Yes, staying cool without air conditioning is actually possible. Here are some tips to show you how to cool a room without AC, for when the summer heat starts becoming unbearable.
Air conditioners are expensive, difficult to install, and from an ecological standpoint, problematic. Even an air conditioner that operates at 800 watts, for example, uses more energy than 100 energy-efficient lightbulbs. Luckily, there are alternative ways to beat the heat, without damaging the environment. Skeptical? Read on. Here are three simple ways to cool down your room without AC:
How to Cool Down a Room Without AC #1: Wet Towels or Sheets
Hanging out wet towels or cotton bedsheets is probably one of the best known methods for cooling down a room without AC. It’s as simple as it sounds. Soak the towel or sheet in cold water and wring it out. Hang it up either directly in front of the open window or on a drying rack in the middle of the room.
Why does this help? Two words: evaporative cooling. In order to accomplish a phase change like evaporation, water needs to draw in heat energy from the environment. The amount of energy needed to free an atom from the liquid state is equivalent to the energy needed to overcome the surface tension of that liquid. Water happens to have a relatively high level of surface tension, so it has to absorb a large amount of heat energy in order to go from liquid to gas. As the heat gets absorbed into this process, the room gets cooler.
Note: Make sure the room is well-ventilated, in order to prevent mold from growing!
How to Cool a House Without AC #2: Fans
Okay, we know this one isn’t very original, but we’re betting some of these tips can still be useful. Here’s how to cool down your house without AC, using fans:
- Set your ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise. This will cause air to be pushed down and out, which then causes air to flow up along the walls. This moves the colder air that has collected towards the floor up into the occupied space.
- Fans don’t cool rooms, they cool people. All fans do is redistribute the air in the room; the temperature doesn’t actually change. But you still feel cooler, because the air moving across your skin and causing perspiration to evaporate is creating a wind-chill effect. It’s the same reason that it feels colder outside when it’s windy. This is also why leaving a fan on in a room without people in it is pointless – turn it off and save the electricity instead.
- According to the New York State Department of Health, it is only advisable to use a fan when indoor air temperatures are cooler than 95 °F. If it is any hotter, a fan could cause your body to gain heat instead of lose it.
How to Cool a Room Without AC #3: Darkness
To keep the temperature in your home from rising, keep the sunlight out as much as possible during the day.
- The ideal way to cover your windows is with blinds or shades that are on the outside of the window. This way, the heat has already been absorbed before it ever even touches your window, and the the heat is not being radiated inside the house.
- If it’ puts you in a bad mood to have all your windows closed all day long, try only closing the ones that are directly facing the sun. For example, make sure you cover all east-facing windows at night before you go to bed, so that the room won’t start to heat up when the sun rises in the morning.
- Tip: If you notice that the air outside is warmer than the air inside, don’t open your windows. The same goes for windows that are in the direct sunlight. Don’t let your hard-won cool air escape outside!
More Tips for Staying Cool
- Looking for another easy method for how to cool your house without AC? Avoid cooking or using your oven. Instead, either grill outside or try to eat things like salads or sandwiches, which don’t require heat to prepare.
- Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink enough water, and stay away from caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which cause your body to become dehydrated.
- Eating chilled fruit is a delicious and refreshing way to cool down. Sliced peaches, watermelon, or grapes make the perfect summer afternoon snack.
This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Wohnung kühlen ohne Klimaanlage – Tipps und Tricks** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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