Some like it hot. Some like it as cold as ice. But if you’re living without air conditioning and stuck sweating it out in a hot house or trying to get some sleep in a sweltering apartment, then chances are you’re feeling a little too hot to handle these days.

Various zones around the world are experiencing a heat wave of sorts this summer. My home province, British Columbia, is currently roasting at 38 degrees Celsius, that’s just over 100F. I’m sure my American friends in Texas and Las Vegas are thinking me a lightweight. But if you’re not acclimatized to dang hot weather and don’t have air conditioning, then coming home after work feels like getting out of the frying pan and into the fire.

ceiling fans air conditioning ice

Since I’d rather be as cool as a cucumber at night, I’ve found some hot ways to stay cool on the cheap. These DIY cooling tactics won’t replace central air or an air conditioner, but you just might feel more comfortable in the heat. Here are 6 cheap ways to stay cool without air conditioning:

1. Get a Fan

I’m not talking about becoming a Squawkfox fan on Facebook, but rather investing a little cold cash into a simple fan. There are many types of fans on the market these days and they vary in cost, power usage, and placement. Here are a few of the more popular types:

  • Ceiling Fan: Classic ceiling fans are a frugal way to put the freeze on the summer heat. Ceiling fans are amazing for moving air in a larger room and can circulate the stuffy out of any situation. They start around $40 and can go up to hundreds of dollars depending on size, power, blade number, and style. Standard 30-inch 6-blade ceiling fans are best suited for medium-sized rooms up to 8 x 10, such as a small kitchen or bedroom. If your room is bigger, then you’ll need a larger fan to fit.
  • Tower Fan: A tower fan is a large upright fan that uses an internally rotating cylinder to move lots of air quickly and efficiently. Many tower fans also contain an air filter so they’ll clean and freshen the air as it circulates. They cost around $30 for a small unit and up to $120 for bigger towers. If you’re into using remote controls to cool your environment and have allergies, then a tower fan just may be your best friend.
  • Window Fan: A window fan is great if you’re short on space, have a low ceiling, or just want your fan out of sight. Window fans keep you cool by mounting directly into a window and can easily be moved to any room with a window view – so you can stay cool in your living room in the evening and then chill out in your bedroom at night. Many window fans do double duty since they can be used to draw in fresh, cool air from outside or to exhaust stale, hot air from the inside. They cost around $40 and are easily stored in a closet until they are needed next.

2. Turn ON The Blower

Running the blower (or fan) for your centreal heating system will move air around your home and give you some heat relief. Turning on the blower won’t keep you chilled like air conditioning, but you’ll take the stuffy out of upper floors and move stale air from main floors. The blower will also move cool air from the basement to the rest of the house.

3. Move Into Your Basement

If your home is blazing hot and you can’t handle the heat upstairs, try sleeping in the basement to cool your costs. Setting up a bed and sleeping below ground is free and can help you catch some ZZZs when the weather is unbearable. I’ve spent most of this summer slumbering in my basement and I think it’s an awesome use for an often unloved space. If you’ve got kiddlets then make it a game and lay out some sleeping bags and pretend you’re camping. You may just have some frugal fun while you’re at it.

4. Plant a Tree

Planting trees on the south side of your home can help reduce summer cooling costs. Deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in the fall, provide ample shade in the summer, keeping your home cooler while letting more warming light through in the winter. Planting trees around your home can have the added bonus of increasing your property value too. A smaller deciduous tree costs around $50 and can pay for itself in energy savings and increased property value.

5. Close Drapes and Blinds

Your existing drapes and blinds can be closed to shut out the heat during the day and opened to keep you cooler at night. Drapes tend to shield you from sizzling summer heat by shading your home from the hot afternoon sunlight. So don’t forget to shut the blinds before heading for work and open them at night to chill a room out.

6. Find a Friend

Finding a friend with air conditioning may be a cool move if you’re living without drapes, don’t have a basement, or prefer to live fan-free. Cool friends boasting a place to “chill-out” might just prove golden for the hottest of summer nights. So if you can’t handle the heat, then be sure to bring your besty a bottle of summer spirits for helping you out in a hot situation. ‘Cause that’s what friends are for.

Got any cool tips for keeping your place chill in the hot summer months? Share away!