street view of apartments with plants and furniture on balconies

Do you live in an apartment without air conditioning?

Are you looking for smart ways on how to beat the summer heat without moving?

If so, this article is for you.

Below, we’ll share with you the top 12 tips for how to cool down apartment without AC.

Regardless of where you live, or what type of apartment you have, these methods for how to keep an apartment cool without AC can work for you.

Just read through the list and pick the ones you’d like to try.

There’s something for everybody here.

How to Cool Down Apartment Without AC

1. Consider a Portable Air Conditioner

Did you know that portable air conditioners exist?

And, that many landlords and apartment complexes will allow you to use one to stay cool during the summer?

A portable air conditioner is kind of like a window AC unit, but instead of being installed inside a window sill, the portable unit sits inside the room.

Most portable AC units are about 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide, so they don’t take up much space in your apartment.

Portable air conditioners come in two types: vented and ventless.

The vented units have a hose on the back that attaches to a window; however, the window only has to be cracked about 6 inches for it to work.

That’s why many landlords and apartment complexes allow portable air conditioners to be used. These units don’t hang out the window like a window air conditioner does.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Portable AC Units

The ventless style units don’t have a hose. So, you can use them in rooms that don’t even have windows.

These models are basically a high powered fan that contains a water tank. And that water is misted into the air as a way to cool down your apartment.

Both types of portable air conditioners contain wheels. That means you can take the cooling power of these AC units with you throughout the day.

For example, you can use a budget portable air conditioner in the main living area during the day and then take into your bedroom at night to stay cool.

If this sounds like something you’ve been looking for, then check out these two guides to find the right model for your needs: best ventless air conditioner reviews and best portable air conditioner reviews.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Ventless AC Units

2. Close Your Blinds

Having the sun shine into your apartment can make it bright and cheery, but it can also make it incredibly hot—especially during the summer.

A simple way to keep your space several degrees cooler when you don’t have an air conditioner is to close your blinds during the hottest part of the day.

By closing the blinds, you can keep direct sunlight out of your apartment and reduce solar heat gain.

If you don’t have blinds in your apartment, consider installing some.

3. Even Better: Use Blackout Drapes

An even better option for how to keep an apartment cool without AC is to use blackout drapes.

Blackout drapes can reduce heat gain by up to 33% and help to insulate your apartment.

Not only does this keep your apartment cooler in the summer, but it can also keep it warmer in the winter.

And, if you combine blackout drapes with a portable indoor air conditioning unit, you can get the maximum amount of cooling for the lowest monthly cost.

4. Create Your Own Shade

If you happen to have a balcony with your apartment, and it’s approved by your landlord, you should consider adding some tall plants to your outdoor space.

This is a great way to block the sun from getting into your apartment, which can reduce how hot your apartment gets.

If you add tall plants in combination with curtains or blackout drapes, you can reduce a lot of solar heat that comes through the balcony section of your apartment.

Should your landlord forbid you from adding plants to the outdoor space, consider adding some tall plants to the inside of your apartment.

You’ll still be able to block the light and create shade, which can make the space a lot cooler.

However, you’ll need to make sure that the plants are not blocking the path of your doorway to get out to the balcony.

5. Optimize the Fans You Already Have

If you have ceiling fans installed in your apartment, then there are some ways for how to use them optimally to cool down your apartment.

Here are some tips to achieve that:

  • Ceiling fans should run counter-clockwise. This will push the air straight down and create a wind-chill effect. If the fan is not rotating counter-clockwise, look for a switch on the side of the base that you can flip to switch the direction of the spin.
  • Clean your fan regularly. If your ceiling fan is covered with dust and other debris, this could impact the motor, causing it to heat up, which could make the fan run slowly. It’s a good idea to clean your fan on a monthly basis.
  • Clean the blades. In addition to removing the dust from around the motor of your fan, you also need to keep the blades clean. Cleaning the fan blades will reduce drag and improve the fan’s ability to move air throughout your apartment.
  • Get rid of wobbling. A wobbly fan has to work a lot harder to keep running, and it won’t cool the room down as efficiently. Get rid of any wobbling by tightening up the screws on the unit to keep your apartment cool during the summer.
  • Change out the blades. Another tip is to swap out the current fan blades with longer ones. If you have a ceiling fan that doesn’t cool a room effectively, then it may have blades that are too short. You can ask your landlord to install longer fan blades to help cool down a wider area of space.

