Air conditioning is a godsend this time of year. But to lower electricity bills—or if the AC conks out—try these tips for cooling down without air conditioning:
Draw the shades. Keeping shades, curtains and blinds down can lower the temperature in your house by up to 20 degrees.
Use fans – creatively. Fans don’t actually lower the temperature, but the breeze makes you feel as if it’s cooler. To augment the impact, place a big bowl of ice in front of a large fan pointed toward you. Also, run ceiling fans on upper floors counter-clockwise to draw cooler air up.
Take advantage of the night. Use open windows strategically to cool temperatures at night. An open window or two on a lower floor and one or two on an upper floor will draw cool air upward through the house.
Use compact fluorescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs not only use more electricity, but they also generate much more heat.
Avoid baking. Ovens heat houses more than you might imagine. Eating foods that don’t require as much cooking – or grilling them outdoors – will help lower the temperature indoors.