What’s Inside: In this article I share tips for how to stay cool without electricity. The tips range from the proper clothing to wear, how to keep your home cool during a power outage, as well as non-electric ways for staying cool during a power outage.
Staying cool during hot weather can be a challenge, especially when you’re without electricity. Whether you are camping, homesteading, or experiencing a power outage at home, it’s important to know how to keep yourself cool and comfortable. How can you stay cool without electricity?
How to stay cool without electricity is a multi-faceted strategy of cooling your home, wearing appropriate clothing, staying hydrated, and making use of alternative cooling methods to cool down. Combining these strategies will help you remain cool even when the power is out.
Relying on electricity for cooling has limited our ingenuity to find alternatives to cool down when the power goes out. We have compiled a comprehensive list of methods to cool down and stay cool while everyone else is uncomfortable and sweaty!
- Appropriate dress, such as loose fitting, light colored clothing helps keep you cool.
- You can keep your home cool by closing blinds and windows, using battery powered fans, and keeping your home shaded.
- Staying hydrated helps regulate your body temperature and avoid heat-related illness.
- The use of water in the form of cool showers, spray bottles, cool cloths, and soaking your feet in cool water can cool you down.
How To Keep Cool During a Power Outage
If you normally rely on electrical appliances such as air conditioners or fans to keep you cool during the summer, you may feel hot and uncomfortable when the power goes out.
Finding an alternative method to keep cool is important whether you are a rural homesteader or living in an apartment in the city.
I have some practical tips and ideas on how to stay cool in a power outage and beat the heat. Some tips require forward planning to prepare for power outages, but others use everyday items and simple ideas that anyone can implement.
My goal is to expand your knowledge with some basic and innovative ways to stay cool and comfortable without relying on electricity, whether you’re in a survival situation or simply waiting for the grid to come back on.
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Dress for Heat to Keep Cool Without Electricity
What you wear can significantly impact your comfort level when it’s hot outside, and you’re without electricity. Changing your outfit is one of the easiest methods of cooling down in hot weather with no electricity.
- Choose loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothing can make you feel hotter by trapping heat against your body. Instead, choose loose-fitting clothing made of lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Loose-fitting clothes promote airflow between your skin and clothing, keeping you cool.
- Wear light colors. Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors, so wearing light-colored clothing can help keep you cooler. White or light-colored clothing reflects sunlight, which helps to keep you from overheating.
- Cover your head. Wearing a hat or other head covering such as these on Amazon can help to shade your face and protect your scalp from the sun. This can help to keep you cooler and prevent sunburn.
- Choose appropriate sleepwear. It can be challenging to sleep comfortably when it’s hot at night. Opt for loose-fitting, lightweight pajamas, made of breathable fabrics, like these or these (both on Amazon). If you are brave enough, you can sleep without clothes on cool-touch sheets (Amazon). You can also choose to sleep in cooler areas of your home, such as a basement or a room with a cross-breeze.
By dressing appropriately for the heat, you can lower your body temperature and feel more comfortable without relying on electricity.
How To Keep Your Home Cool Without Power
When the power goes out, and you hear the air conditioner shut off, your home instantly begins to heat up. Keeping your home cool can seem challenging, but with a few simple tricks, you can create a comfortable living space without relying on electricity.
You can use these tips to keep your home cool without power, whether you live in a suburban home, a homestead, or an apartment.
- Close blinds or curtains. Closing your blinds or curtains during the hottest parts of the day can help keep your home cooler. For rooms that get direct sunlight, consider installing solar shades (Amazon) or window film (Amazon). This will prevent the sun from heating up your living space, which can greatly affect how hot it gets inside.
- Close off the warmest rooms. Close the doors to rooms that receive the most sun and warm up the most. This prevents the heat from spreading to other parts of your home.
- Create cross-ventilation. Cross-ventilation is when you create airflow by opening windows or doors on opposite sides of your home. This can be done by opening a window on the shady side of your home and another on the sunny side. The air will flow from the cool to the warm side, helping keep your home cooler.
- Use battery-powered fans. Fans are an excellent way to keep air circulating in your home. Even without air conditioning, fans can create a breeze that helps you feel cooler. Place fans strategically in your home to generate cross-ventilation and move air around the space. Check out these battery-powered fans on Amazon.
- Shade your home. While shading your home isn’t a quick fix, it’s one that pays off over time. My mom’s home is in an extremely hot climate. She helps keep her home cool by a combination of trees, on both the north and south sides of her home. Both of these block a lot of the sun and heat that would otherwise permeate her home.
