Cooling Hacks: 10 Frugal Ways to Survive Summer Without Air Conditioning


Summertime often brings soaring temperatures and sweltering days, and for those without air conditioning navigating the heat can be a real challenge.

But don’t worry, you can still enjoy summer to the fullest without breaking the bank.

Here are 10 frugal ways you can survive through summer days (and nights!) that will help keep you cool while staying on budget.

From clever cooling hacks to thrifty temporary solutions, these tips will make it easier than ever to beat the heat without sacrificing your wallet!

1. Make It a Game

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If you’re competitive, the best way to stay cool is to force yourself to become distracted from the heat as long as possible, and make a game out of it.

While it’s not the most practical option, playing the “Who will sweat the quickest?” game is an excellent way to sharpen your determination — and kill some time.

2. Stay Hydrated

Getting water from dispenser
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Drinking plenty of water is an underrated way to stay cool without using an air conditioner and a no-brainer way to stay hydrated.

It’s simply science: The more water you’ve put into your body, the less you’ll feel the devastating effects of a sweltering summer day.

3. Hang Wet Towels

Hanging wet towels on window
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It may be time we turned to the greatest generation for advice, after all, they lived before air conditioning was even invented!

“Was told by an old timer years ago that before they had air conditioning, they would hang wet towels in the windows,” recalls one man.

“Windows open, but screens in place. The wet towel would cool the air coming in through the window. I never tried it, but they said it helped and even sounded like it used to be standard practice in days gone by. Might be worth a try!” 

4. Use Fans – Lots of Them

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While they only serve to blow around the air, regardless of whether it’s cold or hot, using a lot of fans to help dissipate heat is a timeless tradition in households that aren’t lucky enough to have air conditioning.

I can distinctly remember many hot summer nights sleeping next to a fan no more than ten inches from my face on my nightstand.

Then I combined this idea with the cold wash cloth on me and it was a game changer.

5. Place a Towel On Your Chest

Man sleeping in bed
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“The poor man’s air conditioning is a wet (but not sopping wet) cloth on your chest,” admits one man.

He’s not wrong: There’s a thin line between a comfortable, napping man with a comfortable body temperature and a drenched, confused man ready to take out a second mortgage just for a few air conditioning units.

6. Keep Light Out

Woman sleeping in bed at night
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In many people’s eyes, an abundance of light is a factor that keeps your home’s interior temperature slowly inching skyward.

Keeping the house dark when the sun is up — including keeping as many lights off as possible — will go a long way in keeping you cool. 

7. Homemade Ice Packs

Woman applying ice pack
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Nothing will cool you down faster than some good, old-fashioned homemade ice packs!

One woman even reveals a little trick to make them out of rice and socks. “Ice packs between your thighs and under your arms!” exclaims one woman.

“It’s a first aid trick to cool the body quickly because those are locations for two major blood vessels. It’s like cooling your blood directly. Tie 2-3 cups of rice in a sock and freeze it for reusable ice packs.”

8. Invest in Proper Insulation

Thermal insulation
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Home insulation has evolved over the past few decades, and properly insulating your home is one of the most significant ways to keep cooling costs down in lieu of an air conditioning unit.

While it’s a fairly expensive upfront cost, your wallet — and family — will thank you later!

9. Sleep With a Cold Cloth 

Woman sleeping
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Sometimes, the most logical solution to a problem is the best one!

For example, countless people confess to wearing wet, cool clothes during hot months, placing them on their heads or necks as they sleep to keep their body temperature down.

So while this method will get you wet, you can’t argue with the results.

10. Understand the Airflow

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For many, living without an air conditioner is immensely doable — as long as you know how to take advantage of airflow.

“As soon as it gets cooler outside than inside the house (late evening), we open the windows on both sides and keep room doors open to allow for airflow,” explains one homeowner.

“In the morning, we close windows and curtains when it gets warmer outside than inside.” This is an excellent hack for keeping cooling costs down!

Slash Your Monthly Bills

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With inflation rising, your monthly bills are likely getting out of control. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take. Use this guide to help you save up to $7,000 a year on your monthly bills.


Learn How To Save $100K

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Saving money can be hard, especially if you are looking to have $100K in the bank.

But while it feels difficult, don’t let this stop you. Here is how you can save $100,000 in nine steps.

HOW TO SAVE $100,000

I Need Money Now

woman reaching for money
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Do you every say to yourself, ‘I need money now?’

Whether it is for bills or unexpected expenses, here is how to get cash fast.

In many cases, you can have cash in your hands the same day.


How To Survive On $1,000 A Month

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Do you find yourself in a situation when money is beyond tight? Are you not sure how you will make it to the end of the month with such limited income?

Fear no more. Here are the steps to take so you can survive on a small amount of money.


15 Gas Hacks For Free Gas

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You’ve probably wished you could get free gasoline, but thought that was impossible. But the reality is, it isn’t impossible.

There are many free gas hacks you can use to save money on fuel ups. Here are 15 ways to lower the cost of gasoline, and in effect, get free gas.


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