We all know how unpleasant it can be if the sun is shining in our room all day long. Luckily there are quite a few steps that you can do to make the room actually be cooler, however you might have to do some DIY projects.
You can keep a room cool that faces the sun by blocking the sunlight from entering the room, for this, you can use blind shades. The less sunlight enters the room the cooler the room will be. In addition to this, you can place a bowl of cold water in the room, which when evaporates will cool down the room. If the room still doesn’t cool off once you have blocked off the sunlight then your electrical devices might be producing the heat.
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During the summertime when the temperatures rise well beyond comfortable most people have trouble keeping their rooms cool enough for a comfortable temperature. People who live on a tight budget or people who are experiencing some kind of SHTF situation struggle the most, as higher temperatures will make you feel uncomfortable in your own house could make your day-to-day living a lot harder than it should be.
Most people overlook the aspect of how they will cool a room or an entire house during an SHTF, this is a bad idea especially if you have a lot of food and water stockpiled. Generally speaking, all food and water supplies should be kept in a cool environment like in the basement, however, most homes do not have basements and their best options are to stockpile them in a separate room. The problem comes when the room you have chosen to stockpile your supplies is facing the sun unless you have an air conditioner you will have to improvise in order not only to cool off the room but also to do it in a budget-friendly manner as possible.
When the sun shines on objects such as the walls of the room and the inside furniture, these objects will absorb than radiate heat. Ever notice that your sofa or table is especially hot after being in the direct path of the sunlight, this is because they are radiating heat back into the room, which will make it even harder to cool a room that faces the sun. If you read my article ( Top 15 ) Best alternative heat sources during power outage, you will learn the items in your house will radiate cold temperatures also.
Install blind shades in the room to keep out the sun
Your number one priority when it comes to cooling off a room that faces the sun is to block out the sun shining inside the room. This way the objects inside the room will not be able to absorb as much heat as if they had been exposed to direct sunlight. This, in turn, will also limit or even deny heat radiation from your objects found in the room. Do note that you can find blind shades almost everywhere for fairly cheap, but before buying them make sure they have a reflective side as this will reflect the sun rays.
If you buy any blind shade which doesn’t have a reflective side these will still work but the actual shade will start absorbing heat and then radiate it back into the room after a while. After you have installed the blind shades you will notice a big temperature difference between the outside and inside of the room. The problem with blind shades is that you will have somewhat constant darkness in your room, but this is a small price to pay for cooling off your room. The trick with cooling off your room with blind shades is to pull the blind shades down right before the sun hits your room. If you want to know how you can heat a room with a candle then check out my recent article How to heat a room with a candle? ( In 3 Easy Steps ).
Ventilate the room to cool it off
A well-ventilated room will keep the room fairly cool but if you want to be efficient in cooling your room then combine the blind shades with your ventilation system. You can easily ventilate your house with an air conditioner or even with a fan, however, if you do not want to use any electricity simply open up a window in the room where you want the cooler temperatures. If for some reason you are not able to open a window you will have to think of some other ways of making an air current, your best bet would be opening up a window or a door in a different room of your home.
If you do not want to use any electricity but also you do not have any ways of ventilating, then my suggestion is to get a solar-powered ventilator, you might as well capitalize on the fact that your room is always facing the sun. Just make sure that you install the solar panels outside and place the ventilator inside the room in such a way that it will cause at least a draft in the room.
Unplug your electrical devices in the room so they do not produce heat
Most electrical devices produce heat, the bigger they are the more heat they produce. In most households, the biggest heat-producing electrical device is the refrigerator and the freezer. Due to their nature of how they operate fridges and freezers will exhaust a lot of hot air into the kitchen. If you have ever been behind a bar where there are a lot of refrigerators you will notice a much higher temperature than even a couple of feet away from the bar.
Although it is not practical to unplug freezers and fridges as they do contain a lot of perishable items, my suggestion if it is possible to move the freezer and the fridge to a well-ventilated room with blind shades. This way any exhausted heat will be quickly dissipated by the draft produced by the ventilation system. In some cases where the ventilation system will not be able to dissipate the heat quickly enough, you will find that the hot air is being ventilated and this, in turn, could raise the temperatures in your entire home.
Who knows one day your fridge might even save your life, check out my article on Can you survive a nuclear bomb in a fridge ( Fact or Fiction? ). Some people might even consider installing a ceiling fan, I do not recommend it unless you are already using blind shades. The reason why I do not recommend it is that heat has a natural tendency to move upwards and if you have a ceiling fan this, in turn, will only force the heat back down to the floor level where it will slowly start rising again and being pushed back down by the ceiling fan. Basically, you will circulate the hot air in your room with a ceiling fan and not allowing it to dissipate naturally.
Insulate the room that faces the sun
Insulation can reduce the sun’s heating effects by a major factor, however bad insulation could inevitably worsen it. If you are too hot during the summertime and too cold during the wintertime in your home, odds are that you have bad insulation. During the summertime, bad insulation will not keep the room cool, it will actually absorb a lot of heat and propagate it towards the room which is a vicious circle.
