Have you ever tried to make it through a 95-degree scorcher in an apartment without air conditioning? The stale, still air, the sticky upholstery, the sweat-stained sheets after a night of tossing and turning — it’s brutal enough to make you wonder how your ancestors ever survived.
But outside of moving, there are things you can you do if your apartment doesn’t offer central air. ABODO’s here to help. Here’s how to survive a summer in an apartment with no AC.
1. Open all your windows, but close the curtains during the day.
You need airflow. But what you don’t need is direct sunlight heating your interiors like an oven. Drawing the curtains will block the sun, and open windows will make sure air circulates throughout your apartment. Open windows on opposite sides of your apartment to create a draft.
2. Floor fans are your friends.
Box fans are great for getting hot air out of your apartment. But for cooling your hot and sweaty body, you need the big guns: rotators. The more it looks like a gym fan, the better — although recent technological advances have made tall, thin, energy efficient fans a design-friendly option. Point all of them at your panting, sweat-slick body.
3. Take cold showers at night.
Even if you’re a diehard morning shower-taker, rinsing off in some cool water before sleep can lower your body temperature and provide some temporary relief from the heat.
4. Sleep in moisture-wicking exercise clothes.
Let’s be real: You’re probably not using them much anyway. Sleeping naked is overrated. People heat up when they sleep, and there’s nothing worse than waking up stuck to your sheets. Exercise clothes are light, thin, and designed to keep you cool, even if all you’re doing is tossing and turning.
5. Drink Plenty of Ice Water
This one’s a given. And while you’re at it, pour ice water into a mixing bowl and place it directly under your fan’s blades. Instant cool air.
6. Consider a dehumidifier.
As everyone always says, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. If you live in a humid climate, a dehumidifier can really increase your comfort, especially at night when the air gets thick. Keep in mind, though — to get the full benefit, you’ll need to close your windows.
7. Sleep alone.
Sure, you love your partner. But you know what else you probably love? A good night’s sleep. Mattresses are heat traps. Affection makes you sweat. Somebody needs to sleep on the couch.
8. Banish blankets.
Ditch your duvet. Forget about your afghan. Opt for a thin cotton sheet, if anything.
9. Forget about using the oven.
Do not try to bake bread or broil a steak. Stick to the burners — or, better yet, use a heat wave as an excuse to rediscover your dormant love for salads. (The exercise clothes you’re wearing to sleep will thank you.) Or… just order in. Pizza is what you wanted anyway, isn’t it?
10. Go to the movies.
When all else fails — when you sweat into your mattress, when the walls seem like they’re closing in, when you take a shower and can’t get dry no matter how much you towel off — give up and do what your parents and grandparents did to beat the heat: Go watch a terrible summer blockbuster and suck down Cherry Cokes in the cool darkness of your local multiplex. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it.