11 Tips for Keeping Your Apartment Cool in the Summer Without Paying More for AC

Updated July 14, 2019
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Apartment dwellers may have a few situations that make it difficult to keep cool in the summer. Heat rises, so living in an upper unit might make your apartment quite warm in the summer. Not having central air conditioning, and being forced to use one or more window units can make that electric bill skyrocket. Luckily, there are numerous life hacks to help keep your apartment cool without paying an arm and a leg to crank up that air conditioning.

Tips for Keeping Your Apartment Cool Without Cranking the AC

1. Close Your BlindsHow to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: close blinds

Closing your blinds and drawing the curtains can be one of the easiest ways to reduce extra heat being produced in your apartment. West-facing windows are hit with the most sun on the hottest part of the day and can make it very difficult to keep the house cool. This can get tedious if you have a lot of windows, and it does make your apartment feel much darker, but it’s well worth it to keep the temperature down. If keeping your apartment lit is important to you, consider using LED bulbs as opposed to incandescents because they run much cooler. A few incandescents here or there won’t be too much of a problem, but if the majority of your home uses incandescents we recommend picking up some LEDs. Ultimately, you should make sure you close your blinds before you leave the house, make sure you close those blinds!

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: get blackout curtains

2. Install Blackout Curtains

In addition to closing your blinds or drawing your shades, investing in blackout curtains can completely block sun rays from getting through. Make sure the blackout curtains have a white or light-colored backside to reflect the sun away from the window. Dark colors absorb light and heat into your home, completely voiding the purpose of blackout curtains in the first place. There are endless color and style options available on Amazon or at your local home goods store, so check them out! Arguably best of all, blackout curtains allow for a little extended sleep-in on weekend mornings. 🙂

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: get cotton sheets

3. Sleep With Cotton Sheets

Swap out your fleece, flannel and jersey sheets for breathable cotton, linen or bamboo sheets. No one likes to sleep in a hot room, in fact, our bodies prefer sleeping in a colder room. Lighter fabrics like cotton and bamboo are going to be breathable and naturally cooling. Ensuring your bedding is going to keep you cool, will keep you from turning down the AC temp and running it unnecessarily overnight. A strategy I subscribed to for a long time was ditching a blanket altogether and only using a thin cotton sheet. If you sleep with a partner, using separate sheets is also a good strategy for keeping your body cool. If you are comfortable with it, leaving the door to your room will help your room temperature equalize with the rest of your apartment.

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: keep yourself cool

4. Keep Yourself Cool

It might be a lot easier to make yourself cool and comfortable before it is gonna be to cool your apartment down. Wear light, breathable fabrics in your house in the summer. Tank tops, shorts, the bare minimum! Heck, if you’re alone in the apartment you might as well just rock your undies if staying cool is your top priority. It might go without saying, but reducing your heartrate will go a long way towards keeping your body cool during hot days. So lay low, eat cool foods, maybe make a slushie, and wait out the hot day.

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5. Cook OutsideHow to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: cook outside

In the summer grill outs are amazing with friends or family, or even for yourself, obviously because hot dogs and hamburgers are delicious. It’s also a great way to keep your house cool by not running the oven or stovetop which produce a LOT of unwanted heat. On the especially hot days, we’d recommend sticking with cold cut sandwiches, salads, and other foods that do not require heat. Sticking to simple, non-cooked food is definitely not optimal, but you can use it as a way to try new foods and keep cool at the same time. Always remember, hotter weather makes cooler meals more appetizing anyway so get your salad on!

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: open windows in the evening

6. Utilize the Cooler Evenings

Summer evenings can end up being the perfect weather. Even with a day in the upper 80s, the evening average temperature is around mid 60s to lower 70s, making it ideal for opening those windows and cooling down your apartment. Nothing is better than swinging your windows wide open after a hot day with them sealed up. Capturing the last hours of daylight can make a huge difference in your personal well being after being shut up for a long hot day. If it doesn’t bring humidity, a nice rainstorm can cool it down overnight as well, plus who doesn’t love the soothing sound of the rain falling while they sleep?

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: run ceiling fan backwards

7. Run Ceiling Fans Counter-clockwise

Did you know, you can CHANGE the direction of your ceiling fan rotation whether you want to warm or cool your room? Your ceiling fan will have a switch on the side or top of it’s motor that can change the direction to clockwise or counter-clockwise. In the summer when it’s the warmest, you want to have your fan turning counter-clockwise, at a high speed, so that it pushes cool air down. The cool breeze effect will make it seem cooler than it actually is. In the winter on the other hand would be running clockwise, at a low speed, drawing cool air upwards. This not only cools your house overall but helps cycle the air.

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: get oscillating fans

8. Use a Couple Osculating Fans

If you don’t have a ceiling fan, osculating floor fans can be a big help at circulating air around your apartment, and cool you off. If you place one in front of your air conditioning unit or vent, it can help that cool air flow double time around your room, allowing you to not run the AC as high. At night it’s nice to keep an osculating fan in your room to keep it from getting too warm or stagnant in there, giving you a better night’s sleep. If you DON’T have AC in your apartment, you can do a little trick to make your own air conditioning. If you place a bowl of ice water behind a fan, the wind will pull that cool air off the surface of the cold water, and blast that cooler air throughout the room. There you have it, a makeshift air conditioner!

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: vent out hot air

9. Remove the Hot Air

Obviously, if the hot air was not in your apartment, it wouldn’t be an issue – duh! There are ways though, that are really easy to help remove that hot air. Your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fan are designed to suck up hot air, so utilize that! If you run those fans, they are not going to crank up your electric bill like your AC, but it will help remove that hot air. Run those when you are gone in the day, when you can turn down or OFF the AC and let those fans do the work! You’ll be surprised how much of a difference removing the trapped hot air can have on the overall temperature of your home. This strategy, paired with tip #7 is a powerful combo in fighting overly hot apartments.

How to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: close doors

10. Keep Doors Closed

If you have every door in your apartment open, that air conditioning is going to be working extra hard to cool all of that cubic footage. Laundry rooms, spare bedrooms, bathrooms that aren’t regular living areas used all the time, can be closed off to allow the air to circulate amongst the areas you want cooled the most! Your bedroom and living room especially need most of that cool air before bedtime, so let them take all that AC! This will help keep costs down, and make sure you are the most comfortable in your apartment.

how to keep an apartment cool without air conditioning: cold shower

11. Take Cold Showers

I know this last one sounds VERY unpleasant, but it can make the biggest difference. Hot showers heat up your apartment, but they also heat your body significantly. After taking hot showers, you may notice you are already sweating right when you get out – EW! Taking cold showers during hot Summer days lowers your body temp, keeping you cooler longer. It may not have the largest effect on your apartment as a whole, but it will greatly change how you feel in your apartment. Finishing your day with a cold shower will make the biggest difference, allowing you to get to sleep quickly. If you are sleeping with just a sheet, you might be surprsed at how cool you’ll stay all night long.

Let’s Wrap This Up So You Can Stay Cool!

If you’re not a fan of these tips, and just need to get that window AC unit, don’t fret! Check out this list of the best-rated window AC units for 2021. As a property management company, we totally understand the fight to keep your apartment cool, so stay cool this summer with Bigos! For information on available apartments or for more information contact us at info@tbigos.com.

Drop us a comment if you have your own way to keep cool that we didn’t mention! We’d love to add it to our list of tips and tricks.


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