How To Keep An Apartment Cool Without AC (Best Ways)

Apartments, especially top floors, heat up quickly in the searing summer heat. Direct sunlight and insufficient ventilation are a few reasons why it’s too hard to survive in a flat during summertime.

Want to know how to make an apartment without AC more inhabitable? Read on as we’ll provide you with some of the best and most efficient ways to fight heat and cool your apartment.

How To Cool Down An Apartment Without AC (9 Creative Ways)

Turning on an AC system during the peak summer season can also mean draining your wallet. Hence, you may be looking for alternatives.

With that said, here are some of the best, most effective, and environmentally-friendly ways to keep your apartment cool without an AC:

1. Get A Fan

Get a Fan

If you have ceiling fans in the apartment, you can utilize them optimally for cooling down your flat. Here are a few valuable tips for doing so:

  • Let The Ceiling Fans Run Counterclockwise: This way, the fan will push air down instantly, creating a wind-chill effect. In case the fans aren’t rotating counterclockwise, look for switches on the sides of their bases that you could flip to turn their spin direction. Most fans have this option for summer/winter airflow options.
  • Clean Your Ceiling Fans Routinely: If your fans are covered with debris or dust, it will affect their motor, causing them to heat up and operate slower.
  • Wash The Blades: Washing the blades will minimize drag and enhance the ceiling fans’ ability to flow air throughout the apartment
  • Do Away With Wobbling: Remember, wobbly ceiling fans need to work harder to keep functioning. So, tighten up the unit’s screws to take out the wobbling and keep your flat cool throughout the summer.
  • If Necessary, Change The Fan Blades: If you have ceiling fans that don’t cool down rooms efficaciously, chances are they might have short blades. You can talk to the apartment’s owner to install new and longer blades to expand the cooling radius.

2. Direct Cool Air Into Your Home At Night

If you live in an area where it gets cold as the sun sets, you could open the windows. And if you’ve got box fans, you can place them on window bottoms/sills so that the air stream blows into your flat.

This way, you’ll be able to pull colder air in at night without much effort.

Make sure to turn off your box fans in the morning and close the windows. Also, draw the drapes or blinds. It will trap the cool air inside your apartment and keep warm air from entering the room.

3. Consider Using A Portable AC

Portable air conditioners are somewhat similar to window air conditioners; however, rather than being placed in a window bottom, they’re placed within the room.

Most portable air conditioners are about 23-inch tall and 17-inch wide. This means they don’t use much of the space in an apartment.

Additionally, these AC units are available in two main types:

  • Ventless: don’t include a hose. You can utilize them in the apartment room that doesn’t have any windows.
  • Vented: These include a hose that connects to the window, but the window needs to be opened approximately 5-inches.

4. Use Box Fans In Your Windows

Want to cool your apartment without an AC while only spending $20 or less? If so, you should buy a reliable box fan and place it on a window ledge.

This way, you could draw out warm air from your flat effortlessly. Make sure to place it appropriately so that the air current faces outward.

Warm air will filter out of the apartment, and your internal atmosphere will feel fresh and cold.

5. Keep Yourself Cool

Rather than trying to alter the temperature of your flat, consider changing your body temperature.

After all, humans have been dwelling without air conditioners longer than living with them, and billions have survived pretty well!

Some tips to remain cool during a scorching summer heat include:

  • Eat popsicles
  • Drink chilled beverages (it will ensure you stay hydrated and cool)
  • Take cold showers
  • Wear breathable and lightweight clothes, including cotton and other fabrics
  • Soak your feet in the bowl of cold water
  • Apply cold fabrics/cloths to your wrists or back of the neck

6. Take Advantage Of Spot Cooling

Besides using box fans, consider purchasing a compact portable fan that directly points at you.

Whether you’re lying in your bed, sitting on a couch watching television, or reading your favorite book, place the fan suitably so that it blows air directly towards you.

It’s one of the best ways to ensure cooling on hot summer days. And you don’t need to spend too much cooling down the entire apartment.

