12 Ways to Cool Your House Without Air Conditioning

Summer heat waves have everyone looking to cool. Blasting the air conditioner isn’t necessarily a choice, and it certainly uses a lot of energy. Instead of shelling out the big dollars to stay cool, think about several alteratives that can make a difference.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

1. Choose light-colored blinds. Installing window blinds or shades is a no-brainer. But light-colored colors tend to be more effective, since they reflect the heat back outside. Close south- and – west-facing drapes during the day.

Consider applying window tint too. “You don’t have any idea how amazing the brand new 3M window film products are — not only for reducing heat, but also for cutting down on the UV variable that can fade your carpeting and substances,” says window designer and expert Cory Jacoby of this Jacoby Company. “This should be your first line of defense.”

2. Use liners with your colors. Bamboo or closely woven shades are just another good way to cut heat. “The trick here is to set up an operational liner as well that can be dragged down for sun and heat control,” says Jacoby. “This is truly the best of both worlds, since you see outside through the weave when you want, then lower the shade behind it for sun protection when necessary.”

Rachel Greathouse

3. Install ceiling fans. “Ceiling fans can make a room feel much cooler, since they circulate the air. And considering they can cost as low as $100, they’re often a investment that’s not only affordable but easy,” says general contractor LuAnn Fabian.


4. Open the windows during the night. Ventilate your home on cooler days or during the night time to reduce any hot air that’s snuck inside. Open windows in all rooms of the house and place window lovers facing the downwind side of your home. Make certain all interior doors are open to keep the atmosphere.

Terra Ferma Landscapes

5. Plant shade trees. Exercise your green thumb by planting shade trees around the house. Design partner Andrew Spiering, previously of Terra Ferma Landscapes suggests casting shadows on the southwestern exposure of the home using large deciduous trees, such as oaks, sycamores and elms. “Other ideas include increasing humidity around the home using layered planting or reducing hardscape,” he says.


6. Allow ivy to crawl up the walls. Ivy provides a buffer between your home and the sun. “Planting a green wall or vines in your home reduces dependence and absorbs heat,” says Spiering.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

7. Cover the south side of your home. Install awnings on south-facing windows to compensate for insufficient roof overhang and provide extra colour in the summertime.

8. Turn off the TV. Maintain heat-generating appliances, like lamps and televisions away or off from your air-conditioning unit or thermostat. The device works harder to respond to nearby heat, believing your home is hotter than it truly is.

Holly Marder

9. Get a hood fan. In case you don’t have a range enthusiast in the kitchen, think about the investment. Cooking can generate considerable heat throughout the house, and a range fan can help considerably with venting that hot air outside.

jessop architects

10. Replace your lightbulbs. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents — based on Fabian, CFLs can emit up to 75 percent less heat.

NAUTILUS Architects

11. Paint your roofing white. A white roof can help to reflect heat away from your home and help maintain the loft — one of the hardest places to cool — as low in temperature as you can.

12. Update your insulation. Many newer houses must follow certain depth codes for insulation, but older layouts may require an upgrade. “Replacing insulation in older houses will definitely reduce the heat inside,” says Fabian.

More: Cool Architecture for Hot Summers

See related