Have you ever wondered how to stay cool in the summer without cranking up the air conditioner? As much as I love warmer weather, it can be overwhelming once the temperatures start approaching the high nineties. We don’t use an air conditioner in my home so we’ve had to come up with other ways to stay cool when it gets really hot. Hopefully, a few of these ideas will help you as well.

As early as possible in the day, draw the curtains or the blinds closed to keep out the sun. You may be tempted to open them wide to let in a cool breeze, but unfortunately, you’ll just be letting in the sunshine in which will heat up your home. If you do choose to open the curtains to let the breeze in, be sure to do it as early or late in the day as possible to avoid the hottest hours of the day.

Choose cotton sheets and clothes to stay cool. Cotton will help your skin breathe which in turn helps you stay cool. Unlike materials like polyester, cotton will dry quickly if you perspire which can help you stay cool as well. Better still, choose light colored or white cotton and avoid navy or black.

Use a fan to stay cool. Try pointing it out the window to help move the hot air out or place a large bowl of ice in front of it and let the fan blow a cool breeze toward you. If you use a ceiling fan, set it to rotate counterclockwise to help keep the room cool.

Drink lots of water. Not only will it help you stay hydrated, which is very important in hot weather, but it will help you stay cool. Avoid caffeinated beverages which can cause dehydration. Try slicing strawberries and lemons and toss a few in your water for a fresh, fruity taste.

If you just cannot get cool at home, head somewhere that does have air conditioning. Try stopping for a latte at the local mall or head to your nearest indoor pool and spend a few hours splashing around in the water with the kids. If you need to stay at home, try setting up your sprinkler system and rotating it to keep you cool as you relax in a lawn chair in the shade. Just make sure that you apply sunscreen so that you don’t get a sunburn while you’re outside.