6. Use Box Fans in Your Windows

Here’s a tip for how to cool down apartment without AC that costs less than $15.

Buy purchasing a box fan and placing it in a window, you can draw a lot of hot air out of your apartment.

Just place the box fan in the window sill so that the blowing air current is facing outward.

Hot air will be sucked out of your apartment and the internal temperature will feel cooler.

7. Take Advantage of Spot Cooling

In addition to using a box fan, you might also consider buying a small portable fan to point directly at you.

Whether you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, laying in bed, or reading in your favorite chair, position the fan so that it’s blowing directly on you.

This might be the better way for you to stay cool during the hottest part of summer, rather than trying to cool down your entire apartment.

You can also try one of these small air conditioners that combine a fan and water into a single device to provide a cool mist. This can be much more refreshing than a fan alone.

8. Bring the Cool Air in at Night

When it comes to how to cool apartment without AC, you might consider bringing in the cooler night air.

If you happen to live in a place where it cools off when the sun goes down, you can open your windows at night to let that colder air in.

If you have a box fan, you can set it on a window sill and face it so that the air current is blowing into your apartment.

This setup will pull the cooler night air into your space.

Then, first thing in the morning, you’ll want to turn off the fan, close your windows, and draw the blinds or drapes.

This will trap as much cool air as possible inside your apartment and keep the hot air from coming in.

9. Keep Your Bed Cool

Staying cool and comfortable while you sleep requires chilling your bed to the optimum temperature.

There are numerous ways to achieve this goal.

  • One of the easiest ways to chill your bed is to place your sheets and pillowcases in the freezer for a few hours before you go to sleep.
  • You can also use fans in your room, including a pedestal fan, which will push air from the middle of the room directly onto your bed while you sleep.
  • You also have the option of using a Chillow while you sleep. This special type of pillow uses water to absorb, and then dissipate heat back to the surrounding air, leaving a cool sensation. It stays dry on the outside and doesn’t need refrigeration.
  • Another option is to place a frozen water bottle near your head or at your feet.
  • It’s also a good idea to use the right sheets on your bed during the summer.
  • Sheets made from cotton or bamboo are lightweight and breathable, so they’ll keep you cooler as the temperatures rise.

10. Find a Lower Place to Sleep

Since heat rises, to stay cool while you sleep, you’ll want to find the lowest place possible for your bed.

The best way to achieve this is to put your mattress on the floor.

11. Change Out Your Lightbulbs

Incandescent lightbulbs do a really great job of lighting your apartment, but they can also put out a lot of heat.

To keep your apartment cool when you don’t have AC, consider changing the lightbulbs.

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL) or LED bulbs don’t emit any extra heat, which will ensure you have enough light to see but aren’t inadvertently heating your apartment while they’re on.

12. Alter Your Body Temperature

Instead of trying to change the temperature inside your apartment, you might consider altering your own body temperature to cool down.

People have been living without AC longer than they’ve been living with it, and millions of people survived just fine.

Some tips you can use to stay cool during the summer include:

  • Drink iced beverages (this will keep you cool and hydrated)
  • Eat popsicles
  • Apply a cold cloth to the back of your neck or the inside of your wrists
  • Wear lightweight, breathable clothes, including cotton fabrics
  • Take a cool shower
  • Dip your feet into a bowl of cool water

How to Keep Apartment Cool Without AC Summary

How to keep apartment cool without AC summary

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to keep apartment cool without AC.

If you were looking for some easy tips on how to beat the heat during the summer, any one of these methods can work to reduce the solar heat.

As a reminder, you can get the best relief by investing in a portable air conditioner.

These units provide icy cold air and some versions don’t even require windows for ventilation.

Check out these guides to find the one that’s best for you: best ventless air conditioner reviews and best portable air conditioner reviews.

You’re now equipped with a number of top ways for how to cool down apartment without AC.

Avatar for Katherine Dyson

About Katherine Dyson

Katherine is the lead Staff Writer. She conducts in-depth research and interviews with industry experts in order to produce a wide range of content for the site. Her main role is to write helpful articles that aid people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)