It’s that time! The days are getting hotter and hotter, and we’re all sweating our ways through the days (in many parts of the U.S., anyway). But hotter temperatures doesn’t have to equate to a higher electricity bill (or wasted precious energy) due to a constantly-running air conditioner (if you have one). Follow these tips for some energy-saving ideas for keeping your house cool sans air conditioning, whether you have one or not:

1. Seal Any Drafts

It’s important to keep cool air in when you do get some flowing, so make sure any and all drafts in your house or apartment are sealed tight. Check around windows and doors. Equip yourself with some draft-plugging materials and get to plugging!

2. Switch Your Lightbulbs

Replace any incandescent lightbulbs for CFL or LED in your house or apartment. This will save you energy from the get-go, and, as a bonus, both CFL and LED bulbs give off less heat than the other types.

3. When The Sun Goes Down, Open Up

If you encounter a cool night or some cooler breezes after a summer storm, crack the windows to let that fresh, cool air flow through whenever possible. Then, before the temperatures warm up again, seal everything closed tight again.

4. Keep The Sun Out

Yes, sunlight is great for us — but get your fill outside in the summer months. Keep your shades drawn during the days if you’re trying to keep the a.c. off, as sunlight can create much more heat than you’d even imagine in your house! Brighten things up with some houseplants and soft indoor lighting (from CFL or LED lights).

5. Go Raw!

Summer is a great time to transition to more raw foods as it is, but if you’re trying to keep your indoors settings cool, keep that stove and oven off as much as possible. If you must cook, opt for small appliance use, like rice cookers.

6. Fire Up the Fans

If need be, use your indoor fans, or grab a few tabletop ones. Even though you’ll be using some energy, it’s still less so than a central AC unit or even a window AC unit. According to “Mr. Electricity,” a 2.5 ton central AC system uses 3500 watt-hours per one hour of continuous use. A window AC uses 900 watt-hours. A ceiling fan on high uses just 75 watt-hours in comparison! Do the math there and note that you can run several fans and still use less than you might with the a.c. running!

7. Drink Up

There’s really no time than summertime to up your fluid intake. Drinking more cooling, hydrating beverages, like fresh green smoothies and big glasses of ice water, will not only keep your body fueled right in these hot months, but will also keep your body temperature lower, thus helping to eliminate the need for more cool air around you. Try hydrating more before reverting to blasting that AC!

What are your favorite ways to keep your house and body cool in the sweltering summer months? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Image source: John Phelan/Wikimedia