I have an AC unit in my house and chances are you do to. But if you are anything like me you would rather spend your money on some serious summer fun rather than serious summer electric bills. Blah!
To keep costs down we always try to figure out how we can get away with using the AC as little as possible and there are many ways to keep cool without cranking it up. You just have to get creative and be vigilant. Here are some of the ways I recommend staying cool without relying on the AC. If you have some too I would love to hear about them…comment below!
Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning
1. Open windows – Buy an indoor/outdoor thermometer. When the temperature at night dips below your optimal indoor temperature, open as many windows in the house as you can and leave them open all night. Keep them open until the outdoor temperature starts to climb and then shut them. Open closet doors and cabinets at night too so they can release heat they are holding in.
2. Use blinds and heavy, dark colored curtains if you can, to keep sunlight and heat out of the house during the hottest months. The window quilts we use in the winter are great for this purpose. I also saw some curtains at Costco that claim to reduce your energy bills by 30% in the summer and winter…I may check those out.
3. Turn off the lights because they create heat. I try not to use lights at all during the day and we use them sparingly at night. Make sure you have CFL or LED bulbs too.
One neat way trick I learned from a college friend who had no money to pay high electric bills, is to buy cheap solar lights at a home improvement store. Sit them outside all day to charge and then bring them inside at night to use. They give off a lot of light and they do not create heat.
4. Use fans – It is amazing how much cooler you feel if the air around you is circulating. When the temperature is cooler outside (mornings and night) we place a fan right next to the window to blow cool air inside. We also put them in front of our beds at night because we HATE to be hot and sticky when we are trying to go to sleep.
5. Air dry sheets and towels by hanging them inside, in front of an open door. As the air blows them dry, cool air passes through them and into the house. You also save money by not using an electric dryer.
6. Get a haircut – I will use ANY excuse to cut all my hair off, LOL. Many summers I have kept my hair about 1-2 inches in total length during the summer months…I have even been known to shave the back completely off. Even if you don’t want to get THAT drastic it is still a good idea to get a shorter, summer cut.
7. Get wet – Take a short shower in the heat of the afternoon or hose yourself off. Often times I will take my t-shirt off and get it wet in the sink, wring it out, and then put it back on. Then I wear a damp shirt for a few hours and keep cool. I repeat as much as needed. A wet bandanna is a life saver too and you can put it in the freezer for a couple minutes to really get it cold.
I have also been known to stick my head under the sink a couple times to wet my hair. I learned that technique in Arizona when we would go to the zoo in the summer. Every 20 minutes or so I would douse myself in the drinking fountain and wear wet clothes around. Sometimes I would stand in front of the elephant fans too, hehe. You can also take a dip in the pool a couple times a day if you have one.
8. Eat homemade popsicles and other frozen treats and drink smoothies. We always keep plenty of these on hand and they don’t have to be super sugary either. Ours are usually smoothie pops or juice pops with the juice coming straight from the juicer with no sugar added. We also like fruit kebabs with grapes, berries, and pineapple skewered and frozen.
9. Drink water. It really helps you stay cool to drink cool water. I fill up my water purifying pitcher several times a day and let it chill in the fridge.
10. Don’t use the oven or stove if at all possible. Now might be a great time to experiment with raw foods that don’t need to be cooked. In the summer months a green smoothie and fresh fruit plate makes a wonderful lunch and a fresh green salad is a simple and delicious dinner! An instant pot makes meals quickly. You can also cook in the morning, perhaps making pasta for a cold pasta salad that evening. Outdoor cooking is also a great way to eat without the heat.