Non-permanent Ways to Cool a Room for Summer

Summer is hot. While you might look forward to the summer for the entire rest of the year, come June, you are always surprised just how uncomfortably warm summer can get. While this might not be much of a problem during the day, when you can spend hours on the beach or by the pool — or else holed up in an air-conditioned office — you might notice the heat acutely at night, when your bedroom feels stifling.

Unfortunately, not everyone is allowed or prepared to make permanent changes to cool off their rooms. If you need a way to keep your room comfortable without making changes for all time, read on.

Invest in Temporary A/C

You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for a complete HVAC system; there are more than a few non-permanent air conditioners you can install in your room to endure the summer months. If you want an air conditioner that stays out of your way, cools efficiently and with greater power, then you want a window unit. Consider the style of window in your room and measure its size to better understand your capabilities. You can gain a nicely air-conditioned room for around $300, or less depending on the size of your unit.

Then again, if you have more cash to spare and a greater interest in easy installation, a portable unit might be for you. In some apartment buildings, window units are banned because they hang dangerously and unattractively outside a window. Portable units are essentially invisible from the outside, are flexible to any size or style of window and can be moved from room to room. Still, these units tend to come with a higher price tag, so you should consider your budget before impulsively investing in a portable A/C.

Hang Heavy Window Coverings

As much as natural daylight might make a room feel more spacious and inviting, light also brings along heat. Even if your windows are top-of-the-line in energy efficiency, they will always permit some amount of heat, which might make your room that much more uncomfortable. A time-tested technique for reducing the heat from windows is window coverings —and in this case, the thicker and heavier, the better. Heavy draperies or thick shutters will add another layer of insulation to the envelope of your room, trapping heat close to the window and forbidding it from leaking into your living space. You can find attractive and affordable curtains of this type at almost any big box home goods store, such as Target.

Change Your Linens1

While it won’t change the air temperature of your inside spaces, changing the linens in your room could help the heat dissipate better, allowing your body to cool off more efficiently. You might like the heft of flannel sheets or the softness of jersey sheets, but both of these materials are designed to hold onto warmth, making you sweaty and smothered when the temps rise. Instead, you should look for a material that breathes well, like linen or cotton, so you don’t feel stifled when you are trying to sleep. Even if you don’t use a top sheet during the summer, having a lightweight material beneath you will keep you cooler and more comfortable.

Upgrade Your Lightbulbs

Incandescent lightbulbs give off a comforting glow and are incredibly affordable — but they are only about 5 percent efficient. That means for every 100 watts in a bulb, only 5 watts are converted into visible light; the rest is turned into invisible radiation, about 12 watts of which is heat. In the summer, even one incandescent bulb can heat up a room to unendurable temperatures, so it’s high time you upgrade your lightbulbs to more energy-efficient fluorescents or, even better, LEDs. LEDs that are properly placed in heat sinks produce almost no extra heat, and they can last for upwards of 10 years, all the while saving you money on your energy bill.

Do the Ice and Fan Trick

Finally, if nothing else works — if you have to save up for an A/C and no amount of window covering or linen changing affects the temperature — you can always put ice near a fan. You can buy a block of ice or use the ice cubes from your freezer; place them in a bucket in as close to the front of your fan as possible, and you should enjoy a DIY air conditioner. If you don’t have access to ice right now, you can create a similar effect with a wet washcloth draped over the fan.

Summer is hot, and even with a roof over head, your rooms can get hotter. Fortunately, by taking the above steps, you can survive the summer heat without making a permanent impact on your surroundings.

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