Keeping your cool in summer can be hard especially if you don’t have air conditioning or are trying not to use it to save on electricity. Luckily, there are some tried and tested ways to cool down rooms in your home.
How to make a room cooler
We’ve listed our top 10 tips below, plus ways to keep your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen extra cool this summer.
- Check your insulation
- Open the windows
- Close your curtains or blinds
- Use ceiling fans
- Create a cross breeze
- Place ice in front of a fan
- Cool your pulse points
- Ditch the electronics
- Buy a pedestal fan
- Invest in a portable air conditioner
1. Check your insulation
Insulation isn’t just a thermal barrier to keep your home warm and cosy in the winter. It has the double duty of keeping it cooler in summer too. One of the best ways to increase your cooling efficiency (and reduce your electricity bills) is to ensure your humble abode is adequately insulated. You can even buy DIY insulation rolls and sheets to install yourself.
2. Open the windows
Take advantage of natural ventilation and open the windows and interior doors of your house to allow the outdoor breeze to circulate and flow through your home. This can help reduce indoor air pollution and control humidity in your home in summer. You can keep your windows open during the day and at night.
3. Close your curtains or blinds
This may seem contradictory to the above tip, but hear us out. Closing your curtains or blinds during the day will reduce your indoor sunlight exposure and naturally cool down any room. This could reduce heat gain by up to 15%, according to EnergyAustralia.
If you’ve got windows that get a lot of direct sunlight, it may be wise to invest in some blackout curtains or blinds to block out the sun when it’s at its peak or during the hottest time of the day (typically between 12pm-3pm).
4. Use ceiling fans
Not everyone can afford an air conditioner, but what about ceiling fans? Not only are they generally cheaper to buy and install, but they’re also a great way to cool your home by way of circulating air throughout and sucking the hot air around and above the ceiling. Plus, they also use less energy than AC.
Just be sure to adjust your ceiling fans with the seasons. Ceiling fans should spin counter-clockwise in summer to help create a downdraft and cooling breeze. In winter, your fan rotation should be clockwise to create an updraft and circulate warm air around the room.
5. Create a cross breeze
You can easily create your own cross breeze (which typically occurs when two windows are across from one another) in your home by using a couple of strategically placed box fans. Simply position a fan across from a window so that the breeze from outside and the fan air combine to create a cooling cross wind. You can repeat this step with all windows and exterior doors.
6. Place ice in front of a fan
This is a nifty ol’ trick people used when air conditioning didn’t exist and it works just as well now as it did back in the day. Just place a bucket of ice in front of your tower or pedestal fan to create a mini DIY air con. The fan will blow around the extra cold air the ice generates as it melts and naturally create a cooling mist.
7. Cool your pulse points
You can lower your body temperature and keep cool for longer by applying an ice pack or cold compresses to your pulse points. Your pulse points are the parts of your body where your blood is closest to your skin and include your wrists, neck, elbows, ankles, feet and behind your knees. Just be careful not to apply an ice pack directly on your skin and use a small cloth as a barrier to avoid frostbite.
8. Ditch the electronics
Electronics and appliances like televisions, computers, gaming systems and other gadgets use electric currents and generate a lot of excess heat, that can make any room feel like a furnace. So, if you’re looking to reduce your indoor temperature, you should unplug whatever technology you’re not immediately using to minimise heat exchanges.
9. Buy a pedestal fan
In conjunction with ceiling fans, pedestal fans are another classic choice for cooling medium to large-sized spaces like living rooms and kitchens. They offer the additional benefit of portability and can be moved from room to room to suit your needs. Most models are also height-adjustable. Pedestal fans are also more powerful and provide a stronger airflow than tower fans.
10. Invest in a portable air conditioner
Who needs a full-fledged air conditioner when you have portable air conditioners? Sure, they may not be as efficient as a split-system or ducted AC unit, but they’re remarkably convenient (i.e. portable, easy to use and store, etc.) for homeowners and renters alike. Portable air conditioners are also cheap to buy upfront, but keep in mind they’re less energy efficient than split system air conditioners which are generally the most energy-efficient type of air con you can buy.
How to cool a room down quickly
Air conditioning is still the best and quickest way to cool down a room. But, if your unit is broken or you simply don’t have or don’t want to use your AC, your second best bet is to create as much airflow inside as possible and cycle hot air out of the room. That’s why opening windows and strategically placing fans is important. Blocking sunlight and reducing humidity also helps the indoor temperature feel a few degrees cooler.
Tips to cool down your bedroom without AC
Let the night air in. Temperatures always drop at night, so open your windows to let that cool evening air and breeze in. Just make sure to keep your eye out for rain!
Switch to LED lights. Light bulbs can make any small room feel hotter as a result of the excess heat they generate. This is especially the case if you’ve got halogen or incandescent lights. If you’re looking for something that produces less heat, LED bulbs are the way to go and also happen to be the most energy-efficient lighting technology.
Sleep low: If you’re familiar with the principle that hot air rises (because it’s less dense than cold air), then you’ll know keeping close to the ground is always going to be cooler. Try sleeping in a low-profile bed in summer or on a mattress on the floor (bonus points if you’ve got tiles which should be cooler than carpet).
Tips to cool down your bathroom without AC
Take a cold shower or bath. Take a lukewarm or cold shower to beat the heat. Cold and contrast showers (alternating between hot and cold water during one shower) can also help your body cool down naturally and lower your core temperature.
Turn on the exhaust fan in your bathroom. Use the bathroom fan to help cycle out hot air as it rises and reduce humidity in the room. You could also place a fan in the bathroom to increase airflow.
Use a dehumidifier. Although a dehumidifier doesn’t produce cool air like air con, it does remove excess moisture from the room. This will in turn make your indoor temperature feel a few degrees cooler and overall more comfortable.
Tips to cool down your kitchen without AC
Switch to an induction stovetop: Induction cooktops retain less heat than traditional gas and electric stovetops because they can cook food faster, adjust better to temperature fluctuations and cool down in no time. Making the switch could help with keeping your kitchen cooler in the warmer months and induction stovetops are also more energy-efficient.
Avoid using the oven. Ovens also produce a lot of heat and can make any kitchen feel uncomfortably hot, especially if you don’t have a ventilation system. If your kitchen is already sweltering, steer clear from using the oven and opt to cook with countertop appliances like air fryers and slow cookers which generate less heat.
Cook in the morning. Prep your meals earlier in the day to avoid standing over a hot stovetop when temperatures soar around midday or in the afternoon. A good tip is to cook all your meals in the morning and reheat them later in the microwave. You could also try cooking outdoors if you’ve got a barbeque.