5 Unusual but Effective Tips to Stay Cool Without A/C

woman fanning herself
Photo by fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Except for one glorious summer of apartment dwelling, I’ve never lived anyplace with a central air system. I didn’t even have a window air-conditioning unit until after I was married.

I spent my childhood summers sweltering. The downstairs windows of our home didn’t open, and my second-story bedroom was cooled by one small fan.

In fact, I remember sneaking down to the freezer at night for ice cubes to run across my forehead in hopes I would cool off enough to fall asleep.

The heat can make you resort to all sorts of tactics to keep cool. If you’re feeling desperate for relief, try one of these sometimes strange — but effective — methods.

1. Take an icy foot bath

The fastest way to start shivering in 90-degree heat may be to dip your toes into freezing cold water. Fill a bowl with cool water, and dip your little piggies right in.

Add some ice if you’re brave, but don’t overdo it. Quickly immersing your feet in ice-cold water can be painful — although I suppose it would take your mind off the heat.

2. Wear some cooling clothes

To turn down the heat a notch and look fabulous at the same time, you can buy a whole range of clothing products that claim to keep you cool in the heat of the day.

My favorite by far is this lime-green evaporative cooling vest. I’m so putting that on my birthday wish list.

3. Freeze your sheets

You don’t need specialized sheets to stay cool at night. Simply throw the ones you have in the freezer for a couple of hours before bedtime. Then, pull them out, put them on the bed, and enjoy the cool.

Just fall asleep quickly, because on an 80-degree night it probably won’t take long for the sheets to lose their chill.

Of course, it might become a bit inconvenient to remake your whole bed each night. So, maybe try this strategy with just your pillowcase and a top sheet.

4. Go underground

Head down to the basement on those scorching hot days. Our basement stays so chilly that we sometimes use blankets down there in the summer.

Some people may balk at this idea if their basement is unfinished. However, don’t let that stop you. Simply clean out a corner and set up a chair or maybe a desk. Personally, I would rather smell mustiness than melt into the floor upstairs.

5. Live underground

Are you ready to get extreme? Then consider buying or building an underground home. Sure, you might not get much sunlight, but that’s a small trade-off to have your very own naturally cool hobbit house.

Often called earth homes, underground dwellings give you the same cool air of a basement without making you feel banished from your main living quarters.

If you’re ready to get drastic, do a web search for “earth homes” or “underground homes” for inspiration.

For some less drastic but still effective tips, check out “12 Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs This Summer.”

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon
10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them

Rescuing a retirement from regret starts with these steps well before it’s time to quit working.

16 Products You Absolutely Do Not Need
16 Products You Absolutely Do Not Need

There are plenty of great ways to spend your money, but you can safely leave these products on the store shelf.

Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases
Stop Overpaying for These 10 Common Purchases

The best price for many of these items is “free.”

6 Investing Tools That Help You Diversify
6 Investing Tools That Help You Diversify

Here’s how you can lend to startup businesses, fund social causes or get in on investments once available only to the very rich.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Social Security Checks Likely to Grow This Much in 2021
Social Security Checks Likely to Grow This Much in 2021

The federal government recently released a key statistic that gives clear insight into what next year’s COLA will be.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease
Eat This Food If You Want to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

One type of food associated with the Mediterranean diet offers especially large benefits.

5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Awesome Places You Can Retire Overseas on $2,000 a Month or Less

In this week’s podcast: tips on retiring overseas — from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.