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Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

When it is 100 degree (F) outside, inside the apartment (900 SF) is 92 degrees. The apartment does not have air conditioning equipment. What can be done to decrease the temperature to 80 degrees in the apartment for at least 8 hours?


By yyao from Seattle, WA


Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

There are a few things you can try:

  • Block the light coming in from your windows during the day. This can be accomplished with heavy drapes or light-blocking vinyl roll-up shades (check with your landlord before installing).

  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent, they put out less heat. Turn off lamps you aren't actively using.

  • Only use your oven/stove, dishwasher or clothes dryer very early in the morning or late at night.

  • If you have ceiling fans, run them counter-clockwise to create a "wind chill" effect (you can feel a cool breeze when standing under the fan).

  • Place fans in your windows to pull in cooler air in the morning and after the sun sets, then turn them around to blow out hotter air in the afternoon and early evening.

  • If you feel comfortable doing so, check for air leaks around windows and doors and talk to your landlord about sealing them.

  • Also check to see if outlets on exterior walls are insulated, a lot of air comes in around those. If not, you can purchase inexpensive foam insulators at a local hardware store.

  • If you have gaps at the sills of doors and windows you can either purchase or make "draft dodgers" out of fabric. Sew the fabric into a sleeve that is a bit wider than the door or window and fill with rice or beans. You can find instructions for this on the internet.

  • Check your local university extension office or website for even more ideas.

Good luck, I know you PNW folks aren't used to hot weather like you're having and as a midwestern gal, I feel your pain! (08/01/2009)

By lah34a

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning


Put a pan of ice in front of a fan. It makes the air cooler, good luck. (08/02/2009)

By kffrmw88

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

As soon as the air is outside is hotter than inside, close up to keep the cool in. When the air inside is hotter than outside, open up to let the cool in. Fans help to circulate air inside and also to draw cool air in and force hot air out as was stated above.

For personal use, especially if you are older or have young children, you can wear a wet scarf, bandanna, or towel around the neck or simply wear a damp shirt. This will help to regulate body temps. Water is very cooling.

These are the best I came up with in a non-air conditioned rental for 17 years in the desert of So. Cal. Toward the end of the day you can also water down your porch areas, assuming you want to pay for the water? Stay cool. (08/02/2009)

By lookslikerain

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

An old fashioned remedy my grandmother used was to put a large bowl of ice inside an even larger bowl with crumpled newspaper between the bowls (this helps the ice last longer). Then set the bowl in front of a fan. She always set the bowl on a stack of old newspapers, also to keep the ice longer and prevent watermarks on the table. A couple of these kept her large room very cool. (08/02/2009)

By plumcottage

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

I have a few suggestions to go along with the ones that Lah34a sent.

She suggested using your stove/oven, dishwasher, and clothes dryer only in the early morning or late at night. I go one step further and I don't use my oven at all, and my stove rarely. Instead I use my microwave and a toaster oven. They use a lot less electricity (helps with the bill!) and don't heat up the kitchen at all. I only run the dishwasher once a week and then I don't turn it on till I go to bed. And as far as the clothes dryer, my husband is in the process of installing a clothes line for me. When I do use the dryer tho, it's only late at night.

But I only use my oven in winter when it helps to heat the house up.

I keep a fan running in the living room when I'm up and one in the bedroom when I go to bed. And I have ceiling fans in both rooms. In the bedroom at night I put a box fan in the window, with a tower/oscillating fan in front of it. This keeps my room nice and chilly for sleeping!

If it gets really hot, I take a cold shower. I'm not one that can step into a cold one tho, so what I do is start out with it kind of tepid. I get into it and after a few seconds I lower the temperature of the water just a tiny bit every few seconds till it's as cold as I can stand it. Then I stay in there for a few minutes to cool off good. I also wet my hair because having wet hair seems to help me feel cooler all over. After I get done I shove my dogs into the shower and give them a cool shower, too. They need cooling off as much as I do!

I also keep a spray bottle of water next to me. When I get hot I spray my face, arms, feet, and legs. I also spray my dogs' bellies and feet, too. The feet are especially important (mine and theirs) as they get hot so much quicker. Sometimes I wet a pair of socks and put them on. Haven't figured that one out yet for the dogs tho!

And of course I drink lots of ice water. And wear very loose clothing. I have several loose house dresses that I wear on hot days.

And someone suggested wearing a damp bandanna too. That's another thing I do. I especially wear one of these and keep a spray bottle with me when I am on the riding mower. The trimming is let go till early morning or evening.

Solar curtains have also helped to reduce the amount of sun that comes into the house. They have dropped the temps in mine by at least 10° since I put them up.

Of course you could always get a kids wading pool and fill it up and sit in it with a good book! LOL Been there done that lots of times!



By Cricketnc

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

I have a window unit and it helps, but have considered a portable, so I could easily move it from room to room, which would be a blessing. However in order to produce cool air, heat is generated. With a window unit the heat generated stays outside the room, but with a portable the heat would be inside, not very efficient. (08/03/2009)

By ginnee

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

When I didn't have A/C, I had a exhaust window type fan in the window. When it was cooler at night, we turned on the fan, lifted windows where we were to bring in the outside cool air. In the morning, when the temperature was still cool outside, we would turn off the fan, close all the windows, and run inside fans. It could be as much as 15 degrees cooler inside than it was outside. Then in the evening when the inside and outside temps were about the same, I would open the windows and turn on the window exhaust fan and bring in the outside air. This is the way we survived with no A/C for about 3 years. (08/04/2009)

By quickcooker

Reducing Inside Temperature Without Air Conditioning

I bought one of the so-called "portable" air conditioners from Canadian Tire. They are the ones on wheels, that look like a dehumidifier. It isn't really "portable". It has a long "exhaust hose" that looks like those flexible dryer vent hoses (that we're not supposed to use). The hose has to be vented out a window, through a "window kit" that they supply with the a/c unit. So you have to have a window that you can fit this contraption into, and you have this long, ugly hose stretched across the room all the time. I took it back and got a small "window unit" that fits into any window.

So they say, take a picture of your window, along with the measurements, and type of window (i.e. casement, side slider, top or bottom opener, etc.) and show them to a salesperson who can read and interpret the directions on the box, and get them to tell you what kind of air conditioner you can use.

You also need the room area, or size, or you can do without and buy a good fan, fill your bathtub with cold water and stick the fan in the bathroom door, throughout the day, add cold water. To conserve the water, use a bucket to scoop out the water to flush the toilet, and use the rest at night to water your flowers or lawn. Keeps my house cool and my flowers looking good, too! (08/04/2009)

By catastrofy

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