Toronto is known for its sweltering heat waves. So far this year, temperatures have climbed above 30 degrees Celsius countless times, with the humidex reaching well into the 40s.

Many residents have taken solace in the fact that air conditioning can be found in most public buildings, including malls, offices, restaurants, and bars. But unfortunately, not all homes come with this luxury. 

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In fact, only 60 percent of all households in Canada actually have air conditioning, according to 2017 data from Statistics Canada. 

But whether you live in an older house or just happen to live in a place with no AC, it’s still possible to stay cool in the hot summer months! Read on for 10 genius tricks to keep your home (and you!) cool without air conditioning. 

1. Rotate Your Ceiling Fan Counter-Clockwise

Believe it or not, ceiling fans have two settings: clockwise and counter-clockwise. In the summer, it should spin counter-clockwise at a high speed in order to provide a breeze in the home, LifeHacker reports. Conversely, the clockwise setting is for the winter and should be used with a slower speed to help move around heat. 

2. Block The Heat With Your Curtains

It’s natural to hide from the sun when there’s a heatwave, which is why it’s always a good idea to close your curtains. Blackout curtains work best because they will completely prevent the sun from getting in. However, Consumer Reports notes that neutral-toned curtains with white plastic backings are best for reflecting away sunlight. These curtains can actually reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent

3. Open Your Windows In The Evenings 

Let out the heat in your home by opening your windows in the evenings. Leaving them open overnight will allow the cooler outside air to flow in and prevent your home from getting stuffy. Just don’t forget to close the windows before the heat starts to rise again! 

4. Opt For Cotton Sheets

Don’t let the heat prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep! During the summer months, be sure to swap out your current bed sheets for cotton ones. These natural fibres are the most breathable and lightweight, which will help you stay cool as you sleep. Moisture-wicking sheets also exist, for those who tend to sweat a lot at night. 

5. Create A DIY ‘Air Conditioner’

Put your trays of ice cubes to good use! Fill a shallow pan or bowl with ice and place it in front of a fan. As the ice melts, the fan will pick up the cold water particles and blow them around the room creating a cool mist. Genius, right?

6. Turn On Your Kitchen Exhaust Fan

This is a brilliant idea! Your kitchen exhaust fan sucks out hot, humid air from the room, so this is an easy way to get rid of some heat from your home and save on energy bills. Your bathroom fan works in the same way, so be sure to throw that one on too! 

7. Drink More Water

Drinking water helps regulate your body temperature and keeps you hydrated. So even though this tip is common sense, it’s still a good reminder. Drinking cold beverages can also help keep you cool even when your home is not. 

8. Create A Cross Breeze

Fans don’t necessarily make your home cooler since they essentially push around hot air. But if you set up a cross breeze in your home using two fans, this could make you feel more comfortable in warmer temps. To create a cross breeze, set up two flows of air -- one to blow cool air and one to pull away hot air.

9. Forget About The Stove And Oven

This might be a no-brainer, but using your stove or oven in the summer will only make your home hotter. Avoid these appliances and opt for either a BBQ meal or simple cold recipes for the summer

10. Take A Cold Shower

When all else fails, taking a cold shower is the quickest and surest way to cool down in the heat, even if it only lasts a few seconds!

Urban Living