If possible, try small coolers that merge fans and water into one unit to offer cool mists. It’s much more efficient and refreshing than the fan alone.

7. Close The Blinds

Having direct sunshine peer into your flat could make it cheery and bright; however, it could also make it incredibly hot, particularly in the scorching heat.

One easy way to ensure your space remains cooler without an AC is by closing the blinds in the warmest part of the day.

Just by shutting the blinds, you’ll be able to keep sunlight away from the flat and minimize heat gain. However, if there are no blinds in the apartment, consider placing some.

8. Keep Your Bed Cool

Staying comfortable and relaxed while sleeping requires chilling the bed to an optimum temperature. There are several effective ways to attain this goal, such as:

  • Place pillowcases and sheets in a freezer for some time before going to sleep (it actually works!)
  • You can utilize fans in the room, including pedestal fans that will drive air from all across the room straight to your bed as you sleep.
  • You can use a “Chillow” while sleeping as well. This unique pillow relies on water to soak up and dissipate heat back to the nearby air, leaving you cool. It doesn’t require refrigeration as it remains dry from the outside.
  • Place a cold water bottle around the head or under the feet.
  • Sheets made up of bamboo or cotton are breathable and lightweight, so utilize them to remain cooler when the temperature increases.

9. Turn Off And Unplug Electronics

Never doze off with your computer or TV running, as they can raise the temperature within the apartment. Furthermore, it may help to unplug them entirely.

If you plan to use a computer, remember they have a harder time remaining cool in warm temperatures. You could use fans to cool down your indoors and computer as well.

Why Is My Apartment So Hot?

Why Apartment is Hot During Summer

Summers could be highly uncomfortable in the office or at home, even with air conditioners. And besides excessive heat and sweating, you can also face rising energy bills.

Moreover, apartments – particularly high-rise buildings – are likely to overheat during the searing summer months. And this is mostly because of inadequate airflow inside the apartment.

Some other reasons why apartments get hot include:

  • Inadequate or compromised HVAC units
  • Closed vents
  • Sun exposure
  • Damaged ductwork
  • Bad insulation
  • Blocked air vents

Advantages Of Air Conditioners In An Apartment

Advantages of AC in Apartment

If you’re living in a high-rise or small apartment, you know how strained and uncomfortable it could be when blistering, thick heat sets in.

Therefore, most people utilize AC units to remain comfortable and cool in their flats during humid and hot summer weather.

Moreover, in extreme conditions, AC systems may keep both young, old, and other susceptible people safe from various heat-induced health hazards.

Nevertheless, here are a few advantages of air conditioners in an apartment:

  • It prevents heat strokes and dehydration
  • Improves air quality
  • It helps to minimize allergies and asthma
  • Minimizes high humidity
  • Improves mental well being and concentration
  • Fewer parasites and insects
  • Protects your belonging and furniture
  • Prevents devices from excessive heat
  • Better sleep quality
  • Decreases stress
  • Less noise

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are upstairs or top floor apartments hotter?

Yes, the upstairs or topmost floor apartments are generally 4-5 degrees warmer than other floors in the apartment building.

Though there are many reasons, the most obvious one is the top floor flat gets direct sunlight. Also, heat transfer is increasingly high on top floors compared to other floors.

What temperature is considered too hot for an apartment?

The safe temperature for an apartment ranges from 68 to 74°F. The Department of Energy suggests keeping your apartment anywhere between 68 and 78°F when there’s excessive heat outside in summers. Anything above 78°F is considered too hot for flats.

Can you get sick from your apartment being too hot?

A warmer apartment can cause a range of problems such as lethargy, eczema, disturbed sleep, fatigue, poor concentration, and much more. That’s not it! An increase in temperature may cause a rise in bacterial growth, leading to more food poisoning risks and transmission of germs.


Living in an apartment building, mainly on the topmost floors, without an air conditioner can be tricky and challenging in the summer. This is because apartments heat up quicker and lack proper ventilation.

However, by following the ways mentioned above, you can easily keep your flat cool and comfortable even without an AC system.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.