12 Frugal Ways to Beat the Heat Without an AC

It is hot out there! With the sweltering summer still upon us, not everyone has air conditioning to stay cool. 

How can you keep cool without an air conditioner and without spending much money? A Reddit user wanted advice on how to stay cool for a couple of weeks since his AC had died. He specified that he worked overnights and slept during the hottest part of the day.

The Reddit community offered the following hacks and tips on how to frugally keep him and his dog cool without an air conditioner.

Open Windows for Airflow

Woman is opening window to look at beautiful snowy landscape outside.
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“As soon as it gets cooler outside than inside the house (8-9 pm), we open the windows on both sides and keep room doors open to allow for airflow. In the morning, we close windows AND curtains when it gets warmer outside than inside (9-10 am),” noted one.

Another person added, “Open windows on both sides of the house. Put the box fan in the window on the hot side of the house, facing outward. this will draw cooler air in from all of the other windows.”

Reposition Your Window Screens

A tear in a mosquito wire screen with backyard in background.
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“Move all your screens to the tops of the windows instead of the bottoms, and put the window fans up there as well; you can really suck that heated air from the top 3 feet of each room outside once the sun goes down,” advised another user.

Make a ‘Fan Tunnel’

Smiling young man standing with electric fan on yellow
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IgorVetushko via DepositPhotos.com.

Another offers a simple DIY hack, “On super-hot nights before I got my AC, I’d make a “fan tunnel” by clipping a sheet around a box fan & tucking it around myself. It worked pretty well.”

Keep the Slow Cooker Outside

Crock-Pot, Red.
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One user advises the OP to keep the heat out, “If you have a place to do so, such as a balcony, garage or deck, put the slow cooker outside the house. Keeps even the heat from that outside.”

Give Your Dog Popsicles

Tasty ice cream on color background.
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“When I had a dog, I’d give her “popsicles” to keep cool during the day (tub water frozen with various vegetables inside),” said another user.

Keep a Spray Water Bottle Next to the Bed

The mist spray bottle to spray water into the air, against a black background.
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One speaks from experience, “In similar times, I would keep a spray bottle of water next to the bed and mist myself when I woke up hot, it works best with a fan. If that’s too much, a wash towel and mixing bowl of water works also.”

Wrap an Ice-Filled Bandana Around Your Neck

 woman wears stylish bandana on neck.
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“Keep an ice chest next to your bed. Freeze 2-liter water bottles and swap them out – use like a hot water bottle only in reverse. Wrap in a towel to avoid frostbite. Use fans. Wrap an ice-filled bandana around your neck,” added another.

Cover Windows So That Sunlight Does Not Get In

woman staring out of window blinds
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“Cover all of your windows so that sunlight doesn’t get in,” advised one, “You work nights, so I’m sure you’ve already done this, at least in your bedroom. If the living room or whatever isn’t blacked out, do that now. Do all of your windows.”

Give the Dog Fresh, Clean, and Cool Water

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“Always make sure your dogs have access to plenty of fresh, clean water. I will sometimes give mine a frozen Kong or other icy treat. I have also put icy cold towels on her belly area when it gets very hot. I suggest brushing up any warning signs of heat illness in dogs just to be safe,” someone else pointed out.

Stay Hydrated

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“You should also stay hydrated and be aware of any signs that you yourself may be suffering from heat illness,” said one, “Have a plan in place for if this happens, maybe someone you can call to come to help you or even just to get yourself in a cool tub.”

Keep Ice Packs Between Your Thighs

Medical cooling pack in human left hand applied for pain relief on a blurred house background.
Image Credit: Tatiana Kuklina/Shutterstock.

Another user had actionable advice, “Ice packs between your thighs and under your arms! It’s a first aid trick to cool the body quickly because those are locations for two major blood vessels. It’s like cooling your blood directly. Tie 2-3 cups of rice in a sock and freeze for reusable ice packs.”

Put on a Wet T-shirt

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Image Credit: Janis Smits/Shutterstock.

“I’ll take a T-shirt, wet thoroughly in cool (not cold) water, and wear it to bed. If it’s really hot, wet, and wring and use that. It’s called the Egyptian method, and it works,” advised another user.

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