Most homes have either interior insulation or exterior insulation, in some cases, there is no insulation present. While most people will argue which one is better, it really depends on the area where your home is and how long it is being in the sunlight’s direct path. Also, one major part of what will cool off your room is what kind of material your home has been built with, generally speaking, houses made of wood are fairly cool and houses made with brick and no insulation tend to absorb a lot of heat which will make the house into an oven during the summertime. In addition to insulating your home, you can also use exterior paint to keep the house cool. If you want to know what items you should get for a prolonged power outage then check out my recent article Power outage grocery list ( Top 38 Items ).
Declutter the room so air can flow and can cool the room down
Ever noticed that empty rooms are much cooler than jam-packed ones, the reason for this is because there are very few objects or none at all inside the room which could absorb and radiate heat. This is also true for older houses that have higher than normal ceilings because before electricity has been commercially available, people would build their homes with higher ceilings. Although in today’s jam-packed world this could be considered a waste of space, however, these high ceiling homes and buildings did an excellent job in cooling off the entire home and not just one room.
If you have ever entered an older building you will notice that even during the summer these buildings are fairly cool, in some cases, it is uncomfortably cool. The more items you have in the room which you want to cool off the harder the process of cooling it off will be, as these items will block your ventilation attempts. In cases where the room is jam-packed to the ceiling, you will find it impossible to cool it off.
My recommendation is to declutter the entire room which is facing the sun, leave as few items in as possible. After you have decluttered the room, allow it to gradually cool down for the next 72 hours, while also using blind shades and some kind of ventilation. 72 hours should be enough for achieving a stable room temperature, and if you find that it is still too hot, then you could declutter even more or increase the ventilation.
Once the room is considered cool you could start bringing back some of the items in the room, just make sure you do not clutter the room.
High humidity makes it feel like it is a lot hotter in the room
In some areas, the humidity is so high that your sweat will not actually evaporate, this will increase the discomfort of being in a hot room. In extreme cases where you also have some plants in the room, you might even find small water droplets forming on different surfaces in the room. Most people do not realize that having a room with high humidity that is rarely ventilated can actually cause serious health problems.
High temperatures and high humidity is an ideal environment for black mold which grows on the walls. Some houses can be infested by black mold due to improper insulation where the walls can not “breathe”. Usually, this black mold grows in dark corners of the room, and left unchecked it could be a serious health issue. The problem is not with the actual mold but with its spores, which are small as dust particles, people with low immunity could end up developing allergies or different kinds of complications.
Having a dehumidifier will actually drop the temperature in the room, especially if the room is well ventilated and has blind shaders. Even if you are not planning to use a dehumidifier make sure to check the corners of your room if you are using blind shades to keep the room cool and dark.
Cook outside so you do not heat up the room
Cooking generally speaking produces a lot of heat, if you do not want all this heat in your kitchen and house then you should consider cooking outside. Although this is an option mostly for people who live in a house with a garden. If you do own a house with a garden and have never considered cooking outside, try it I promise you that you will enjoy it. Cooking outside will not only limit the further heating of your home but is also a fun activity for the entire family.
Plants can cool off a room
Some plants which have adapted to life in hot environments can cool off an entire room if they are either large enough or a lot of them. Generally speaking, these plants do not absorb a lot of heat, they rather reflect the heat, and they tend to need a lot less water than plants that are not native to high-temperature environments. If the space in your room is limited you could place some plants outside the window, and if you are living in a house you could plant some of them outside your door or window, in such a way that they will directly block the suns rays and provide natural shade for your room.
Cooling the room with water
You probably noticed that near water fountains the temperature is fairly cool. Although it might be costly to set up a water fountain in your room to cool it off, but you can still use the refreshing power of water. For areas in which the humidity is high, you will not be able to use water to cool off the room as it will have a hard time evaporating. But for areas where the humidity is low enough where water can evaporate then you can use water to cool off a room. Keeping the house cool in extreme heat will be challenging, but your best option is to try and cool it with water.
Place a simple bowl of water on the highest furniture in the room, when the water will start to evaporate it will actively cool down the entire room. If you want something more beautiful than a water bowl then you should consider an aquarium, which is not only beautiful to look at but the evaporated water will also keep the room cooler.
PRO Tip: During winter when the heaters are working and you wake up with a dry mouth, throat or nose is because of low humidity. Before bedtime put a bowl of water in the room and you will notice the next morning that you will not have a dry mouth, throat, and nose.
Cooling the room with ice and water
You can cool off your room by using a ventilator, place in front of it a bowl of water and ice. This is a more active way of cooling down a room, as you need to refill the bowl with water and ice fairly often. This is by no means a great cooling method for the long term, but if you want to just cool off quickly while working or watching tv in the room which faces the sun then it is a viable cooling-off method.
Some people during hot summer times even consider sticking their heads into the freezer or fridge just to temporarily cool off. Do not do this, every time the freezer or fridge is opened it will have to produce more cold air and this, in turn, will produce more hot air and it will only heat up the room even more. On especially hot days my suggestion is to make frequent showers, and you will cool off at least yourself if not the room.
There are a lot of ways on how to keep a room cool that faces the sun, depending on your budget you can do it even for free with some DIY skills. Generally speaking the main problem with rooms that are facing the sun all day and get heated up to an uncomfortable temperature is the insulation or the lack of it. If you do have an attic make sure you check your insulation as usually, this is one of the main reasons why some rooms in your home are hotter than others.