5 Simple Ways to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning

By: Ryan Reed
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The first day of summer is only days away, but the hot, humid weather is already here for many. While the gentle hum of an air conditioner is as synonymous with the season as water splashing at a pool, there are plenty of other ways to keep cool (and save money) without turning down the thermostat. Here are a few that we think you should try:

Wet Dog in Pool

Wet Dog in Pool

A wet dog leans on the edge of an inflatable outdoor pool.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Dorottya_Mathe


1: Become a Grill Master

Outdoor Family-Friendly Patio for Entertaining

Outdoor Family-Friendly Patio for Entertaining

This family grills on their outside patio on a grill with a bar attached so the whole family can enjoy a meal outside. The patio is adorned with simple landscaping.

There's a reason why summer is grilling season. If you’re feeling overheated, cooking dinner in a 350-degree oven is only going to make matters worse. Instead, head outside and fire up the grill. You’ll get to enjoy your stylish patio while the inside of your home remains cool. Win-win.

2: Choose Your Sheets Wisely

Neutral Bedroom With Stunning View

Neutral Bedroom With Stunning View

A breathtaking view of Beverly Hills is the star in this simple but tasteful bedroom. Neutral art and white bed linens allow the gorgeous view to shine in this nature-inspired space.

Photo by: Hilton & Hyland, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Hilton & Hyland, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s nothing worse than trying to fall asleep in a hot bedroom. Having a fan nearby helps, but your sheets can contribute to keeping you comfortable, too. Choose sheets made out of breathable, natural materials, such as cotton or cotton blends, as they wick away moisture without clinging to your body.

Pro Tip: Place your top sheet and pillowcases in a bag and let them sit in your refrigerator before going to bed. They won’t stay cold all night, but the relief from the heat might be just what you need to fall asleep.

3: Window Treatments Make All the Difference

Color-Blocked Drapes in Modern Bedroom

Color-Blocked Drapes in Modern Bedroom

In the master bedroom, color-blocked drapes have a strong personality that's softened by playful art. The color combination carries over from the window treatment to the walls, lending incredible structure and visual interest to the design.

From: Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

Photo by: Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design

During the day, when the temperature outside your home is hotter than inside, the best way to keep it that way is to close your windows, blinds and curtains. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, highly-reflective blinds can reduce heat by 45 percent, and curtains with a medium- to white-colored backing can reduce heat by 33 percent. You may feel a little bit like a vampire with the lack of sunlight, but it can really help save on your energy bill.

Pro Tip: In addition to blocking sunlight, try setting your ceiling fan so that the blades are spinning in a counterclockwise direction. This will help draw the heat in the room up and away from you.

4: Ice, Ice Baby

Vintage Fan and a Block of Ice

Vintage Fan and a Block of Ice

Block of ice and an old vintage fan.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/pauldempsey


This tip couldn’t be any easier, and it might be the most effective. All you need is a fan and a container full of ice. Turn your fan to the desired speed and place the ice in front. Voila! You’ve created a DIY air conditioner.

5: Skip the Cocktails + Drink Water

Glass Bottle at Baby Shower Brunch

Glass Bottle at Baby Shower Brunch

Include your drink ware in the baby shower by color coordinating them. Decorate a glass bottle and drinking glasses with lemons and a yellow napkin to match the color scheme of the shower.

From: Laura Fenton

Sipping a cocktail or iced coffee may sound like a great idea when the temperature rises, but you may actually be doing more harm than good. Both alcohol and caffeine are known to cause dehydration, which is the last thing you want in the middle of summer. Instead, drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day.

20 Ways to Beautifully Shade Your Outdoor Room

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Striped Awnings

Functioning awnings help minimize the exposure to the sun in this sophisticated outdoor dining space. Design by Barry Dixon

From: Barry Dixon

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Intimate Pavilion

Seeking shade has never been more romantic in this outdoor dining pavilion with soft, flowing draperies and an Italianate chandelier. Design by Charles Faudree

From: Charles Faudree

Photo By: Photo Credit: Jenifer Jordan © Gibbs Smith, Charles Faudree Interiors, Charles Faudree, Jenifer Jordan (photographer)

Fabric Strips

Strips of fabric overhead add a soft elegance to the clean lines of the sunken concrete dining room and help focus the view to the surrounding countryside. Design by Jamie Durie

Scrap Wood

The dappled lighting in this covered patio was created by the use of wood latias and helps protect the area from the desert sun. Design by Dorothy Willetts

From: Dorothy Willetts

Painted Pergola

This bright colored pergola not only adds shade, but acts as a dramatic design element. Design by Claudia Schmutzler

From: Claudia Schmutzler