Cooling the House, without Air conditioning?

@feliniti (875)
June 17, 2007 4:06pm CST
Do you have any tips that you can share about cooling the house without air conditioning? I live in Britain, so I am not so sure it is worth the expense of an air conditioner, but some days are so very warm, I can't get the house cool. I have heard different things about opening the windows, and closing the windows. Some say that it is better to keep the windows closed in the daytime. Some say it is better to open them. Either way it is too hot some days in the summer. I have fans and all that, but they don't cool down the house do they? They just move the air around. Any tips would be most welcome. :)
10 people like this
40 responses
17 Jun 07
I use powerful fans. How funny is that though? We've got one in about every room.. lol I mean the type like you see in films (well behind the scenes) and a smaller version of course. Hehe ~Joey
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
Maybe you're secretly a film director. ;) Or you were in a previous life or something like that. I should get more powerful fans and get that air pumping around more. :)
17 Jun 07
You that could be it. I used the be addicted to "the movies" which is a sims like game. Yet you run and control your own studio and create films and actors :P Hehe :)
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
oh yeah. I played it too. I just didn't like paying for the extras, but you can do some pretty cool things with it. lol.
• United States
17 Jun 07
We recently moved to Seattle, and it's very rare here for people to have air-conditioners in their apartments or homes. There's really just no need for them. We have had a few warmer days, though, and we've discovered that by opening the sliding door for the deck and setting a fan in that doorway, we can generally keep the apartment fairly cool. It helps that on the warm days, it at least cools off in the evening, so we keep the deck door open as late as possible to get cool air inside.
@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
maybe you're blowing the breeze in, and that helps. I've tried it, but I'll try it again. It's difficult to know whats right sometimes isn't it? I just want to cool the house down, but it gets so hot, and some days nothing seems to work!
@cabergren (1181)
• United States
17 Jun 07
I think ceiling fans are one of the best ways to keep a house cool. Also keeping blinds closed on sunny days helps to keep the heat out.
@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
Do you have a ceiling fan? I've always wondered about getting one of those. I suppose they are better than the standard fans are they? I would imagine they are, but I just haven't got one yet because they need fitting and I don't know how to do it.
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• United States
18 Jun 07
I do not leave the windows open because that is a good way to invite bugs in and pollen. Even if you have a screen in the window, they sneak in. Maybe it depends on the size of the room versus the power of the fan. Our bedroom is not real big. I put a little round rotating fan on a stack of boxes that allow the fan to throw the air right on the bed. It gets to cool, I have a sheet on me. The other part of our home has a long narrow fan turned on high that osculates if you want it to. It also has a remote control and it does all kinds of things. That fan cost $40 and it cools the livingroom and the diningroom. We love it. Those are the best kind of cooling a larger area.
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@xenpen (90)
• United States
18 Jun 07
Keeping the windows closed during the warm summer can be deadly. Your place would be like an oven and with poor ventilation. Usually it's the elderly who are afraid of keeping their windows open, so they're most likely to perish trying to keep their windows closed. Children are also at risk in hot weather. You can try to put fans in the window. It helps especially at night when it's cooler. Or you can get an A/C unit and use it in one room, keeping the door shut. Make that room your saferoom where you can keep cool.
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@Stiletto (4584)
17 Jun 07
Well I like the heat so it's rare for me to complain about it being too warm anyway but if it does get uncomfortably warm in my house I partly close the blinds, open the windows and have a fan going and that usually cools it down a bit.
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
Do you like the heat? Is your birthday in summer? I just wondered, as I am a spring child, and I like it warm, not hot... I don't know if there is any relation, but I should do a survey. Thanks for your answer anyway. :)
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@Stiletto (4584)
18 Jun 07
My birthday is in October which is not usually a particularly warm month - not in Scotland anyway.
@mayogi (74)
• Spain
17 Jun 07
I live in Morocco and we don't have fans or A/C at home. We do get quite high temperatures indoors in summer, it seldom gets below 25 degrees C. We get by by shutting out the sunlight as much as possible, opening the windows on the shady side of the apartment, drink A LOT of water, take a nap during the hottest hours, take cold showers, sprinkling a little bit of water/orange bloom water on the floor, mopping the floor with water several times a day... The summer heat usually starts in June and ends in September,so we tend to get used to the heat after a few weeks.
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
thanks very much for your response. You make a lot of sense. I'm just not so used to the heat as much, but I will take your ideas on board.
@ElicBxn (60892)
• United States
17 Jun 07
Well, I've heard that you open the windows when its cool, then come afternoon heating, you close the windows and the curtains to keep the sun out (well on the sunny sides of the house anyway.) Fans move the air around and if you sweat then you do expience some cooling. You might also consider, if you are very hot, a went cloth around your neck. I survived many an unairconditioned summer sunday at my church that way before they got ac.
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
thanks for the tip. I will try that. Usually I seem to get home from work (I work part time) and the house is baking!
@smuggeridge (2157)
17 Jun 07
close the curtains during the day so not to let the sun in, if there is any wind opening door / windows works but on still days i think it just lets the hot sticky air in. Other than this i think simply having your fans on helps because although it is not actually introducing cold air into the house the movement of the air causes heat to be lost from it and actually cools the air.
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
thanks for your response. I think you're right, it does feel cooler, its just that the scientists say it doesn't cool the air. But I couldn't do without it. kind regards.
