6 Ways to Keep Your House Cool Without an AC

As global temperatures rise, air conditioners (ACs) are becoming more of a necessity. But it's a bit of a catch-22 because while they cool us down, ACs also contribute to the climate crisis by producing heat and releasing greenhouse gases.

You don't have to rely solely on your AC to beat the heat. There are a bunch of other cooling strategies that can give your AC a break and keep your house cool without AC.


Keep your blinds and curtains closed

Unwanted heat can enter your home through the windows. During summer days, closing curtains on windows receiving direct sunlight can help prevent heat gain. If you use medium-colored draperies like beige, yellow, or grey with white-plastic backings, which absorb very little heat, you can reduce heat gain by 33%. For more effectiveness, you can even use blackout curtains.

Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise.

Seasonally adjusting your ceiling fan can significantly enhance your home's comfort levels. In the summer, set the fan to rotate counter-clockwise at a higher speed. This will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you feel cooler.

Turn on the exhaust fans

Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to get rid of hot air from cooking and showers. By actively removing the hot air, you can keep your house cool and more comfortable without AC.

Open the windows at night

During the summer months, temperatures often dip at night. If that’s the case where you live, open those windows before you go to bed. You can even create a wind tunnel by strategically setting up your fans to force the perfect cross breeze. The cooler air will circulate all night, allowing you to start fresh with a cool house in the morning. Just be sure to close the windows and blinds before things get too hot in the morning.

Plant foliage around your home

Trees, shrubs, and other vegetation provide shade, blocking direct sunlight from your walls and windows, and lowering the heat your home absorbs. Plants also release moisture into the air through transpiration, cooling the surrounding environment. By placing plants strategically near windows and sun-exposed areas, you can significantly lower indoor temperatures and create a more comfortable living space without heavily relying on air conditioning.

Insulate windows and doors

Insulating your windows and doors with film and draft blockers can be an effective way to maintain a cooler indoor environment. Window films can reduce the amount of heat entering your home by reflecting sunlight, while draft blockers prevent hot air from seeping in through gaps around windows and doors. This combination enhances your home’s overall energy efficiency by reducing the need for air conditioning.


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