6 Hacks for Handling Heatwaves Without Air Conditioning

6 Hacks for Handling Heatwaves Without Air Conditioning

The first day of summer is here! For those of us in Canada, this is a BIG deal.

The summer solstice means warm weather, outdoor adventures, and, unfortunately for some, another unrelenting heatwave.

As the temperatures rise, many of us seek refuge in the cool embrace of air conditioning.

But what if you don’t have AC, or you want to reduce your energy consumption? Using more electricity is expensive these days, and depending on your power source, it may also cause more greenhouse gas emissions.

But fear not! There are plenty of creative and effective ways to stay cool without relying on air conditioning.

1. Take Cold Showers

A cold shower can work wonders to lower your body temperature. Not only does it provide immediate relief, but it also helps reduce your core body temperature, making you feel more comfortable for a longer period.  This one is my personal fav. I use it before bed instead of running the AC all night.  

2. Cool Your Skin

If you're at work or somewhere where you can't take a cold shower, a simple and effective way to lower your body temperature is to cool your skin using a damp washcloth on your neck, wrists, or forehead. You can also fill a spray bottle with cold water and mist yourself throughout the day. Another great trick is to soak your feet in a basin of cold water for an instant cooling effect.

3. Optimize Your Windows

Keep your windows and blinds closed during the hottest part of the day to block out direct sunlight. In the evening, when the temperature drops, open your windows to let in the cooler air. If you have a cross-ventilation system, use it to create a breeze through your home, making it feel much cooler.

4. Create DIY Air Circulation

Fans are a great alternative to air conditioning. Place a bowl of ice in front of a fan to create a DIY air cooler. The fan will blow air over the ice, dispersing a refreshing, cool mist into the room. Ceiling fans are also helpful; set them to rotate counter-clockwise to push cool air down.

5. Limit Heat-Producing Actions

Avoid using appliances that generate heat, such as ovens, stoves, and dryers, during the peak heat of the day. Opt for no-cook meals like salads, sandwiches, or smoothies. When it comes to drying clothes, hang them outside instead of using a dryer.

6. Use Cooling Bedding

Sleep can be challenging during a heatwave. Opt for lightweight, breathable bedding like cotton sheets. Consider using a cooling pillow or placing your sheets in a plastic bag and putting them in the freezer for a few minutes before bedtime.  Also, see #1!

While heatwaves can be challenging, they also provide an opportunity to slow down, relax, and enjoy the simple pleasures of summer. Sipping iced tea on the porch, reading a book in the shade, or having a water balloon fight with the kids are all great ways to make the most of the season.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have more tips on staying cool or any other summer-related advice. 

BTW - if you'd like to bring a sustainable cleaning routine to your home, and reduce your plastic-use + carbon footprint, check out Weightless Sheets >>

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For Nikki – I looked it up because I figured the same thing as you. The reason counter clockwise is better is because:

1) It pushes air down, which provides us with a breeze that disrupts the heat layer that surrounds our body (from our own body heat dispersing into the air).

2) The cold air sinks to the bottom, so by pushing air downwards the cold air is better dispersed throughout the room.

The best way I’ve found to keep my rooms cool as someone who’s always had east-west facing windows is to leave the window open all night (providing it actually cools down at night), then close them before it gets warm & put up blackout curtains. If it’s not already white, add a white layer of curtain between your blackout and the window so it reflects as much sunlight as possible away from the window.


Doesn’t hot air rise? Why would you set a ceiling fan to push it down?

Nikki Alvarado

Doesn’t hot air rise? Why would you set a ceiling fan to push it down?

Nikki Alvarado

Love these use most of them but can’t handle direct cold. The fan on my furnace is as good as any air conditioner sometimes I have to turn it off. I dislike air conditioning

Diane McDonald

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