@asahibza (388)
• Canada
17 Jun 07
Sometimes cross ventilation helps. No carpets on the floors. It may be better to leave them bare. Sprinkle water drops around the floor. One may also sprinkle water on one's body and sit under a fan. Relief is temporary but in very hot weather, this may help. I found that keeping a bucket of water directly under the fan may also help as it will cool the air. Take lot of drinks. This will help to keep the body cool. Thinking also helps sometimes. One should not give too much importance to heat. If one constantly thinks that it is hot, it will be harder. Just ignore heat,if you can.
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@feliniti (875)
17 Jun 07
oh yeah, you have made a good point there. As George Harrison once said "Its all in the mind" Thanks for reminding me ... and the other good points too. :)
@charms88 (7541)
• Philippines
20 Jun 07
Hello feliniti. Summertime is over here in my country and yet, the weather is still humid and hot. I don't use ordinary fans but industrial fans inside my house. It rotate faster then the regular ones and the air will ventilate all around my house. I have some of my windows open every morning to give my house an early morning sunbathing, LOL.
@gberlin (3836)
19 Jun 07
Ceiling fans seem to do better than a floor or window fan. I have heard of opening the windows at night and closing them during the day but it never seemed to work for me here in the U.S. If its possible I would try a ceiling fan. I have a window air conditioner for our apartment and it is located in the living room. It does not reach the bedrooms so we have ceiling fans in the bedrooms and they work quite well.
@cher913 (25889)
• Canada
18 Jun 07
seems to me that only a/c truly cool the house down, you can buy a smallish a/c...why not? it has been said that as the years go by the weather is sposed to get hotter!! so it might be a good investment even only for a few days a year??!!
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@vokey9472 (1488)
• United States
18 Jun 07
I live in Texas where at the height of summer we can have a heat index of 115 in the shade. That is hot. My rental has window units and that can get really expensive. So what we do is hang really dark curtains over our windows to block out most of the sunlight. This helps keep the house cooler. We put box fans in the windows and the curtains come down even with the fans. This allows us to keep the windows open with the fans moving the air through the house while still blocking out most of the sunlight. One trick I learned from my great grandmother to cool the air down was to put a block of ice in front of the fan. As the air moves over the ice, it cools it down. We use those rubber maid water coolers to hold the ice. We put a bag of ice in the cooler and put it in front of the fans. It really does cool the air down. Between the box fans, the ceiling fans and the ice, it stays comfortable in our house. We only run the A/C units are night to sleep. Also keeping all the doors closed to the rooms we are not using helps too.
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@mamacathie (3929)
• United States
18 Jun 07
I read somewhere the other day to hand wet towels in the open windows and have fans drawing the air in and these wet towels cool the air. If you can close the shades and curtains where the sun is shining in will help cool down your house too. Wear cooler clothes is a start with ourselves personally, but of course, I'm sure you do that already. Drink plenty of cold water, that will help keep your own body cooler. I hope some of these suggestions helped you at least a little bit.
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@katkat3 (426)
18 Jun 07
Hi, my boyfriend has a ceiling fan and his flat is sooooo much cooler than mine! He also tends to keep his shutters closed to, where as at mine I have big sash windows and my flat is always hot! If I wasn't renting I would get a ceiling fan fitted for sure! :0)
@Anniedup (3652)
• Richards Bay, South Africa
18 Jun 07
I live in South-Africa in a coastal town, it gets 40C here in summer we have sealing fans in every bedroom, and you are absolutely right they just move the hot air around! Then we have 3 huge air conditioners. But before we had them installed, I use to, close the windows and curtains quite early, it helps to keep the coolness in and the heat out. Window's in Europe aren't that big but it is a very big source for the heat to come through and off source if there is a bit of wind it just swirls the heat into the house. With this climate change going on I think you should invest in a air conditioner, because I think the summers are going to get hotter and the seasons longer.
1 person likes this
• Austria
18 Jun 07
It gets pretty hot and humid here in Austria and I don't want to live in the dark so I don't close my curtains during the day. And I don't like the noise fans make so I don't use one. I just open up all the windows and create a draft through the house. If I keep the northside and southside windows open the cool air blows through the house and it's like being outside. If it's really unbearable I leave the basement door open too, and then it really blows cool air through the house. And it's absolutely free.
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
18 Jun 07
While upgrading the insulation was great for the winter, we have now found that it also traps warm air in the house in the summer. It can get pretty miserable at night when it is warm and humid. We also use fans. I close up the part of the house that the sun is beating on (close the blinds) until it moves to the other side of the house. When that happens, I open them up. I think it helps a bit. Another longer term plan is to plant trees to throw shade. We have one that really makes a big difference, and of course if you can put in more windows and vents. Other than that I guess we should just be glad we're not in Arizona or some place like that!
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• India
18 Jun 07
I think you can use an air cooler(which uses normal water to cool the room) instead of an air conditioner. It consumes very less energy compared to an air conditioner and hence, less electricity bills!! but, that would not work better if humidity is high and you should use it with open windows. Therefore, you can use that depending upon your weather conditions. I do not what is the exact temperature/humidity level or wheather an airr cooler is available there or not, but, if there is such a condition, you may arrange for it and it will definitely help you in hot summer days.
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