Here are a few tricks to help you stay cool this summer, even without air conditioning:
1. Update Your Curtains
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), medium-colored drapes or curtains with white plastic backings can help prevent warm air from entering a room, potentially helping the room stay cool. Consider installing drapes on the windows that get the most sun. Also, remember to keep the curtains closed. Don’t worry about having to swap out your curtains when the weather cools. These curtains can also help insulate your apartment from the cold weather as well.
2. Use a ‘Swamp Cooler’
A “swamp cooler,” also known as an evaporative cooler, works by cooling the air with evaporating water. The ancient Egyptians used this simple technique to help keep cool in the desert long before air conditioning was invented. You can make one at home with just a bed sheet and a window. Open the window to let in a breeze. Dampen the sheet with a cloth dipped in cold water or by spritzing it with cold water. Remember, you want the sheet to be damp, not drenched. Hang the moist sheet in front of an open window using a curtain rod. As hot air passes through the sheet, the water in the sheet evaporates and it cools the air coming into your room.
Alternatively, if you live on the first floor and don’t want your window open while you sleep, consider putting a bowl of ice in front of your fan, which will also provide a cool breeze.
3. Avoid Cooking With Your Oven or Cooktop
Using your appliances, like your oven or cooktop, may generate heat in your apartment, potentially making your home even warmer on an already hot day. Consider using a slow cooker or microwave to prep your meals. You may also choose to eat foods that do not require cooking, such as sandwiches and salads, or try grilling outdoors. Some apartment complexes have grilling spaces for tenants, or allow residents to keep a mini outdoor grill on their porch or balcony. You’ll have a tasty summertime meal without creating more heat within your apartment.
4. Wear a Cooling Scarf
If you need some extra relief from the heat while indoors or outdoors, consider wearing a cooling scarf. These scarves are usually made of a gel that you soak in cold water before use. The gel activates and retains the cold water for hours while you wear it. These scarves can work on pets, too. You can generally find them at most stores.
Don’t let the rising heat in your apartment slow you down. These tips can help you stay comfortable all summer long.