Going Without Air Conditioning

It might happen because your air conditioner breaks, or your budget gets tight, or your power goes out, or you just worry about your carbon footprint.  There’s also times in Georgia when it is so very hot, that air conditioners just can’t keep up.


Picture of our cat Foxxxy

Insert Cuteness Here


We’ve lived without air conditioning for years now.  My husband has a distaste for it.  We have a window unit, and we will run it if it goes over 100 and is humid.  Air conditioners do a 2nd thing besides cool – they dehumidify the air, and in Georgia, that’s sometimes needed to take care of a house.


But we’ve developed a few habits over the years that might be of help to you if you ever have to do without.  I thought I’d list them here:


1. Use fans.  We have a whole house fan that we use as well.  Ventilation is very important.

2. Know which door the coolest air comes in.  We do not open our back door, we open our carport door.  The air is much cooler coming in from the shady carport than the sunny porches.

3. Dress in loose cotton.  It is not as important how LITTLE clothes you wear, but how tight they are.  Skip the tight clothes and fabrics that don’t breathe.   The exception is a swimsuit.

4. Get wet!  When we get hot inside, we run outside and jump in the pool.  Our we take a shower outside.

5. Keep your hair wet!  My hair stays wet in the summer time.  I have LONG hair and it is a good air conditioner- contrary to the belief that long hair is HOT (it is when it is dry) ….wet and damp long hair really help you stay cool longer.  My son realizes this too.

6. Know your head and neck can cool you down the fastest.  Putting an icepack in a pillow case or something, and laying it above your head is tremendously cooling when it is HOT and you have to get some sleep.

7. Cook outside  – We cook out back like they did in the old south.  We have a wok, a GE ROASTER and a grill.  Bread bakes really well on a grill if you have a stone.  Soups and salads are great too.

8.Keep lots of drinks on hand.  We keep a cooler of ice outside with ice bottles and other drinks.  The fridge will typically have more drinks than anything in it during the hottest of the summer.

9.  Try NOT to escape the heat often.  When it’s really hot you will be tempted to just go to a movie or go shopping or just go somewhere to be in the air conditioning but any time you take yourself OUT of the heat and go into air conditioning, it will throw your body off some and you’ll actually feel hotter than you did before you went.  Your body acclimates to the heat – if you can’t ever get used to it – it might be because you work in air conditioning!

10. Take it easy during the hottest part of the day.  Save your work for when the sun is down or early in the morning when it is still fairly cool.

11. Put cotton sheets over your sofa and upholstered chairs.

12.  Make sure your screens are in good shape on your windows.

13. Spray bottles are awesome.  Everyone needs one.

14. Let the cool air in at night, or when it rains to cool the house down.

Be sure to consider humidity levels in your home.  Sometimes air conditioning is not just about staying cool but also keeping your home healthy.  When it’s really damp inside, your home can foster mold and rot.  You can counter this with a dehumidifier or by going ahead and turning on the air on the really damp days.

One response to “Going Without Air Conditioning

  1. It is in the low 90’s here today, and I’ve not broken a sweat or felt a bit uncomfortable yet. If, however, say I go to Walmart to shop for 30 minutes, in the air, when I come home I will be burning UP. The entire family finds this to be true- it’s counter-intuitive but we stay much more comfortable in the heat if we can avoid air conditioning. I suspect it makes your body work twice as hard- and often decide on a faulty course of action to maintain your temperature – when it has to adjust to rapidly changing temperatures. I even suspect that constant or extreme temperature changes can increase the risks of heat stroke.
    Through history people lived without it and thrived using common sense and self monitoring.