The past few summers haven’t bothered me any. The combination of having been in Kansas summers followed by Florida summers Michigan just didn’t feel hot to me. This last winter was brutally cold and my body learned how to survive in that. Now summer has me cringing. Lucky us I have dealt with weather like this back in Florida where we only kept air conditioning in the bedrooms. While we plan on installing one upstairs winter lasted late this year so we haven’t gotten to it yet. With the temperatures nearing 100 daily for the past few days we had to pull out all of the tricks to keep cool without an air conditioner.
Create a cooler home without an air conditioner
Block sunlight upstairs and in windows facing the sun. For this, we pulled out mylar just like we did in the winter. I learned this trick when we lived in Kansas and the central air could not keep up with the hot summer weather. We have also used blankets to darken windows but have learned that mylar emergency blankets are cheap and reflect the sunlight back out. It was originally formed to keep the heat out of a space station. It does the same thing for our homes.
Open windows to create air flow. Put fans into windows as much as possible. In windows facing away from the sun turn the fans to blow air in. On the side facing the sun push hot air out. In the early morning before the heat rolls, in turn, all fans inwards and pull in as much of that cool air as you can. We recently pulled the floor dryer we used to clean up the basement foods up to do the job. It works well.
Stock the freezer to keep cool without an air conditioner.
Keep the fridge and freezer stocked with cold water. Frozen water bottles are not only great for thawing and drinking they can also provide a cooling effect. As a teen I did not have a window that opened in my room and was forced to get a bit creative with finding ways to cool off on a hot night. Frozen water bottles were my best friend. Despite that the children windows open and have fans we are still having them sleep snuggling a frozen water bottle to make falling asleep easier. They are also perfect for popping in the stroller or wagon with little ones.
While we don’t give the children red food dye and we try to limit other artificial dyes we do make the exception for those cheap freezer bars. The red food dye ones get packed up and sent to work with my husband and the rest get popped into the freezer for quick cooldowns and to help fill in gaps this makes the freezer more efficient in the summer heat. We have freezer bars delivered from Kroger with InstaCart along with our milk, eggs, and bread so I don’t have to venture out into the heat to grab the everyday basics multiple times a week in the heat with the kids.
Get out of the house to cool down
Get the kids outside where they will not be heating up the house. Kids running around the house can really build up the temperature inside. take them out to work off those wiggles and let them play in water to cool off. On Memorial day we decided the water guns where not gonna cut it and put together a quick pop bottle sprinkler to let the kids run. We left them in their clothes so the evaporation would help keep them cool longer.
Too hot to play outside even in the pool? Hop on over to your local library to pick out some new books while cooling off in the air conditioning during the worst heat. Malls, movie theaters, and community pools fill up fast but often you will find plenty of room to stretch out at the local library.
Be smart about energy usage
Don’t do things that produce heat indoors. Summer is the perfect time to work on using less energy to cook and getting creative with cooking outside. In the summer we like to cut down on cooking and opt for a lot of sandwiches and fresh produce for snacks and meals. Cooking without heating up your house is a vital skill to help keep cool int he summer without an air conditioner. Cooking is not the only unnecessary source of heat. Lights, TVs, and computers all produce heat as well. On a hot day, you can help keep cool by sitting outside with a good book instead for entertainment.
We recently upgraded to an Ecobee3 Lite thermostat that I was able to set to send we warnings if the house is getting far too hot even if I am away from home. We leave the whole house fan attached to our furnace off until needed so the cool basement air can be used to cool the house. Kick it on from my phone when I get the alert and keep the house cool without an air conditioner. While I don’t feel comfortable turning the whole home into a smart house with the security risks this is one upgrade worth making.
It was a lot of work. The old thermostat was terrible and only had two wires so we had to run a 5 wire through the wall. We did it. It was worth the work. Our #ecobee3lite from @ecobeeinc that we got form the electric company is installed and no more freezing on winter mornings to heat up the house. I can warm the house before I get out of bed. We can also turn the fan on to cool the whole house something that never worked on the old one. . . . . . . #gogreen #saveenergy #homeimprovement