How to Keep Your House Cool Without Air Conditioning

A number of great ways to keep cool this summer when the AC is not working or too expensive afford.  Energy conservation that is attainable.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

These are all great suggestions. I have found that in a heat emergency, reflective window coverings are a lifesaver (I am lucky to have lots of windows in my domicile but it is rough in 100 degree weather). I get through the year with one 8000 btu portable AC unit for hottest days mostly to keep my animals safe. 
Quick and dirty reflectors are: aluminum foil applied to the windows (most effective but not the prettiest fix) or covering smaller windows from the inside with reflective car windshield covers if you can find them on sale. 

Swamp coolers are good in low humidity but don't keep pets cool esp. pets that don't normally sweat like birds.  I find my kitty loves to gets a soaking wipe down with wet paper towels when it is really hot and birdies get sprayed frequently. 

In multi unit housing situations where the hallways are really cool drawing in cool air using a window fan to pull out hot air and pull in cool air from the hallway works pretty well esp if you can keep the door open for a short period of time to air out the place.

Very timely article thanks!



We installed a mini-split in our bedroom and cool only that room at night even though we have central cooling and heating. The SEER rating is 22 so it uses very little power. Our temp yesterday was 101 during the day and about 83  last night. But our bedroom was 70.

A year or so ago Dutch Elm disease struck an elm tree that was near my house.  This tree had been providing a thick canopy of leaves shading a section of my home.  This summer with that tree gone I am seeing a huge difference in indoor temperatures.  That tree did a LOT to keep my home cool in the summer.  I've got an almond tree planted now to take it's place, but it will be a while until it grows up enough to make a difference.  I hadn't realized how much that elm tree was doing until it was gone.