1. Keep Your Blinds Closed
Almost all of the heat that enters your apartment does so via the windows, even when they’re closed tightly. Use blinds or curtains to shade east and west-facing windows during the day. The heavier the blinds, the more heat they will keep out.
2. Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans in your apartment, make sure they rotate counter-clockwise in the summer. It will move cool air downward and result in what’s known as the wind chill effect which will make the air feel cooler regardless of the temperature. If your apartment does not have ceiling fans, buy a few fans and strategically place them around your apartment.
3. Run Appliances at Night
If your apartment has a dishwasher or washer and dryer, run them after the sun goes down. It can get hot enough during the day without the added heat of appliances. Running them after it gets dark will keep your home cooler during the hours of the day when it’s the warmest outside.
4. Shut Your Doors
Close the doors to any unused rooms, such as the bathroom or the bedrooms, during the hottest part of the day. That way, you keep cool air flowing where you need it. Conversely, open doors and windows when the temperature drops to let cooler air in.
5. Use Your Built-in Fans
Turn on your bathroom exhaust fan after a hot shower and your kitchen exhaust fan after you cook. These fans work to pull hot air and moisture out of your apartment, keeping the temperature and humidity down.
6. Swap Your Light Bulbs
Close to 90% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs is actually emitted in the form of heat! Switch to CFL or LED bulbs for a cooler apartment AND lower electric bills. For optimal sustainability, wait until the CFL bulbs burn out before replacing them with LED light bulbs. Also, consider purchasing smart lights and setting your lights to dim or turn off via a smart home device or assistant.
7. Add Plants
Placing tall plants such as bamboo or snake plants near light-facing windows will help shield your apartment from the sun’s strong rays and reduce the amount of heat coming in. Plants with large leaves in particular, such as bamboo palm and rubber plants, provide beautiful green cooling solutions for apartments.
8. Upgrade Your Window Treatments
If you really want to lower the temperature in your apartment, invest in blackout curtains or shades for the ultimate sun blockage. Medium or neutral-colored curtains with white plastic backing can reduce heat gain by up to 33%. A thick triple-woven fabric or curtains with plastic or thermal backing are additional ways to make an apartment cooler.
9. Change Your Bed Linens
While thick linens may be comfortable, they’re also hot. Try using thinner, lighter breathable cotton versions during the summer months. They’ll help you stay nice and cool.
10. Lower Your Mattress
This might seem like a silly idea, but it can make a difference. Since heat rises, sleeping closer to the floor can actually help you keep cool. Also consider investing in a mattress with built-in cooling gel, as this can prevent you from feeling stuffy at night. Memory foam mattresses in particular tend to “run hot.”
11. Put a Bucket of Ice in front of Your Fan
This may sound strange, but it’s actually a quick and easy way to cool down your apartment. If you have a box fan, place a bucket of cold ice directly in front of it. The ice will cool the air as it blows past.
12. Create a Cross Breeze
On a day when there’s a bit of a breeze or in the evenings, get the air flowing by opening windows at opposite sides of your apartment. If you have a fan, position it to point at the open window so it can force hot air outside.
13. Cook Outside
Using the stove or oven when it’s already sweltering can make your apartment even hotter. If you have an outdoor communal area with grills, consider cooking dinner outside. Or maybe splurge on takeout until things cool down.