17 Tips to Cool Down an Apartment Without an AC (Air Conditioning)

During summer, many people invest in expensive air conditioning devices to keep rooms cool.

However, most of these ACs consume lots of energy, shooting up your energy bills

The good news is that there are other pocket-friendly ways of keeping an apartment cool without air conditioning.

High Cost of Cooling Down an Apartment

The cost of cooling an apartment can be expensive, especially when using air conditioning devices. 

In 2015, a residential energy consumption survey found that air conditioning costs an average of $265 a month

That is a tremendous amount, given that you might have other energy bills to cater for.

For those working from home, energy expenditure has increased recently due to air conditioning. 

A data forecasting data from one of the clean energy companies reveals that the increment can be up to $30 a month.

Obviously, you do not want to break the bank by paying your energy bills. Below are cheaper and environmentally friendly ways you can keep your apartment cool without ac.

Cooling an Apartment without Air Conditioning

Here are some of the least expensive, environmentally friendly, and effective ways to cool down your apartment without air conditioners.

You can use a few of these to get comfortable without air conditioning, or use the ac less and lower your energy bill.

Closing and Covering Windows

Closing windows and covering windows is one of the most effective ways of keeping your apartment cool without necessarily using expensive air conditioners. 

However, even if it works perfectly, it can be challenging, especially for those who love fresh air.

Closing and covering windows suppresses air circulation. 

For example, if the inside has colder air than the exterior, closing windows will prevent the free circulation of this air into your apartment. 

However, ensure you do not close ventilation areas because that may compromise indoor air quality.

Covering your windows will limit the amount of sunlight penetrating your window. In addition, keeping off sunlight will reduce indoor heat. 

In essence, around 76% of the penetrating sun transforms to heat energy. Therefore, limiting this sunlight is vital in cooling down your house.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends the use of medium-colored drapes to cover windows. In addition, some people can opt for blackout curtains that completely block sunlight.

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Insulating and Shutting Windows

If you prefer staying indoors during summer, make yourself comfortable by closing the door, not in use.

Closing some parts of your house will concentrate cool air in a single room.

Furthermore, it will make the room you are using cool down faster.

If you have doors with gags leading to the exterior of the apartment, ensure you use insulation. Then, you can use the easy-to-install and inexpensive weather strips.

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Proper Use of Indoor Fans 

Fans are the best indoor coolers in apartments with no indoor conditioners. However, to enjoy optimal fan benefits, you need to use them properly. 

The fan’s location is crucial since it works by circulating air around rather than cooling it.

One of the best ways you can use a fan is to create a cross breeze with them. Cross breezes will aid in circulating cool air as they push out hot air. 

Locate the coolest part of your apartment and strategically place your fans in these cool parts while facing the hottest parts of your room.

You can also place a large bowl of ice in front of the fan. The fan will blow and circulate the cool air from the ice into your rooms. 

Adjust Ceiling Fan According to the Season 

Ceiling fans have two modes; thus, a fan can either force the hot air down or create a breeze depending on how its blades turn. 

Warm air usually moves up; thus, you can make it push warm air down in the wintery season. However, in winter, be sure to create a breeze instead of pushing the unwanted warm air down. 

Your fan should rotate counter-clockwise during the summer and clockwise direction in winter. Confirm you have the right setting in place to avoid doing the reverse of what you want to.

An exhaust fan will serve you better for regions that generate a lot of heat, such as the bathroom and kitchen. 

It will pull all the hot steam out of the room as you cook. It will also drive out the hot air from cooking appliances. 

Ensure you always turn on your kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan every time you take a hot shower or cook.

Since all electrical appliances contribute to indoor heat, switch off any electrical machine when not in use. This will help to keep cool and save a lot of electrical energy.

Ensure you set your fans to rotate clockwise, especially during summer. 

A clockwise rotation will aid in pushing air straight down. Increasing the speed of rotation is allowed during the hottest days.

Also read: How to Cool an Apartment with One Air Conditioner (AC)

Use LED Light Bulbs

All electric devices, including bulbs, emit heat. It is always challenging to keep an apartment cool wherever some of these electric appliances are running. 

Their heat contributes to the temperature of the room. However, as other bulbs heat up, LED bulbs will remain relatively cool.

Furthermore, they are energy-saving and thus can save a lot of utility bills.

Suppose you wish to keep your apartment cool during summer, consider upgrading all your fluorescent, incandescent, and other bulbs to LED. 

Then, if you cannot replace your bulbs, you can keep your lights off and use natural daylight during the day. 

Add Some Indoor Plants

Some tall indoor plants such as bamboos and snake plants facing windows can shield your apartment from excessive sunlight, thus regulating the amount of light penetrating your house. 

Indoor plants will also aid in air circulation by blowing their leaves.

Apart from keeping the apartment cool, keeping indoor plants have other benefits as well:

  • Indoor plants can acts as humidifier, which can be useful if you live in dry weather areas
  • Indoor plants help reduce toxins in the indoor air, such as Xylene or Toluene. It might shock you that your furniture, carpet, rugs, curtains, etc. are a big contributor to indoor air pollution, and keeping plants is a natural way to clean indoor air
  • Plants also help absorn sound waves which can help dampen noise and keeping the apartment quiet.

