A woman is reclining on a blue couch. Her feet are resting on a footrest in front of an open refrigerator. There is also a fan blowing cool air on her from the window behind her.
You don’t have to rack up a huge electric bill just to stay cool.

12 Ways to Stay Cool Without Putting on the AC


By Mia Bencivenga


June 2, 2021

It’s crazy to think about, but summer is right around the corner! For a lot of us, that means our AC usage — and electricity bills — are about to go way up. But there are lots of ways to keep your house cool without turning on the air conditioner. Here are a few easy and eco-friendly tips! 

1] Close your blinds and curtains

As nice as it can be to have a room full of sunshine, the heat that comes with it is not ideal for keeping your place cool! If you aren’t actively using a room during the day, close the blinds to block out the hot sun. Better yet, invest in some blackout curtains for extra climate control.  

2] Close the doors to unused rooms

The fewer rooms that need to be temperature controlled, the better! If you don’t use the home office during the weekends, shut the door so that the cool air can stay wherever you are.

3] Check your insulation

Can’t seem to keep your house at a comfortable temperature? A lack of insulation in your attic or upper floor could be the cause. By fixing the problem you’ll help the cooler air stay in and keep the hot air out. 

4] Use fans along with your AC

Fans use up a small fraction of the energy air conditioning does. But if they aren’t enough on their own to keep your house comfortable, they can still help you curb your need for AC. 

How? Well, if you run your ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat by 4 degrees and still feel the same level of coolness.

5] Consider a whole-house fan

When installed in your attic or roof, the whole house fan will pull the cool air in through your windows and put the hot air back outside. It’s a perfect energy-saving way to keep your home comfortable. 

6] Take advantage of the cool night air

When the temperature drops after the sun goes down, open your windows and turn on your fans to bring the cooler air from outside in. This is a big help if you’re trying to limit AC use at night.


7] Dress for the weather

As comfortable as your favorite pair of sweats or sweater can be, it’s important to dress for the heat. Light-colored clothes in breathable fabrics like cotton and linen will make a world of difference.

8] Rethink your sheets

Waking up in the middle of the night because it’s too hot is not fun. Although silky sheets might seem like they’d do a good job at keeping you cool, they’re actually great at trapping heat. Stick with cotton and bamboo instead.

9] Step away from the stove

A great way to minimize the need for AC to not generate extra heat. Instead opt for sandwiches, cold soups like gazpacho, smoothies, and salads to stay satisfied without turning on the stove. 

10] Stock up on cold treats

Whether you love cherry popsicles, watermelon lemonade, or frozen banana “nice” cream, cold treats can do wonders for keeping you comfortable. For a little burst of icy cold flavor, try Peppermint in your ice cream and ice tea.

11] Take a cold shower

No need for super hot showers in the summer. A cold shower will cool you off and get you clean, so you can feel relaxed and refreshed.

12] Make the most of your basement

If you have a basement, now’s a great time to invest a little time and energy into making it your summer sanctuary. Cold air goes to the lowest part of your house, which is all the more reason to make it your go-to hangout spot when the temperatures rise.



Mia Bencivenga is a regular columnist with The Green Voice Weekly Newsletter