier this year.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, December 7

The latest from the state health department.

Related

How to prepare your home for the coronavirus outbreak

The virus is spreading, but you shouldn't panic – just be prepared.

How to save on your energy bills during extreme cold

It's going to be seriously cold in Minnesota this week.

How to shovel snow without getting hurt

Shoveling snow results in thousands of injuries every year.

MN Nice Homes: A Twin Cities house and pool for under $270K

And it's only 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis.

It's time to get your tickets to ... erm ... the Minnesota State Fair?

You can get your tickets to the 2020 Minnesota State Fair now.

Photo gallery: You can own a private island in Shakopee for $649K

The latest of our Minnesota Nice Homes series looks at this unusual lakeside listing.