Clever Hacks to Keep Your Apartment Cool All Summer Long
It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when you point five fans at your bed and still can’t sleep. The time when your ice cream melts before you have the chance to take a bite. The time when city living gets, well…kinda challenging.
Last month, we rounded up some super-smart wardrobe tweaks to ensure you feel breezy all summer long. And this week, we’re sharing the details on all the smartest hacks to help keep your apartment cool, even in peak summer heat. No A/C? No worries.
APARTMENT-WIDE COOLING TIPS
Whether you’re on a budget or just don’t want to up your carbon footprint, living without air conditioning is possible in the city—but it helps to do some advanced planning and prep.
Starting with the windows. Depending on which direction they’re facing, you may experience an extra-toasty greenhouse effect in the summer months. That’s where insulation comes in: Blackout curtains and adhesive window film aren’t just for keeping out the winter chill. They can also work to block up to 30% of excess heat from entering your apartment.
Another Earth-friendly swap? Your incandescent bulbs, which, rather incredibly, waste up to 90% of their energy emitting heat. Swapping them for LED bulbs won’t just keep you comfier—it’ll also earn you green cred. Unplug your large appliances when not in use for extra cooling (and brownie points with Mother Earth).
BEDROOM COOLING TIPS
This year, we’re kicking heat-induced insomnia out of bed. At our disposal: the ingenious Chillow, a gel-pad pillow that stays cool all night long. On the extra sweltering nights, cooling gel pad socks and eye masks add to the chill factor.
In a pinch, a few budget-friendly, MacGyver-like moves will also keep things comfortable. Place a large bowl of ice water directly in front of your fan for a genius air conditioning alternative. Before sleeping, store your sheets in the freezer for thirty minutes (or employ the so-called “Egyptian method” and rinse them in cold water prior to snoozing). And be sure you’re sleeping on cotton, linens, or other natural fabrics. Polyester, be gone.
KITCHEN COOLING TIPS
Hey, home cooks? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you want to keep your apartment cool, your oven is off-limits in the summer months (and even stove use can contribute to some pretty significant residual heat). But think of it this way: This is your excuse to become a salad pro, master sushi roller, and gazpacho maestro. (Psst: Don't forget to use locally grown, seasonal produce!)
Speaking of keeping things cold: Summer is not the time for piping-hot cups of joe. A cold-brew coffee maker is one genius way of getting your caffeine fix without breaking a sweat. (Store your glasses in the freezer for extra-frosty oomph.)
One last pointer. If you’re looking to purge your apartment of warm air, put your kitchen’s extractor fans to good use—it’s what they were designed to do, after all.
HOT WEATHER TECH
On the really scorching days, sometimes you just gotta call in the big guns. We’re talking the Dyson Air Multiplier. It may be on the spendy side, but boy, is it effective. Its bladeless design doesn’t just look sleek and minimalistic, but is also far more efficient at extracting warm air from your apartment (all while consuming far less power than your A/C). Then there’s Sharper Image’s 4-in-1 Cool Misting Fan, a clever piece of tech that mists you with refreshing spray while circulating air through your space.
One more quirky, hot-weather solution? The Italian-designed Geizeer, a stylish little box that is ice-powered, energy-efficient, and one of the more inventive solutions to high temperatures we’ve seen. It’s not an air conditioner so much as a portable cooling box that’ll waft icy breezes your way. Ahhhhhh.