Use Curtains Appropriately 

Ensure you close your curtains during the day, and also ensure you use dark curtains. You might be wondering how you can close curtains when all you need is cool air? 

Closing curtains will give sunlight limited access to your apartment; thus, indoor air will not heat up.

The use of dark curtains will ensure that they do not catch a lot of heat. Dark or blackout curtains will prevent sunlight from overheating your room during the hottest hours. 

Suppose you use transparent curtains; you might turn your apartment into a “greenhouse.”

However, you can enjoy the cool night breeze when sunlight is gone by keeping all your curtains open. 

In conjunction, you can also open your interior doors at night. You can also open the windows to create a breeze.

Let in Air at Night 

The night air is always cool; thus, you can keep your apartment cool by letting it in. You can open some selected windows. 

Open doors and windows to just let in enough night air. Suppose it is a rainy day, do not open all the entries or let the rain in. 

Opening many doors and windows during a rainy season will make your apartment too cold.

Instead, open doors and windows at an appropriate time, that is, when evening temperatures have dropped. 

If it warrants, you can open all the windows at night to allow for a cross breeze. Then, close the windows the following day when the air starts heating up.

Insulate the Attic and Walls

The components that help warm your house in winter are also important in cooling your apartment during hot summer weather. 

For example, insulating your walls and attic will help you lock the unwanted hot air outside and keep the cool air on the inside.

Weatherstripping is also essential and works in a way similar to insulation. Although it is more important during winter, it is also helpful during summer. 

Stripping will prevent the escape of cool air through the doors and windows.

Swab Your Bulbs and Avoid Using an Oven

An oven will always produce heat. Also, burners emit heat. Therefore, you must be very careful about the kitchen appliances you use during summer. 

Instead of using an oven, you can opt for an outdoor grill or opt for a summer recipe that requires minimal heat to prepare.

If you must use an oven, it is wise to wait till outdoor air cools down at night. You will still have to open some windows. 

Kitchen appliances are not the only source of unnecessary heat during summer. Light bulbs also emit heat.

For instance, incandescent light bulbs emit a lot of heat by wasting 90% of the energy they use. 

The use of energy-efficient bulbs will save a lot of energy and cool your apartment simultaneously. It is also advantageous to cook outside if necessary. 

Cooking is the leading producer of indoor heat within your house. 

In summer, you can make indoor conditions favorable by cooking outside. Cooking outside will keep hot air where it belongs.

Use a Swamp Cooler

A swamp cooler is slightly complicated, but it is very effective and long-lasting. To make a swamp cooler, carefully follow tutorials on YouTube. 

You can also use written instructions, but they are not easy to follow; a video tutorial will be better.

To make a swamp cooler, you will need the following supplies:

  • A large bin 
  • A small or medium-sized fan 
  • Drill 
  • A duct tape
  • A thin PVC pipe
  • A water pump
  • A media pad


  • Tape the fan’s base to the lid of the bin. This will hang the fan’s head upside down, facing the side of the bin.
  • Make a hole in front of the bin. Ensure the hole is large enough for the fan head
  • Make a rectangular opening in one of the sides of the bin. Next, drill some small holes in the PVC pipes and secure them.
  • Finally, hook the water pump to flow from the base of the bin uVC pipes.

Close the Blinds 

Windows can allow 25 percent of summer heat into your house.

To effectively cool your room without air conditioning effectively, use blinds to block heat with shades during the sunniest hours. 

Allowing excessive sunlight into your room is costly. According to the U.S. Department of energy, you can use 30 percent of the total energy expenditure on just cooling. 

Although it sounds simple, closing blinds can do amazing things to keep your apartment cool.

Shut Doors

Closing doors to unused rooms is another simple but efficient way of keeping an apartment cool. 

Closing doors leading to rooms such as the kitchen, bedroom, or basement can keep your house cool. In addition, it will enable air circulation to rooms currently in use.  

Close the doors during hot hours but remember to open them when there is a drop in temperature so that you can let cool air in.

Lower Your Mattress

Hot air tends to rise due to its lower density. This is a natural phenomenon called convection which allows hot air to rise above cold air. 

Suppose you want to feel cool; you can get away from warm air by lowering your mattress. Even though it sounds silly, it does provide slight relief from the heat

Add Outdoor Shade 

Keep your house cool during summer by adding some natural shade to block excessive sunlight. 

Landscaping with trees is excellent for privacy as well as for keeping sunlight away from the apartment.

Installing awnings to keep off sunlight from windows is also helpful.

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You do not need to close the window curtains with awnings, and thus still ventilation will not be compromised.

Wash and Bake at Night

Large washing and baking appliances generate significant heat.

Avoiding baking and washing at night can keep your apartment cool throughout the day. 

Likewise, avoid using washing and baking machines such as ovens, ranges, dishwashers, and cloth washers during the day.

Window Hacking 

In this cooling method, you must open sections of your top windows on the downwind side of your apartment and the lower section on the upwind side.

This creates a cooling pressure current. You can improvise this by installing a fan facing the outside of the window.

In summary, there are various ways you can use to cool your apartment without an ac. These ways are environmentally friendly, effective, and affordable. 

Some of the tips work well during the day, while others are excellent during the night.

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