Ways to Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning

Right now, where I live, it’s that ideal time of year in between winter and summer, when we don’t need to use the heater or the air conditioner. This is very effective for our electricity bill, but for many, neither heating or indoor air conditioning are an option.

Air conditioning is certainly a modern luxury that many live without, and we never know how long we’ll continue to live in a world that supports such a heavily grid-reliant convenience.

Whether you live off-grid, go camping frequently, or simply don’t have air conditioning, here are some tips for how to stay cool without it:

Water, water, water

Water is essential for our body to function, and among those many functions is naturally keeping our body temperature down. Make sure to hydrate excessively when faced with high heats, so you have plenty of hydration in your body to sweat enough. Even if all you have is room-temperature water, it will still help you stay cool.

Also, both swimming and regularly washing your face with water will help lower your body heat as well. A classic trick used by backpackers and farm laborers alike is to pour some water on a bandana and tie around your neck.

Smart House Design

If you’re setting up an off-grid dwelling, you’ll want to take into account the various factors that might allow you to stay cooler in the winter. Is the dwelling close enough to the tree line to be shaded during the spring and summer months? Would the materials the walls are built out of retain cool air? Does the roof repel heat? Are the windows placed strategically?

This is certainly a complex equation to figure out, but you’ll want to make sure to discuss with those designing and building the dwelling the best approach towards building a home that will stay cool in the hotter months.

Smart Home Additions

Of course, if you’re not currently building your home, you’re probably wondering what you can do once it’s already built. Simple additions like shaded porch or window coverings, hanging potted plants, or heat-reflecting indoor curtains can do wonders for reducing your indoor temperature in the spring and summer months.

Knowing When-And When Not-To Open Windows 

You might assume that having windows open at all times will help to keep your house cool, but this isn’t necessarily the case. If your house is well-insulated, it might stay cool for hours as temperatures spike outside, perhaps even all day.

Consider opening all your windows during the cool morning, and then closing as it begins to warm up, to keep that cool air in, or perhaps keeping them closed until late afternoon. You’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you.


This summer, you don’t have to bake indoors just because you don’t have central air! Use some of these handy tips to keep yourself cool and comfortable.

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