If you’re looking for green ways to keep cool this summer — with little or no air conditioner — you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve gathered a variety of eco-friendly tips that either don’t use an air conditioner or help you use your air conditioner more efficiently.
Yes, it’s true you can stay cool without harming the environment.
To keep you and the planet healthy and to save money on your energy bill, here are 20 green ways to help you keep cool when summer heat threatens to get inside your home and under your collar.
Green Ways to Keep Cool With Litttle Or No Air Conditioner
Avoid the dry cycle and plan ahead. Allow dishes to air dry in your dishwasher. And, wash dishes late at night or early in the morning so you can keep the dishwasher door closed for several hours after the wash cycle completes to avoid hot air from spilling into the room.
Check refrigerator settings and coils. Set your refrigerator between 37 to 40 degrees and remember to keep the coils clean. Dirty coils make your refrigerator work harder and run longer, which heats up your kitchen.
Open windows and doors in the early morning. Allow early morning cool air to circulate throughout your home.
Close windows and coverings mid morning. Shut windows, blinds, shades, shutters and curtains later in the morning to stop afternoon heat from getting inside.
Drench your extremities. Run cold water over your hands and wrists, soak feet and ankles in a tub of water, splash water on your face and ears.
Dress for the heat. Wear loose or lightweight clothing made from natural fibers, such as cotton and linen (rather than synthetic materials), including sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts, shorts, capri pants, skirts and dresses. Rotate your shoes or sandals, so you’re never wearing shoes that are damp from sweat. Go barefoot when possible.
Eat smaller amounts of food. Your body produces less heat to digest small amounts of food than compared to large amounts of food.
Freeze a wet a towel. Allow the towel to thaw a little and then place it on your forehead, stomach, or feet to lower your body temperature.
Notice outdoor temperatures. Open doors and windows when the temperature drops down outside.
Practice green bathing habits. Open the window and close the door when showering, so hot steam doesn’t reach other parts of your home. If you don’t have a window in the bathroom, remember to turn on the fan to vent hot air.
Service your air conditioner. If you must use an air conditioner, make sure it runs efficiently by keeping filters clean and using the right amount of coolant. To help your air conditioner work better, use a fan to circulate the cold air. (If you can live with without using an air conditioner, do it. Use an air conditioner only during the hottest part of the day.)
Shut off heat-producing devices. When not in use, unplug or turnoff electronic devices such as computers, televisions, stereos, and incandescent light bulbs.
Sip cold beverages and eat chilled foods. Drink cold beverages, like ice water with a squeeze of lemon, or eat cold food, like chilled strawberries and blueberries, to lower your body temperature from the inside. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol, since both can lead to dehydration.
Sit under a tree. Hang out under shady trees where it can be up to 10 degrees cooler.
Spritz with water from a spray bottle. Mist your face or feet with water to cool off. While still damp, sit in front of a fan to get even cooler.
Take cold showers or baths. Lower your body temperature by cooling off your body from the outside.
Turn on fans to circulate air. Turn off the fan when you’re not in the room. For a short-term treat, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan to move colder air.
Use a microwave or toaster oven. Cook food in a microwave or toaster oven, since both produce less heat and cook foods faster, which keeps your house cooler.
Visit the library, mall, grocery store, movie theatre or gym. Go to public places where many people can be cooled by air conditioners at the same time.
Wash and dry clothes before or after hottest periods. Do laundry early in the day or late at night when it’s cooler. Use a clothesline when possible or at least air dry part of the load. (Not everything may need to go in the dryer, especially items made from synthetic materials like workout clothes, blankets, and fleece jackets.)
We can’t guarantee you won’t ever need to turn on your air conditioner by following these steps. However, it’s very possible that you’ll use it a great deal less.
Can you share your favorite ways to keep cool in the summer?