- Open your windows at night. If you live in a climate where your temperatures drop over night, and it’s safe to do so, keep your windows open overnight. Not only will the cool air help you sleep, it cools your home or apartment down. In my condo in Colorado, it gets downright cold overnight in the summer to the point that I have to use blankets to stay warm. I close the windows when I get up in the morning to keep the cool air in. While this doesn’t keep my condo cool all day, it reduces temperatures in the home for most of the morning.
These strategies and basic tips can keep your home cool without electricity. They are also good methods of keeping your home cool at night when the power is out, as the heat will naturally be drawn out of your home to be replaced with the cooler evening air.
Stay Hydrated to Stay Cool Without Electricity
Staying hydrated is crucial when it’s hot outside, especially in hot weather without electricity to run your air conditioner. Dehydration is one of the greatest threats in hot weather, and it can creep up on you without you noticing it until it becomes a serious problem.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking enough water is a non-negotiable for staying hydrated and cool in hot weather. Keep a supply of clean water on hand and drink regularly throughout the day. Staying hydrated keeps a thin layer of moisture on your skin which cools you down as it evaporates. This is our natural cooling mechanism, so use it to your advantage.
- Eat hydrating foods. Some foods have high water content and can help keep you hydrated. Examples include watermelon, cucumber, celery, and strawberries. Eating these foods can also provide essential nutrients and electrolytes.
- Avoid heavy meals. Eating heavy meals generates heat in your gut as your body tries to digest the heavy meal. The result is that you will feel hotter after heating a heavy meal and more uncomfortable. Healthy snacking is a better option in the heat than a heavy meal.
- Drink herbal tea. Herbal tea can be a refreshing way to stay hydrated without relying on electricity. Some natural herbal teas, such as peppermint or chamomile (Amazon), can have a cooling effect on the body.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate your body, making staying cool in hot weather harder. Avoid or limit these drinks and instead focus on drinking water and eating hydrating foods.
Staying hydrated can help regulate your body temperature naturally and avoid heat-related illnesses. Drinking enough water and eating hydrating foods regularly is essential, especially when the power is out during summer.
Use Alternative Cooling Sources to Keep Cool During a Power Outage
Staying cool during a power outage can be challenging, but if you take the time to seek out alternative cooling methods, you can beat the heat and stay cool.
Some methods I have listed require certain facilities, but others are available to anyone, no matter where you live.
- Take a cool shower. A cool shower can rapidly lower your body temperature and keep you cool for several hours. A cool shower before bed will help you sleep easier when the power is out.
- Wet your hair. When taking a shower, wet your hair and allow it to air dry. You can also just wet your hair over a sink, or use a spray bottle to mist it until it’s wet. Since it takes a long time for hair to dry, it can help keep cool for a while.
- Use a spray bottle to mist yourself.
- Seek a shady, breezy spot. Staying in the shade where there is a light breeze can significantly reduce your body temperature, especially during the hottest hours of the day. Look for shady areas like under trees or buildings, and consider using a shade umbrella (Amazon) for additional protection.
- Go for a swim. Go to the local gym, public pool, river, or lake to take a refreshing dip in the cooling water. Don’t dry yourself off completely after the swim; just lightly pat yourself dry. The moisture left on your skin will evaporate and keep you cooler for longer.
- Soak your feet in cool water. Place your feet in a tub of cool water. You will be surprised how much this simple strategy will cool you down.
- Use cool cloths. Dampening a cloth with cool water and placing it on your neck or forehead can help lower your body temperature. I personally used this strategy one summer when our family spent some time in India. While we had electricity, it was spotty. We also didn’t have air conditioning, and we were dealing with temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Dipping washcloths in water and draping them around our necks really helped. While you can use any type of cloth, ones made specifically for cooling, such as these found on Amazon, are most effective.
Taking advantage of alternative cooling sources can keep you comfortable and cool without needing electricity.
Staying cool without electricity can be challenging, but it’s essential for your health and comfort during hot weather. Following my tips, you can beat the heat and stay cool and comfortable without relying on electrical power.
More Ways to Thrive Without Electricity
If you enjoyed this article, you will also enjoy these related articles on how to not just survive, but thrive, without electricity.
- Doing Laundry without Electricity
- How to Make Coffee without Electricity
- How to Cook without Electricity
For this article, I used my own experience of various ways to stay cool during the summer in spite of power outages, as well as getting some inspiration from the following: