Most of the year it doesn’t matter if you have air conditioning, especially in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland where the weather is pretty consistent and mild. During the summer and heat waves many people living in homes and apartments without AC are wishing they had it. If you don’t there are still lots of good ways to keep cool and beat the heat.
There are lots of reasons that you may not have an air conditioner installed where you live or work. It might be your landlord’s responsibility and you have no control over it. You might live in an older building. AC might seem like an unnecessary luxury. Others opt out of it to save on money and reduce their energy footprint. While you may be wishing for an easy way to fill your space with bursts of cold air you don’t have to suffer all summer. People have been keeping cool without AC for centuries and you can too.
Here are some easy things to do to keep cool without air conditioning.
Hide in the basement
Hot air travels upwards. The lower down you go the cooler a space will be. The ground floor or basement will be the coolest space to spend time in. During the day you can abandon the upper floors and retreat to the basement. Some people will move a mattress into the basement if there isn’t a bed there already and sleep downstairs during the summer. Moving your workspace or hang out space lower down will improve the temperature.
Be smart about when you open the windows
Before opening the windows you want to check what temperature it is inside in comparison to outside. When it is cooler in the house than it is outside leave them closed. When the temperature drops open all the windows to circulate the cooler air.
Close the blinds
There will be certain parts of your home that get a lot of direct sunlight at certain times of the day. Depending on how big your windows are a lot of heat and energy can enter you home through those windows. Strategically close blinds during sunrise and sunset when the most intense light will be streaming through. If you’re away at work leave the blinds closed all day.
Drink more water
Keeping well hydrated will help you battle the effects of heat. If you feel really hot and thirsty chances are you are already dehydrated. Your body will feel cooler and better if you drink enough water.
This option requires long term planning but is a great way to keep your home cool. During the summer trees shade homes keeping harsh light and heat out. Strategically plant trees where you get the most direct light or near rooms you spend a lot of time in.
Seal your home
Install weather stripping and sealers to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from getting in. If you have other caulking check for cracks and see if there are any leaks.