When the weather heats up, try these tricks to keep cool—without turning on your air conditioner

Here are 11 ways to save money and energy to beat the heat...

1. Keep your blinds closed

The first tip on the list is a simple yet very effective one: don’t let the sunshine in. Sun streaming through your windows in warmer months can quickly heat up your home. To keep things cool, keep the shades drawn during the hottest parts of the day, especially if you get direct sunlight.

2. Go blackout

You can also go one step further than just simply shutting the blinds. Invest in blackout blinds or curtains that shut out 100 percent of the light coming into your home. Bonus: not only will this virtually eliminate the heat coming in through windows, but for rooms like bedrooms it will also make it much darker, which can make it easier to sleep.

3. Get breathable sheet

While in the winter, flannel and thicker sheets are great for keeping you comfy and cozy, in the summer months, they can trap heat and make your bed feel like an oven. Ditto with some lightweight choices like silk or sateen blends that trap warmth. For a cooler night’s sleep, switch to natural fibre sheets for lightweight, breezy coverage. Think materials like cotton, bamboo or unbleached linen.sheetsPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

4. Use the tried-and-true fan hack

Create a cooling breeze in your home without AC with this tried-and-true fan hack. Fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and place it in front of a fan. Once you turn it on you’ll have a nice misty cool breeze in the room: voila

5. Rotate the direction of your fan

Use your home ceiling fans to create a wind-chill effect by running them counterclockwise on the highest and fastest setting. It will push the air straight down and create a cooling breeze. In the winter, return them back to clockwise to slowly force warm air down into the room.

6. Turn on bathroom fans and exhaust fans

In addition to having ceiling fans on and running in the proper direction, make use of the full arsenal of ventilation systems in your home. By turning on bathroom fans, and even the exhaust fan in your kitchen, you can suck up the hot air that rises and push it out of your home.

7. Let the evening air in

windowPhoto by Alistair MacRobert on UnsplashWhile you can cool down your home by keeping the shades drawn during the day, take advantage of the cooler nighttime temperatures and make them work for you. Throw open the curtains and open the windows when the sun sets, allowing the cooler night air inside. Opening up multiple windows will encourage a cross breeze ventilation that will help everyone sleep sounder, and push out the warm air. You’ll also start off the new day with a cooler house.

8. Make your home more energy efficient

A home that is well-insulated will naturally retain more heat in the cooler months by keeping cold air out, and keep warmth out in the warmer months. Properly venting your attic, choosing better insulation and upgrading your windows to double-pane and energy-efficient models will go a long way in beating the heat. Many province’s energy authorities give bonuses to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades in their homes, so the financial cost of upgrades are mitigated.

9. Sleep and hang out on the down low

Warm air rises, so on hot nights the coolest place to hang out and grab shuteye is closest to the ground. If you have a home with a basement, consider moving your bed there for the hottest weeks of the year. Take down your TV and switch your main living space to one that’s below ground to cash in on gravity and enjoy a cooler temperature hangout.

10. Cool yourself down

Along the same vein as switching to sheets made from cooler materials, be mindful of what you’re wearing around the house as well. Swap out your lined slippers for slip-on sandals and fleece PJs to comfy shorts in a breathable material. And, when in doubt, opt for billowy and breezy cuts in cotton and natural blends.

11. Fire up that grill

BBQPhoto by Vincent Keiman on UnsplashCooking meals with your oven can quickly make your home feel like a sauna. To beat the heat, fire up your BBQ and get grilling outside. With the aid of accessories like stir-fry baskets and pizza stones, there are hardly any meals you can’t cook outdoors. No grill? Make your slow cooker, Instant Pot or panini press the star of the show for your next meal. If you must use your oven, try to limit it to the cooler hours of the early morning, or later at night.

Bonus: Cool your core

Cooling down your body’s internal temperature—aka feeling cool starting from the inside—is as simple as having a cold drink. It can also help ward off dehydration. There’s never been a better excuse to tuck into a lovely glass of rosé!