20+ Ways to Keep House Cool Without AC in Summer

Summers are nice for all the goodies that nature has to offer, but who wants to suffer through the heat? The kind of summer that hits our country is wild, with temperatures ranging from just about comfortable to terrible, depending on the location.

Due to the location of tropical countries on the planet, the sun’s rays more or less directly fall on major regions. Every year, the temperature is shooting up due to climate change, making it impossible to stay indoors without an air conditioner or a cooler in summer. Having said that, it is also a known fact that air conditioners aren’t cheap. Apart from the cost of the air conditioner, it also consumes a lot of power, shooting up your electricity bills. Frequent power cuts add to the woes of the people. So, how to keep house cool without ac?

Why do we Need to Cool the House in Summer?

Bearing heat is not everyone’s cup of tea. The weather and the atmosphere around us directly affect our work efficiency and our routine. When it is hot outside, that heat seeps into your house, making you feel sweaty and sick.

Is keeping your house cool in extreme heat, difficult for you? Here’s what you should do if your house begins to feel oppressively hot. Of course, this will depend on the material and technology used in the construction of your home, such as brick walls or drywalls, RCC slab roof or metal roof and so on.

How to Keep House Cool Without Air Conditioner/AC?

There are more than 20 ways to keep your house cool without AC.

  1. Orientation of house
  2. Vetiver or Khus Curtains
  3. Cross ventilation
  4. False ceiling
  5. Thermal insulation
  6. Use of heat reflective paint
  7. White lime washes on terrace
  8. Terrace gardens
  9. Use light colour
  10. Cool down your bed
  11. Hang out in the basement
  12. Unclutter your room
  13. Turn off or unplug unnecessary appliances
  14. Open the windows when the temperature drops
  15. Sleep low
  16. Plant shade
  17. Awnings
  18. Keep blinds or curtains shut during the day
  19. Insulated window films
  20. Optimize your fans
  21. Create an ice fan
  22. Reduce humidity turn on exhaust fans
  23. Use dehumidifiers
  24. Vest and insulate your attic

Let’s have an in-depth look at techniques for keeping your house cool in summers without an air conditioner.

01. Orientation of House

Orientation that helps to cool house

The orientation of the house is related to the positioning of a building in relation to seasonal variations in the sun’s path as well as prevailing wind direction. A good orientation can increase the energy efficiency of your home. This helps cool your home without an A/C, creating a comfortable atmosphere to live in during the summer. In addition, it also saves money to be spent on AC. House orientation is an important point to be considered while buying or designing any sort of property for any purpose.

02. Vetiver or Khus Curtains

Vetiver or khus curtains to reduce heat in home

Vetiver is also known as khus, and this perennial grass grown in India is the best answer to the question: how to keep a house cool in the summer without air conditioner. Vetiver or khus curtains are made by weaving this grass together. Colour of the stem indicates the quality of the grass. If these curtains have a dark brown colour, it indicates a high quality of the material. These curtains have an in-built cooling quality that keeps the room cool. They are eco-friendly, economical and highly suitable for summer. They are used as blinds over windows and balconies to keep house cool without air conditioner. Moreover, they carry a good fragrance, which makes the surroundings pleasant.

They are comparatively easy to maintain. Spraying water on the curtains will help create a cooler ambience. However, one needs to constantly sprinkle water on the curtains to maintain the coolness, which ultimately can turn into a tedious task. Nevertheless, it is one of the oldest and most popular methods used to cool a room without ac.

03. Cross-Ventilation to Cool Your Home Without AC

Cross-ventilation to cool home

Cross-ventilation is the circulation of air from the wind’s direction to the opposite or the same side of the room. It allows the static hot air to be refreshed and gets fresh air circulating throughout the building. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory stated that the use of smaller window openings for letting fresh air in and larger openings to let the stale air out would work efficiently. This increases airspeed and improves the cooling effect. There are different types of ventilation, such as from the same side, the opposite side, or even from the roof to keep the house cool without ac.

04. False Ceiling to Cool a Room Without AC

False ceiling to cool your home without ac

False ceilings are suspended a few inches below the ceiling on a metal framework, which is made from lightweight materials like wood, plaster of Paris, plywood, and gypsum. The air (a bad heat conductor) in the gap between the two layers of ceilings helps in keeping house cool in extreme heat. Further, if the material of the false ceiling is of a thermal insulating type, it will further reduce the heat and hence the inside temperature. The false ceiling gives a modern look while acting as insulation. Thus, it also helps to reduce electricity bills.

05. Thermal Insulation For Keeping House Cool in Extreme Heat

Thermal insulation for keeping house cool in extreme heat

A thin layer of material or a cavity provided to reduce the impact of the external climate is called insulation. Thermal insulation material can either be laid over the slab or below the slab, or underneath the false ceiling. This reduces the top heat considerably. A cavity wall also acts as a thermal insulator in a home.

