Ways to Keep Cool (Without Cranking Up the AC)

Trying to keep your air conditioning bill down? Here are 20 ways to stay cool without touching the thermostat:

  • Wear less clothing
  • Wear breatheable, natural fabrics like cotton, silk and linen
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Remove your hat and shoes when you go indoors to give your body a chance to cool off
  • Keep curtains/blinds closed during the heat of the day
  • If your house has multiple levels, try to spend most of your time on the lower levels where the temperature will be coolest
  • Minimize the use of your oven
  • Wait until after the sun has gone down to run your dishwasher, dryer and other heat-producing appliances
  • Line-dry your clothes to avoid using the dryer
  • Use ceiling fans to create a breeze and to recirculate air
  • Drink lots of cold beverages
  • Eat something cold
  • Run the bathroom fan after you shower to pull the humidity out of the house
  • Trade your hot shower in for a cold one
  • Let your hair air dry, and enjoy the cooling effect of wet hair while you wait for it to dry
  • Minimize the amount of bedding that you use
  • Set up a kiddie pool in the backyard, and take a dip
  • Make sure all air vents are free of obstructions. If they're covered with furniture, the cool air won't reach you – even though you've paid for it
  • Close your fireplace flue to avoid losing cool air
  • Head to the library or store to enjoy someone else's air conditioning for a while

See how other readers keep cool during the hot summer months.

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