Sleep Health

How to cool down a room without AC

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Hot in the City

2023 was declared the hottest year on record1 and with soaring temperatures, we’re all looking for ways to keep cool in the scorching Summer. We all don’t have access to air conditioning, so these practical tips on how to cool down a room without AC may help keep your cool when the heat is on. And with rising energy prices, these tips may save your sleep and your money.  

If the sun’s out, keep your room dark

This tip is all about preparing your room during the day so it’s cooler at night. As daylight hours heat up your home, keeping the windows closed keeps the hot air out, and blocking out any sunlight with heavy curtains or blinds stops your room from baking as the sun blazes. The aim is to keep your room as dark as possible from the heat of the daytime, and reduce the exposure to hot air outside or strong sunlight. This can help keep the temperature in your home or room cooler than the outdoors, so when you get home, it already feels cooler even without AC. 

Dehumidify your room on humid nights

Have you ever struggled to sleep on a humid night, even if the temperature wasn’t that high? Well, that’s because the more humidity in the air, the hotter it can feel. The extra humidity in the air can leave your skin feeling “sticky” and add to the feeling of stuffy heat, so it can be harder to sleep well on these humid nights. So, on these nights, more of us find ourselves tossing and turning due to the discomfort. Investing in a dehumidifier will help lessen the humidity from your room on these nights, and can help your room feel cooler and more comfortable to sleep in.  

Use a portable fan

Tower fans, ceiling fans, portable fans, even hand-held battery fans – we’re a fan of fans. A fan can give a feeling of being cooled as the breeze on your skin helps your sweat evaporate. And portable fans be a versatile tool to beat the heat. When the outdoor temperature drops, and you want to help the cooler outdoor air move into your room, using a portable fan can help bring that cooler air inside. Place the fan near a window or doorway where the cooler air can enter the room. The force of the fan can help “suck” in the outdoor cooler temperature and effectively cool down your room without AC.

Check your ceiling fan

Speaking of fans, do you ever get the feeling that your ceiling fan is just blowing hot air? Well, it might be on the wrong setting. Did you know that ceiling fans have two different settings for different seasons? Ceiling fans can spin clockwise or counter-clockwise.

When it spins clockwise2, it draws air upward, which is useful for a heated room in Winter as it helps circulate heated air through the room.

For Summer, your ceiling fan should be set to spin counter-clockwise, which pushes air down, causing a draught or breeze. This helps with a cooling effect as the breeze helps sweat evaporate. The best way to check is to stand under your fan. You should feel like the ceiling fan is blowing a refreshing breeze on your skin. If not, change your settings and you might just find the heat relief you need.

Unplug electronics during the day

Most of us have electrical devices in our rooms, and they remain plugged in during the day, even if they aren’t being used. These devices still give off heat while they are plugged in, even when turned off or on standby mode. Some have small pilot lights that generate heat, some retain heat even while not being used, just from being plugged in3. All these devices in one space can generate a surprising amount of heat, adding to the overall heat in your room4. So, unplug all these devices, and the room temperature will drop, helping it cool down without AC.  

Invest in an evaporative air cooler or place a bowl of ice in front of the fan

An evaporative air cooler works by turning water into cool vapor. It draws hotter ambient air into wet filter pads, and the warm air evaporates the water, creating a cooled air flow. Portable air coolers are cheaper than installing air conditioning, and can help you feel cooler by blowing cooler air onto your skin.

If you have a portable fan, you can DIY the same concept. All you need is some ice or some ice packs in the fridge. Place a bowl of ice or ice-packs in front of the fan, right in front of the air flow. This can help circulate cooled air in your room, lowering the temperature of the room. It can also help you feel relief from the heat by blowing a chilled breeze onto your skin.

These tips can help your room cool down without AC, but the quality of your sleep will be the test for whether you’re getting the best out of your rest. If you’re interested in checking the quality of your sleep at any time, take our free sleep assessment to help you better understand how to improve your sleep. 

ResMed

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Citations

2

Sinclair, A. (2023) The hidden switch on your ceiling fan you don’t know about - and must be changed now, 7NEWS. Available at: https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/the-hidden-switch-on-your-ceiling-fan-you-dont-know-about-and-needs-to-be-changed-right-now-c-8441478 (Accessed: 12 January 2024). 

3

Sandoval, D. (2011) Why do appliance plugs get hot?, Hunker. Available at: https://www.hunker.com/12609342/why-do-appliance-plugs-get-hot (Accessed: 12 January 2024). 

4

Fitzpatrick, J. (2022) How much is your computer heating your home?, How. Available at: https://www.howtogeek.com/815116/how-much-heat-does-your-computer-add-to-your-home/ (Accessed: 12 January 2024). 

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