06. Use of Heat Reflective Paint

Use of heat reflective paint

Heat-reflective paint is used as a heat-insulating coating on the terraces and rooftops of buildings. These paints form a coat over the terrace or roof, which reflects the sunlight. Its application reduces the temperature of the roof or slab, thereby correspondingly reducing the room temperature, keeping house cool in extreme heat. They are called high-albedo paints and are expensive. Architectural researchers Al-Obaidi K.M et al. in the research on passive cooling techniques through reflective and radiative roofs, emphasised that they reduced the need for space cooling by about 20% to 70% in tropical countries.

07. White Lime Washes on Terrace

White lime washes on terrace

White is considered to be a colour that reflects light and heat the most. Hence, white lime wash acts as a reflective layer on the terrace. It helps in keeping the space underneath cool throughout summer. Since this gets washed away in rain, it must be re-done after every monsoon. However, they are cheaper when compared to high-albedo paints. It is also one of the oldest techniques of cooling your home without AC.

08. Terrace Gardens

Terrace gardens adding cooling effect

Terrace gardens create a colourful extension that can be done by yourself. All that is required is an empty slab, on which plastic can be laid out to spread a thick layer of mud. It is important to ensure water drains well from this set-up. Also make sure you choose shrubs with shorter roots. The mud used to grow plants acts as an insulator for the direct heat, thereby keeping the house cool in extreme heat. The use of plastic gardening sheets will also help to prevent water leakage, if any. You should make sure that the structure is well-designed to take the load of mud and plants growing.

09. Use Light Colour

Light colours used in interiors

The colour selection can also affect the temperature of a house. Therefore, how to keep house cool without ac largely depends on the colours you choose for your house. The dark colour of the walls and furniture inside the house can further lead to the absorption of heat. Hence, use of light colours is recommended for protection against heat. As per the National Renewable Energy Lab, white exterior walls absorb less heating than dark coloured walls.

10. Home Cooling Tips to Cool down Your Bed

Home cooling tips to cool down your bed

Use seasonally appropriate linens, such as ones made from a breathable material like cotton or bamboo. Avoid fabrics such as silk, flannel, and fleece that trap heat. If you are aware of cooling mattress pads, you might be wondering if they keep you cool on hot summer nights! The answer is yes; cooling mattress pads can help keep most people comfortable during the summer. However, you should still try to pair them with other cooling techniques, such as breathable linens and fans.

11. Hang out in the Basement

Hang out in the basement

Normally, underground areas or basements tend to stay cool in the summer months. If you’re lucky enough to have a basement, turn it into a fun area where you can hang out during the day. For that, get rid of unnecessary junk, add some furniture, throw some rugs down, and add some form of entertainment. Even if it isn’t as well-furnished or decorative as the rest of your house, it will still give you a nice place to retreat to during the summer

12. Unclutter Your Room

Unclutter your room

A cluttered room feels hot, so remove unwanted curios, furniture, books, newspaper and magazines from the room to make it airy. Pack off all synthetic drapes and thick woolly carpets that have a warm feel and look. Instead, put in thin-style rugs made from jute and hemp that look good and aid to keep house cool without air conditioner.

Also, play with the centrepiece to create a soothing effect and stir a feeling of calmness. For that, take a bowl or any glass vessel and fill it with cold water. Then put in some flowers, pebbles, seashells, and fresh leaves. This will not only give relaxation to our eyes, but will also generate tranquillity around us and help reduce the temperature of the surrounding area.

13. Turn Off or Unplug Unnecessary Appliances

Turn off or unplug unnecessary appliances

Not just dishwashers and dryers, but even your phone charger, hair dryers and other small appliances generate some heat inside your home. And to answer how to cool a room without ac in summer, turn them off, or better yet, unplug anything that is not in use. Make it a habit to operate the large appliances in the evening, when the temperature gets a little cooler. It also helps to save a few bucks.

Plugging any appliance into a socket produces heat. Hence, unplug all unnecessary appliances or electronic gadgets when not in use.

14. Open the Windows When the Temperature Drops

Open the windows when the temperature drops

The temperature outside is usually high during the day. Keep the windows and doors shut during the day when it’s hot outside. But then, when the temperature outside begins to drop, open the window. This home cooling tip helps you create a cooler ambience inside the house. You can even run a fan to cool the interiors faster.

15. Sleep Low

Sleep low

This is not an answer to how to keep house cool in summer without ac, instead, sleeping low protects you from high summer temperatures. Ditch the bed and put your mattress on the floor, and enjoy a soothing sleep. The principle of warm air and cool air circulation works here. The hot air rises, which means that the air at your feet is cooler than the air at the ceiling. If you have natural flooring, you can even ditch the mattress and sleep on a woven mat on the floor.

16. Plant Shade

Plant shade

Growing plants and trees outside your house is the simplest way to drive away heat, which helps to cool a room without ac. A deciduous tree provides shade in summer and allows light through its branches, which are bare in the winter. Providing an efficient plant canopy for the south and west windows will reduce the heat from the sun. A curated landscape architecture design can help to address this issue more efficiently. Since growing trees can take years, some people also use a fast-growing vine to help cover up windows.

17. Awnings

Awnings used to reduce heat

A permanent or temporary extension from the openings of a house is called awning. These shades are made of steel with a stretched material over it. It can help block the sunlight from entering your home, keeping the house cool in extreme heat. While these features are often considered an investment of time and money, they are worth it if they help cool your home without an AC.

