Struggling to make it through the summer without AC? The following hacks can help cool you and your space without wrecking your utility bills.
Close your drapes. Drapes may feel counterintuitive to cooling down your home, but pulling them closed in the sunniest hours can block strong rays from your window and help stop your home from heating up. Better yet, snag light-colored blackout curtains and use those.
Limit heat-producing appliances. Ovens are an obvious no-no in the summer months, but your hair dryer, flat iron and clothing iron can all make rooms—or at least you—feel warmer.
Frost your fan. This is more about cooling your body than your home, but it’s lovely at night as you sleep, or if you’re prone to sitting still at a desk for several hours. Grab a mixing bowl, fill it with ice or a frosty ice pack, and set it at an angle in front of a large box fan, pointed toward you. The fan will pick up the cool air and blow it right in your direction.
Dehumidify. While getting a plug-in dehumidifier will not necessarily cool your house, it will strip humidity from the air, which can help you feel more comfortable. Most models even draw less energy than a window AC unit. Bonus: A dehumidifier will extend the life of your furniture, and can even help prevent wood floors and doors from warping over time.
Reverse that overhead fan. Ahhh, the good old overhead fan trick. By setting your fan to run counter-clockwise in the summer, warm air will be pulled away from you.