When a heat wave strikes unexpectedly, it doesn’t take long for your house to fill with suffocating hot air. Before you know it, you’re more than a little uncomfortable and need to cool your home fast.
The Best Ways to Cool a Room Quickly
Luckily, there are several ways to get the job done so you can turn a hot summer night into a good night’s sleep. Try these tricks to push warm air out and let cool air in for nearly instant comfort.
1. Switch to CFL or LED Bulbs
All sources of light give off some heat, so use as few as possible and keep them dim if you can. Incandescent lights are the worst, which is why you should switch to CFLs or LEDs if you haven’t already done so for the energy savings.
2. Hang Dry Clothes and Handwash Dishes
You obviously need your fridge and freezer, but skip using big heat makers like the dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer during the hottest part of the day.
3. Limit Hot Meals
Using the oven or range can bump up your room temperature by several degrees. Hot nights are the perfect time to enjoy no-cook salads and sandwiches. If you must have a hot meal, try grilling outdoors to spare your house.
4. Invest in a Misting Fan
Patio and Backyard Misting Fan. Photo by @makingmillmama
5. Shut Off Computers and Screens More Frequently
Keeping your computer and its peripherals on all the time is convenient, but it does add heat to the room (or your lap). Shut them down for the night when you’re done working to help keep your room cool — you’ll also lower your electric bill while you’re at it.
6. Switch to Insulated Curtains or Honeycomb Blinds
Don’t forget that when the sun shines in your windows, it really heats things up during the day. This is especially true of south- and west-facing windows; thankfully, covertness with insulated curtains or honeycomb blinds adds a layer of protection against the sun’s rays.
7. Create Natural Convection
If you have double-hung windows, raise the bottom sash and lower the top sash so you have two openings in each window. This allows cool air to flow in the bottom. As hot air rises, it can escape out the top sash instead of being trapped along the ceiling.
8. Create a Cross Breeze
Focus on moving air through your house by having air flow in one side and out the other. In bedrooms with two windows, aim a fan out one while allowing fresh air to flow in through the other. For rooms with only one window, keeping the door open allows a cross breeze to form from elsewhere in the house.
9. Use Your Exhaust Fans
Kitchen or bathroom fans that vent to the outdoors can help remove heat as well — so turn them on as often as possible.
Related Post: INFOGRAHIC: Beat the Heat! Your Summer Cooling Guide
10. Turn Fans into Exhaust Fans
You can also turn large fans into exhaust fans for your whole house by aiming them out the window of the upper floors while keeping all doors open. This will remove the heat from the hot upper stories while drawing cool air in and up from the first floor.
11. Take More Cold Showers
Cool water will instantly make you feel better, and you can reap the benefits for longer if you let your hair air dry. The ongoing evaporation as this happens will keep you comfortable for an hour or two.
12. Invest in a Portable Evaporative Cooler
NewAir Swamp Cooler and Fan. Photo by @realmklibrary
If you live in a reliably dry climate, you can keep your house cool with a portable evaporative cooler. This is a more efficient way to harness the power of evaporation to create colder air in your home, and you can move it from the living room in the day to the bedroom at night to keep any room comfortable.
13. Cool Your Furniture
Try using ice packs to keep your sofa or bed cooler as you relax, since these padded areas can hold in body heat. You can fill a hot water bottle and pop it the freezer, or use freeze dry rice packs or portable buckwheat pillows instead. You can even try freezing your bed sheets and placing them lightly over your body for a little extra cooling.
14. Use the Egyptian Method
If you have cotton sheets, you can go totally old school with this trick. Use a wet sheet and ring it thoroughly until it’s just damp (the spin cycle on your washing machine can help with this). Place it over your body before bed, and allow the evaporation to cool you while you drift off. If you have a ceiling fan over your bed, you may find this to be a remarkably effective combination.
15. Sit Solo and Away from Others
The more people you have in your house, the hotter it will be when all those bodies release heat into the air. Create some distance between you and your partner and loved ones as you sit on the couch or share a bed, so you aren’t radiating heat into each other. Make sure there’s plenty of space for all to stay cooler.
16. Fake it with Fan Air
What if it’s not any cooler outside and you can’t open the windows? Trick your body into feeling cooler by sitting directly under a ceiling fan or in the path of an oscillating fan. This won’t actually be adding any cold air to your house but feeling the air on your skin will help any sweat evaporate to activate your body’s natural cooling process. Sip an icy drink and avoid expending any energy to get the most out of this method.
17. Invest in a Portable Air Conditioner
NewAir Portable Air Conditioner with 14,000 BTUs. Photo by @thatstrangebunch
While you might not mind using a few hacks to cool your room in a pinch, the fastest way to add cold air to your home is with an A/C unit. If you don’t already have central air, then window units and portable air conditioners are more cost-effective and do a great job chilling the air.
How to Cool a Room Down With Air Conditioning
Most of the tips above are hacks to cool your room without an air conditioner. One other trick is to create cold air with a DIY air conditioner. The easiest way to set this up is to place a shallow pan filled with ice water in front of your fan and aim it to blow directly on you. As the cold water evaporates, it will lower the temperature of the surrounding air, and you’ll feel it on the breeze as it hits your body.
But once you have done everything possible to get rid of excess heat, then its time to look into an ac unit.
How to Cool a Room Down Without an Air Conditioner
The fastest way to add cold air to your home is with an A/C unit. If you don’t already have central air, then look into window units and portable air conditioners. These compact appliances are more cost-effective and also do a great job chilling the air. For the fastest results, make sure your air conditioning unit is properly sized for your room.
For great cooling devices that will stop heat waves in their track, shop for a NewAir portable air conditioners, high-velocity fans, misting fans, or evaporative coolers.