Frugal Apartment Living: Staying Cool without Air Conditioning

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Air conditioning is one of the amenities that most tenants consider for comfortable apartment living before choosing an apartment. Living without one may be a deal breaker if you’re a tenant living in a hot climate, or suffer from allergies that require you to keep all windows closed during hot summer months. If none of these apply to you, and you just want to save money by avoiding the use of an air conditioner, then there are methods to try to keep your apartment cool.

Aluminum Foil on Windows

Your first task is to keep heat out of your apartment. Wrap aluminum foil on large cardboard squares that will cover your west and south facing windows. You may have to staple or tape several pieces of cardboard together to get a good fit. Wrap aluminum foil around the cardboard as if you’re wrapping a gift. Tape it to the cardboard using Scotch tape. Cover your windows with the cardboard, with the aluminum foil side facing out. It will act as a shield to reflect the heat from the sun away from your apartment. You’ll want to use cardboard so that you can easily remove it from the window to look out when you need to. If that’s not a concern, then skip the cardboard and cover the windows with foil directly. Foil is not going to enhance any apartment living decor you’ve selected, but it will keep you cooler. You can remove the cardboard before guests arrive, or cover it with draperies or other window treatments.

Insulating Blankets

Instead of aluminum foil, you can use insulating blankets to keep the heat out. These look prettier, and it’s easier to peek out the windows if you need to. Blankets will also work more effectively at trapping the heat, so that it doesn’t enter the room. You’ll be able to stay much cooler then. Insulating blankets are good to have around, and they serve multiple purposes when it comes to apartment living.

Ceiling and Portable Fans

After you work on keeping as much heat out as possible, you have to work on getting cool air in and getting any remaining heat out. Ceiling fans are cheaper to use than air conditioners, and they’ll do a great job with this task. You have to open your windows though, and a portable fan facing opened windows will help the process go a lot faster. If your front or back door leads directly to the outside, you can leave that open to let the fan blow out and draw in cool air. Use a screen door in that case, or buy a portable screen to keep insects and other pests out.

Laundry and Cooking

You will have to make major adjustments to your laundry and cooking schedules. Do laundry in the early morning or late evening hours so that you don’t overheat your apartment. Use a clothes line inside and out whenever possible, instead of a dryer. Cook early in the morning, instead of throughout the day. Cook or barbecue outdoors if you’re allowed to, and bake only once or twice a week if at all.

Frugal apartment living does impact the way you approach your cooling needs. With the money saved, you can budget for more supplies and items to keep you cool in your apartment.

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