18. Keep Blinds or Curtains Shut During the Day

Use of blinds or curtains shut during the day

Windows are one of the biggest sources of unwanted heat in the house, though they are equally important for light and air. Windows also enable cross-ventilation in a house that absorbs heat, thereby helping the inside air stay cooler longer. While letting natural light into your home helps make your space feel brighter and cheerier; it also heats up your house. Unwanted heat in the house comes through the window. In order to cool your home without ac keep blinds or curtains or drapes shut during the hottest part of the day and open them after sunset. It is always advisable to keep the west and south-facing window blinds or curtains closed. Bamboo blinds are a good option for windows. To further prevent your house from turning into a mini-greenhouse, consider investing in blackout shades for windows that face south and west. Blackout shades can help reduce the amount of heat that is transferred into your house.

19. Insulated Window Films Cool Your Home Without AC

It is a fashion to use full-sized glass windows more than often now. These have a tendency to get extremely heated and glare in the hottest hours. To reduce the glare and heat film can be applied on the windows. These window films can reduce 98 per cent of the infrared heat compared to unprotected windows and thus reduce the temperature inside your home. Even window blinds can be used to keep the heat away.

20. Optimize Your Fans

Ceiling fans and portable fans help to circulate the hot air within your house to keep things at a more comfortable temperature. Regularly check to make sure dust isn’t collecting on your fans. This dust contributes to respiratory problems and causes fans to slow down. To help keep your fans running smoothly, make sure to regularly clean and polish the blades. Running your fans counter-clockwise also helps to make the air cooler and can contribute at some extent to keep house cool without ac.

21. Create an Ice Fan

Fill a large bowl with ice and place it in front of a fan. You will instantly feel the cool breeze blowing! This is a conventional home cooling tip of dealing with heat. Of course, the only limitation here is that it is effective only for a small area. Yet another way is to hang a wet sheet in front of the fan or attach frozen water bottles to the back of the table fan.

22. Reduce Humidity, Turn on Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans

Installing exhaust fans in places with a higher level of humidity, such as in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms, can be an excellent way of controlling heat to a large extent. Showering with steam can increase the level of humidity in the house. Make it a point to open the windows while showering or even after that to let moisture escape. Never dry clothes in the house. Wet clothes increase the level of humidity in the house.

Exhaust fans not only help remove moisture from the air, but they also help suck up hot air, keeping house cool in extreme heat. Exhaust fans are mostly noisy, so you might not want to run them all the time, but they can be helpful if you’ve just taken a hot shower or made a hot meal.

23. Use Dehumidifiers

The moist heat can make you more uncomfortable than the dry air. It can make your skin feel very sticky and itchy. Hence, using a dehumidifier to suck out the moisture from the air is a wise move. It does not contribute to keeping the house cool in extreme heat, but it definitely takes away the humidity and keeps you fresh.

24. Vent and Insulate Your Attic

Attics tend to trap the heat, which can make your entire house feel warmer. This is because roofing materials absorb heat. Attach gable-mounted fans to your existing attic vents or install a roof-mounted fan to draw some of the heat out of your attic and keep house cool without ac. Attic insulation, such as foam, fiberglass, or cellulose, also helps to create a barrier that prevents heat from escaping into the rest of your house.


This puts and end to your question about how to keep house cool without AC. Though none of the home cooling tips will chill a house as much as an AC does, they will certainly help keep your house at a comfortable temperature. While we make necessary changes externally to beat the heat, it is equally essential to keep our body cool from within. Ensure to keep yourself cool by staying hydrated and wearing breathable cotton clothes.

Thus, if you are not in favour of installing AC, you can keep your house cool without AC by making a couple of changes that will help you keep your house cool without AC. The above tips will certainly help to beat the heat without AC during the summer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Cool Down a Room Fast?

Close the window and doors when it’s super-hot outside. Cover the openings with curtains or a cloth to make sure that no light enters. Open these when the temperature is comparatively cooler. Switch on the fan. You can also place a bowl of ice near a table fan to chill the room even more quickly.

How to Keep House Cool in Summer?

Keep windows closed when it turns hot. Avoid artificial light and other things that can heat up the space when the temperature outside is already hot. Use an exhaust system, optimised fans and vents, insulated windows and khus or vetiver curtains. 

Tips to Keep House Cool Without AC

There are some easy tips to keep your house cool. Along with it, even keep blinds or curtains shut when it’s hot. It is advisable to open the windows only when it’s colder. Window can be insulated with films.  If you want to reduce humidity use exhausts or dehumidifiers with windowless room. You can also optimise your fans. You can also use vent and insulate your attic. Also plant or trees can be used to shade house. Turn off or unplug unnecessary appliances when not in use. It is needed to unclutter your room. Use lighter colour for interior walls. Terrace garden will add beauty and help to make the air colder. Please use white lime washes on terrace before the summer starts. Even heat reflective paint can be used. False ceiling and thermal insulation also helps to reduce heat.

Want to decorate you house in Summer? Read our detailed article:

9 Summer Home Decor Ideas To Beat The Heat

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