10 Cheap Ways to Keep Cool in Your Apartment
To keep cool this summer, you could blast the air conditioning nonstop, but that will leave you with cooling bills that may give you the chills – and not in a good way.
Whether you don’t have an indoor air conditioning system or just don’t like those sky-high cooling bills, you can keep the heat at bay during the summer in a number of inexpensive ways. If you’re already running the ceiling fans, wearing shorts and living on the bottom floor of your house or apartment, here are some new ways to keep cool during the dog days of summer.
1. Kick back with popsicles. Don’t just eat them, lie on them. These inexpensive (usually a few dollars for a box of 100), multi-colored popsicles in pull-apart plastic packaging make an excellent, icy, body-conforming raft. After they’re frozen through, lay a connected row of them (unopened) on your bed, lay back and chill out. When they melt, put them back in the freezer and repeat. You might want to put a towel over them when they’re first out of the freezer to avoid the shocking cold.
2. Freeze your sheets. Place your sheets and pillowcases in the freezer a few hours before bedtime, and make your bed with them right before you get in. They might stay cold enough long enough for you to fall asleep in soothing, cool comfort.
Read more: How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
3. Take a cool bath or shower. If the thought of getting into a cold bath makes you sweat, fill it first with lukewarm or room temperature water, and get in. Gradually let the lukewarm water out and refill it with cold water until you’re in a mostly cold bath. You’ll feel cool for a long time afterwards.
4. Eat cool foods. Don’t give yourself a reason to stand over a hot stove or even to let the stove warm up the room. Instead, eat cold things that don’t have to be cooked, such as salads with iceberg or romaine lettuce, radishes, carrots and tomatoes, precooked shrimp cocktail, celery stuffed with cream cheese or storebought egg salad, watermelon and cucumber slices dipped in hummus.
5. Wear cooler clothes. If you’re home alone and have the moxie, go without clothes or walk around in your underwear or a bathing suit. Otherwise, wear natural fabrics such as linen, cotton and silk. These breathe better than man-made materials, such as rayon, polyester and other artificial fibers. Athletic wear is an exception and can wick moisture away from your body.
6. Cover your windows more. Ideally, you should replace your blinds with aluminized blinds, but if you can’t, start by placing cardboard cut to size and covered in foil in your windows, at least on the windows that face the sun during the day. They may not be aesthetically pleasing, but the aluminum reflects a lot of the sun’s rays. Or, if you can’t stand the idea of cardboard in your windows, purchase lined drapes to insulate the room.
Read more: Tips for Airing Out Your Apartment
7. Supercharge your desk fan. Fill empty soda bottles or milk jugs almost to the top with water and freeze. Fold a towel, place the frozen bottles on the towel and position your desk fan or box fan behind the bottles, facing you. As the ice in the bottles melts, the air cools around them, and the fan will blow that air at you.
8. Drink ice water. Cooling down starts on the inside, so downing several glasses of ice-cold water will really put the chill on. Drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of your body weight. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink at least 75 ounces, or a little more than nine eight-ounce glasses, of water per day.
9. Use mint or menthol products. Smear cooling topical ointments with medicated vapors (such as Vicks VapoRub) or peppermint lotion on your skin. Bathe with peppermint soap, use lip balm with peppermint oil and brush your teeth with something minty. Mint refreshes the skin and leaves a nice cooling sensation.
10. Go somewhere cold. You don’t have to go to the Swiss Alps to cool down; instead, hang out somewhere for awhile where someone else pays the air conditioning bill, such as the library, grocery store or a friend’s house. You can also dive into a public pool. Indoor farmers markets are notoriously cold; check out the fresh fish section or dairy aisle for extra blasts of cold air.
Read more: Top Tips for Staying Cool This Summer