How to Stay Cool at Home

by Sam

Summer is upon as, at least in the Northern hemisphere. Here some tricks and home remedies to make the heat more bearable ;-)

No, no I am not speaking about getting your home remodeled in a cool way or how to cope when things are going haywire in your family, I mean it literally and I refer only to the physical temperature in your home, nothing else ;-)

Summer is upon us with full force, at least here in the northern hemisphere, and whilst I am typing this, the outside temperature where I live, has risen to a balmy 34C or 93F, for you non-Europeans. Now saying that I am typing this from a nice cool flat (temperature wise) would be an exaggeration, but it is still considerably cooler inside here, than outside on the street. There are a few tips and tricks that help me to achieve this. All of them are free and easy to apply, but for the best effect, you have to use them all. Here you go:

Block the Sun Out

Direct sunlight is the quickest way to heat up a room. Therefor I close the curtains of the windows that get hit by the sunlight and only re-open them when the window is completely in the shade again. This prevents the rooms from heating up in the first place. In the beginning it may be awkward running around the house closing the curtains or blinds of your home and re-opening them later again. It feels a bit like running around in circles. But it works and that is the only thing that counts. It is your first step to a cooler home and will soon become second nature for you. Oh, and that works obviously vice versa also in winter. Leaving the windows exposed to sunlight and closing the curtains to preserve the warmth when the sun is gone will help you to reduce your heating bill the natural way. And so it is in summer, the costs of running an air con system full power, especially considering the current economical situation, can be prohibitive for some and others might just enjoy the energy and cost savings. Live greener, save the planet, close you curtains in summer ;-)

Let the air circulate and move around

The next step to keep your house or flat cool, is to achieve natural air ventilating by letting the air circulate and move freely. Circulating, moving air feels cooler and actually cools down also a place, standing air feels hot and sticky. So lets get the air moving, shall we? The best way to achieve this is to open your windows, but only the ones that are in the shade. See the pattern? You close the curtains or blinds and the windows themselves that are in the direct sun, you open the ones that are in the shade. This is a simple but very effective system! Try it out, you will be surprised by the difference it makes to the room temperature. To maximize this effect, you also have to apply the next step.

Cool it down at night, protect it at day

As soon as the sun disappears behind the horizon, it is time to open all windows! Leave them open during the night, but only if there are no security concerns regarding this and close them before the sun rises again. OK, the last point requires getting up early, very early, but it also means you are awake and doing things when the environment is still cool. Doing this and combining these three techniques will ensure that your home stays cool during the hot season without the need of using energy or incurring costs. So, I summarize

Combine these four steps:

  • Block direct sunlight.
  • Let cool air circulate.
  • Cool your home down at night by opening all windows if possible.
  • Close windows and shade them before the sun rises again.

This will insure that you have a temperature inside that is at least 10C or 50F lower than the outside temperature. And that can make all the difference between reasonable comfortable or suffocated by the heat! All this for free and with minimal effort, what else do you want?


Ok, sometimes it may just be too hot and you really want to cool a place down – quickly. The two most commonly used methods for this are air conditioning and fans. Air conditioning works by literally taking the heat out of the air, fans work by moving the air around. Fans are especially effective if they have the possibility to redirect the airflow. As we all know, hot air rises and cold air descends. If you have a fan that can push warm air down and let cold air rise, your heating will be more effective in winter. And in summer, where we are now, you just let the hot air rise and keep the cool air close to where you are, in the lower levels of your rooms. And then you keep moving it around to cool you and your home down!

Did you enjoy this article? If yes, consider to rate it, share it or to leave a comment. If not, leave a comment any way, I can handle criticism rather well ;-)

Updated: 07/05/2012, Sam
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Sam on 07/06/2012

Lol, come over to where I am it is far to hot here, not even the thunderstorms bring relief! SY

JoHarrington on 07/06/2012

Chance would be a fine thing in requiring any of these. It's been raining incessantly here for weeks! Come on summer! We want to see you!

Sam on 07/06/2012

Thanks for your comment DustyToes ;-) Our case is the opposite one, we have A/C in the care, but at home only fans ;-) SY

dustytoes on 07/06/2012

Window fans are the best. I keep them running all night and into the early morning to pull in the coolness then shut everything up- as you've said - once the sun rises. I also have a small battery operated fan on my desk where I work, and recently bought a portable AC unit. Now, if I just had AC in my car I'd be all set.

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