Back in the day, there was no such thing as air conditioning and people had to find a way to make do. It wasn’t always as comfortable, easy or convenient as it is today, but there are a number of ways in which you can cool your house without having to flip a switch. For the best money-saving tips, keep reading.
Turn on a Fan
Once you’ve dragged a dusty fan out from your closet, sit it in front of a window…and point it outwards. It sounds counter-intuitive, but doing it this way will make your room cooler than if you just put it in front of you. The reasoning is that hot air collects in a room and stagnates, and putting a fan in the middle of it will only blow swampy air around without actually cooling you off. But if you put it in front of a window, the back of the fan will draw in the sticky air inside a room and blow it outside.
Bonus tip: Place ice cubes or a bowl of water in front of the fan if you do blow it into the room, so this way you’ll get slightly cooled air fanning over you.
One of the biggest reasons just opening the windows on a hot day does almost nothing is because there’s little chance for the air to move around. But open a window and a door, and you’re capitalizing on airflow. This tip is especially effective if you can create a straight air line, but you’ll still get good flow if the window and door aren’t on a truly straight path.
Eat Cold Food
For the same reason it’s a good idea to drink hot chocolate on nippy winter days, eating cold food can help cool you down, even if your surroundings are hotter than Hades. But try to stick to foods that don’t have a super high sugar content (like watermelon or cold soup), otherwise you’ll be stuck with empty calories that convert to fat unless they’re burned off.
Block the Sun from the West and South
The sun is hot almost any time of day during the summer, but when it comes from the south and west, it’s particularly potent because it’s at its most direct. Keep your windows open if they face south or west, but don’t open the curtains or blinds unless it’s the earliest or latest part of the day.
You don’t have to quit meal-making altogether, but use your stove and oven as seldom as you can. This appliance is a huge energy-user and creates a lot of hot, which is harder to get rid of than it is to create. For dishes that need to be cooked, go for the barbecue, or use your oven first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Turn Everything Off
With all that glorious sun streaming in, do you really need to have all the lights on in the house? Even energy-saving bulbs emit heat, and they all add up to warm your house a few degrees. This tip also applies to other things that are plugged in, like TVs, lamps, or computers. When they’re plugged in and turned on, each device gives off heat, and it’s pretty rare that you’ll be using everything at the same time.
Summer can be a swelteringly hot time, but it doesn’t have to be inside your own home. Follow these tips to instantly cool off, and avoid the sky-high bills that come with cranking up the air conditioner.