Low-tech cooling when you have no A/C


We have no central air at our house–mostly because our house came that way and, in the midst of a lot of other renovations, we didn’t think adding A/C was a big priority. Needless to say, that was in the wintertime. During weeks like this one, I confess to a certain reexamination of that position.

But not all is lost. It may be 100 degrees outside but we’re able to keep it to the double digits within. Our two main weapons:


Ye Olde Ceiling Fanne

Blinds and windows that close

Yep, that’s all there is to it: Make the house into a cave during the day, with no light or air entering, and run the fans when we’re sleeping. It’s not no-energy, but it’s low-energy, and so far we’re surviving. I sometimes go around with a bandana tied around my neck which I’ve soaked in cold water. We go sit in the creek to cool our feet. And, though we’d undoubtedly be more comfortable and less sticky if we had central air, we’d also be paying a lot more for power.

For now, this is O.K. with me. I’m happy to enjoy A/C when I walk into the bank or the office, but existing at a constant temperature is not a human right–it’s a very recent notion in human history. It’s also probably on the list of stuff we’ll have to give up someday if we want to avoid burning the planet to a crisp.

Anyone else sweating through without A/C? Got some good tips for cooling down the house?