Some Tips for Surviving Without Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is assumed to be part of everyday life, so we take it for granted. But what if we’re forced by circumstances to do without it altogether one day?

We were without a working air conditioner for about 12 days last summer during a heat spell, and it sure makes a person think and act differently.

Since much of the nation is forecast to experience a summer time heat wave this week, it’s time to share some tips on how to stay cool. These tips are for those who want to cut down on air conditioning to save electricity, or for those without air conditioning.

When outdoors, stay in the shade. Yes, that’s obvious, but it really does make a difference.

If your house isn’t shaded, consider planting a tree or some shading vines. Plant more houseplants indoors.

In your house, shade windows that get sunshine during late morning on into evening. Close blinds or drapes if you’re going to be gone.

Put light colored covers over furniture. Put down lighter colored throw rugs. You’ll at least perceive that it’s cooler.

Don’t open your refrigerator door any more than necessary and don’t leave it open.

Unplug the TV and computer, or turn off the power strip they may be on.

Use fluorescent lights rather than incandescent lights. If you can’t do that, at least don’t leave on incandescent bulbs any more than you have to.

Don’t cook indoors. Consider grilling out or using a solar oven.

Use a fan before turning on the air conditioner. Doing so at least circulates the air.

If there’s no electricity at all, it’s still possible to circulate the air with a battery powered or solar powered fan.

Of course, there’s the old fashioned method of using a hand fan. Any semi-sturdy piece of paper will do. I remember the hand fans at church years ago that advertised the local funeral home.

You’re no doubt familiar with other basic rules, such as wear light colored clothing and stay hydrated.

Running cool water over your hands and feet is another way to cool off. A reader suggested a Wrist Ice Pack as well.

This is by no means a conclusive list of tips for staying cool, so feel free to leave a comment below with your own suggestions.


Click here for more tips on staying cool.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

5 thoughts on “Some Tips for Surviving Without Air Conditioning”

    1. Thanks, Richard, for passing this along. I’ve never heard of such a thing before, but that’s a neat idea.

  1. A relevant comment from Gerald ended up elsewhere, so I’m pasting it here. Thanks, Gerald, for the practical tips.


    I appreciate the item on staying cool. I do not use air conditioning but have found that using cool water from the faucet can quickly cool you down. You can let it run on your hands and feet or wet a washcloth to cool your head. A bucket of cool water is great to put your feet in. If children get hot they can put their feet in a bucket of cool water to get quick relief. A bathtub with cool water can help too. If air conditioning is not available or electricity is out so you can’t run a fan the water is still an option. Ice from the refrigerator in a Zip Loc bag really helps if placed on your neck. A medical team did this for me when I got dizzy while riding my trike on a hot day and I felt better right away.Even on the hottest days I have found my
    water supply is quite cool. You hear of people collapsing and even dying in hot apartments when they could use their water supply to help cool them down. I looked at Amazon and they have over thirty cooling items listed with the wrist bag. So glad you show it.

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