How to cool down a room: 10 easy ways to lower the temp

Chill out ❄

Light living room with neutral couch and disco ball
(Image credit: @mylilbohospace)

Summer (aka our fave season) has arrived, which means lots of garden parties, iced coffees, and days laid around the pool. But while summer’s great and all, one downside is how hot it can leave your home, especially if you live in a smaller apartment or dorm room. 

When the temp soars, knowing how to cool down a room fast (without cranking up the AC) is a must. Maybe you're blasting one of our fave high-powered fans but it’s just too hot to sleep. You might be wondering what you can do to keep your home cool this summer, whether it's a teeny tiny studio apartment or a compact shared dorm. 

The good news is that it might actually be easier than you think — give our tried and tested tips a try and see for yourself. 

How to cool down a room

1. Close windows and blinds 

It might sound kinda basic but it does work. To keep your home cool, try to keep windows closed until the sun is at its highest. This should help prevent hot air from entering the room. Don't forget to close your blinds or curtains, too, to help keep the heat out. Once the temperature drops later in the day, you can then re-open curtains and blinds, as well as windows, to let in a cool breeze. 

2. Open your attic hatch to let heat rise 

Does your apartment have an attic hatch? To help cool your home, consider keeping it open during the warmer months, giving the heat an escape. This can help to keep your home cooler as the heat won’t stay trapped on your second or third floor and instead will rise into your loft. 

3. Make your current fan work harder

You can buy the best fan out there but unless it comes equipped with cooling technology, the best it can do is move air around. If the air feels hot, cooling down becomes a major struggle. If you want to make an investment in keeping your apartment cooler, the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool fandoubles as a fan and a heater when winter rolls around.

There are some budget-friendly options out there, too. The Dreo Nomad One Tower Fan from Amazon is a highly-rated pick. Using a regular fan like this in combination with one of the hacks that'll make a fan blow cold air — such as filling a bowl with icy water and placing it in front of the fan — will cool your room in no time. 

4. Cool the room with ice

Pour a glass of water, dump ice cubes in it, and place your hand above the cup. The air feels cooler here, doesn't it? Now, imagine this effect on a much larger scale. Just think how much cooler the room would feel. An easy way to achieve this is to fill a large dish with water and freeze it, creating one giant ice cube that can be used in the same way as the ice in the cup. 

5. Place bowls of water around the house

Water can also be used to cool your home down. Yep, really. Place bowls of cool water around your home, and you should notice that the temperature starts to decrease. Just make sure to keep them away from any electrical outlets. 

6. Swap incandescent lights for energy efficient ones

It's easy to forget that (some) lightbulbs have a tendency to give off heat, particularly older incandescent bulbs, which then warm up the room further. But the good news is if you switch to energy-efficient bulbs, the heat shouldn't be an issue. Plus, they'll last for a heck of a lot longer. These Sylvania Eco LED bulbs are Amazon's choice and will save you a lot of money (and sweaty days) in the long run.

7. Hang up damp sheets to cool down a room fast

Another weird (but super effective) hack for keeping rooms cooler is to hang up a damp or even wet sheet near an open window. This will help cool down the temperature of the breeze as to flows into your room. I've tried this myself and it totally works!

8. Be selective with window treatments

So, we've mentioned the need to keep blinds and curtains shut to reduce how hot your home gets, but it also pays to be selective about the type of blinds and curtains you have in place. Ideally, you want to opt for a design that "blacks out" all light, helping to ensure the room stays cool. Admittedly, it can make your room pretty dark, but that makes it even better for sleeping. The BGment Room Darkening curtains on Amazon are perfect for this and come in plenty of dimensions and cute colors.

9. Limit how often you use your oven

I know, I know, it sounds like an odd tip but hear me out on this, because it's a game-changer. When you use your oven, the heat spills out into your home, heating up the space and making it even hotter. So try cutting down on the time spent using your oven to cook and look for alternatives, such as using an air fryer or multi-cooker (like this Ninja one from Amazon) to prepare your meals or cooking on your outdoor grill and eating alfresco. 

10. Apply heat-reducing film to your windows and glass doors 

Not down to cover your windows in blinds or curtains that leave the room feeling dark? How about opting to apply a reflective, heat-reducing window film to help regulate the temperature instead? These films are super easy to apply (and are ideal for renters as they can be removed without causing damage) are tend to be highly effective. Plus, they don't affect the views from your home or make the space feel dark. 

Looking to try this hack out? Kespen's offering on Amazon has a four-star rating with excellent written reviews about the product. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.

With contributions from