Tips For Keeping Cool Without An Air Conditioner


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Summer’s here, and you know what that means – hot, hot weather! And these tips for staying cool without the air conditioner will help you make it through without overheating!

For those of us with little, to no wiggle room in our budget, or maybe who are trying to create a little cushion by cutting back on expenses, running the a/c is a real killer. My husband and I try to hold off running the everlasting money pit for as long as we can, and then only run a window air conditioner conditioner in one room of our house after that.

Call us extremists, but it saves us hundreds of dollars every year.

Heat tolerance varies from person to person, and there’s no shame in needing to keep cool, but for all of us, there’s at least something of a grey area, and with these tips, I hope you can expand that area a bit and save a bunch of money on your electric bill this summer.


  • Open your windows at night to let the cool air in.
  • Shut them in the morning to keep the warm air out.
  • Open windows on the shady side of your house.
  • Close windows on the sunny side to keep hot breezes out. Or…
  • Use a fan to push air out the sunny side, and suck cool air in from the shady side. These sunny/shady sides are likely to change depending on the time of day, so pay attention!
  • Hang dark curtains on the sunny side of the house


  • Wear light clothing. 
  • Wear a skirt. I’ve noticed a huge difference in how much cooler I feel in a skirt – much more airflow. Sorry guys that skirts aren’t socially acceptable for men. (if you’re a guy and want to try his one, feel free to call it a kilt )
  • Take a cool shower before bed – you’ll sleep so much better, trust me!
  • Wash your face frequently. If you get to doing some serious sweating, your face can really get to feeling grimy and icky.

In The Kitchen

  • Don’t use your oven. Or if you must use it, do it in the evening, so that your house has a chance to cool off during the night.
  • Eat cold meals. Chicken caesar salad is a favorite for us. In fact, I’ve been keeping several meals worth of this simple chicken recipe in my refrigerator, and using it in salad nearly every night. Sandwiches or tortillas wraps are other good options.
  • Eat outside. Seriously. set up a picnic under a big shade tree, your kids will love it! Especially in the evening, when there’s usually a breeze, this is a great way to cool off and relax.

The thought of living with no a/c may seem ridiculous right now, but if living eight years in a non-electric amish community taught me anything, it’s this: you’re body will adapt if you let it.

Of course if you go straight from winter to summer (or a/c to none in the middle of summer), it’s going to be rough. That’s why we have springtime to transition us. I’m not joking when I say that 80 will start to feel normal when you’re use to it.

I think keeping the a/c off is worth the money savings for us right now. What about you?

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  1. I’m one of the rare folks in this day and age who does still not have an air conditioned home. The summers are kind of short here in Michigan, and we are blessed with a swimming pool and a good attic fan that pulls in the cool night air. I’ve done all the things on your list and they all work good! In fact sometimes it’s odd to me to hear of people eating big heavy meals in the hot weather, or not dressing in cool summery clothing, but then I remind myself they live in their closed up, climate controlled environments. At least I’m experiencing summer in all its glory!

  2. Nice tips. If all of us learn a little something from you, probably not completely not using air conditioner, but cutting back and reducing, we can help save mother earth. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  3. This post is definitely helpful for me, especially when I am in the house all day long. Hopefully my body will start to adapt to days without air-conditioner.

  4. Thanks for the great tips, especially on the application in kitchen. But it definitely will require some determination in order to save money on your air-conditioner, as well as the maintenance cost of those AC.

  5. We are on a prepaid electric service and and I can look at our daily usage. We save 2-3 dollars a day just by turning the air off.

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