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Staying cool without A/C

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Posted September 1, 2022
Cooling without A/C

Air conditioning may seem like a common denominator for Houston residents, but occasionally you may need to figure out how to stay cool without it. Maybe you are trying to cut down on your energy bills. Maybe your home’s A/C is giving you the cold (warm?) shoulder. Contact Air Specialist for speedy service if you and your A/C are on a break. In the meantime, here are some ideas for keeping your cool without the help of your trusty A/C unit.

Rely on your fan club

Rumor has it that Grandpa only had a battered box fan at night for himself and the eight siblings who shared his bedroom. Hopefully, Grandpa enjoyed an occasional breeze. A fan may not cool the air – the temperature in the room stays the same – but it cools the people who are sweating it out, like Grandpa and his brothers. The breeze helps sweat evaporate from your skin, making you feel cooler. It turns out that Grandpa knew about the wind chill effect long before it became a common term for meteorologists up north. If your home has ceiling fans, make sure they’re rotating counterclockwise so you feel the breeze.

Close the windows and doors

If the outside air is warmer than the indoor air, keep it that way. Make sure doors and windows are shut and rely on drapery or blackout shades. You may also want to consider solar film on your windows, which can block UV radiation and some of the sun’s heat. Insulation in the attic and weather stripping around the doors and windows add additional heat barriers. Of course, if we’re enjoying a nighttime cool-down, open everything that is closed and let Mother Nature be your A/C.


Appliances generate heat while they’re running. Do you really want to run the dishwasher in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is hottest? Consider keeping your oven off and checking out recipes that use a microwave or even a slow cooker, which generate less heat. Maybe tonight the family can enjoy a dinner of cold salads and sandwiches.

Consider a dehumidifier

Humidity affects your body’s ability to release heat through perspiration. If your home is feeling the Houston humidity, consider investing in a dehumidifier. You may find that a portable unit does the job (make sure you remember to empty it regularly so it doesn’t shut off), or you may want to discuss whole-house humidifier options with your Air Specialist HVAC technician.

Towel off

Cool towels are a low-tech solution to hot problems. Take a hand towel or washcloth and run it under cold weather. Lay it over your neck and enjoy a refreshing cold spell. Stick a few more wet towels in the freezer so they’re ready to keep you cool.

Take off some clothes

Note that we don’t suggest taking off all your clothes unless you are alone at home or with other people who are OK with naked roommates. But there’s no need to dress in layers when you’re trying to stay cool. Choose cotton or other loose fabrics. Go ahead and wear shorts for that Zoom call – we won’t tell!

Remember to hydrate

Whether you’re hanging out in your warm home or working out in the sun, hydration is important for keeping our bodies cool and healthy. Keep cool water handy and enjoy hydrating foods like watermelon or oranges.

You can survive a hot Houston day without A/C, but Air Specialist is here to make sure you keep your cool throughout our warm months, which extend well into fall. If your home’s A/C needs repairs, reach out to us. Trust your home and family’s comfort to Air Specialist.


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