9 Ways To Keep Your Home Cool Without Using Air-Conditioners & Fans

6 October 2023 | BY

These solutions will not only keep your flat cool but will also save you some money and the environment in the long run.

Singapore’s practically hot all year round, so it’s unsurprising that we rely on air conditioners to keep ourselves sane.

But with ever-inflating utility prices, this can take a heavy toll on our wallets. Thankfully, here are 9 cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions to keep your flat cool without using the A/C or fans.

1. Block out the sun with curtains & blinds

living room with blindsImage credit: @hamnehome

If your flat is east-west facing, consider investing in good blackout curtains or thermal blinds to keep the morning and afternoon sun away. 

This can help prevent light entering and stop your home from feeling like a sauna. These curtains and blinds will block the sun and absorb the hot air, reducing about 7% of the internal heat in your home. 

2. Do your laundry in the evening

washing machineImage credit: @hellohomebodies

Large electrical appliances such as washing machines and dryers use a lot of energy while emitting considerable heat. To avoid adding more heat to your home, you should wait until the evening or night when temperatures are cooler to do your laundry to offset the heat from these electrical appliances. 

3. Unplug appliances & devices when not in use

tv in living areaImage credit: @hellohomebodies

When you’re not actively using your vacuum cleaner, TV, or other electrical appliances, switch them off at the wall socket. Many devices consume electricity in standby mode, adding to your energy bill and increasing the heat in your home. By cutting off the power source, you not only save on energy costs but also help keep your home cooler.

Another tip is not to use electronic devices while they are charging, as this can result in more power and heat being emitted.

4. Change to cooling bed sheets

bedsheetsImage credit: @hamnehome

Waking up with damp, sweat-drenched sheets is not something out of the ordinary here in tropical Singapore, but if you want to break the vicious cycle of using the A/C all night long, the solution is simpler than you think: swap your existing bedding for moisture-wicking, cooling sheets.

Brands like MUJI have introduced cooling bed sheets that promise an icy cold night’s sleep. Pillows with embedded gel cooling pads even exist to make sure it’s not just your body that feels cool.

If investing in new bedding is out of the question, then picking 100% cotton, linen or tencel over polyester options can make a world of difference too.

5. Leave out a bowl of ice and water

As strange and archaic as this might sound, simple science will tell you that leaving a bowl of ice and water in your home is an easy way to cool the temperature within the home. How? As the water evaporates, it cools the surrounding air.

Here’s what’s important to know: a larger bowl will have a greater effect, and placing the bowl away from any electrical outlets is crucial for obvious reasons.

6. Adding more plants around the house

houseplantsImage credit:

Houseplants aren’t just decorative items; they play a natural cooling role in your home. Houseplants, through their respiration process, remove moisture from their surroundings, thereby aiding in air cooling.

Among houseplants, larger ones boasting expansive leaf surfaces excel at drawing in moisture and contributing to indoor air cooling. Take, for instance, the fiddle-leaf fig—a tall plant adorned with numerous large leaves.

As long as you invest the time and effort to water and care for your houseplants properly, they’ll reciprocate by assisting in cooling your living space.

7. Change to fluorescent or LED lighting

led lightingImage credit: @iriskim.cozy

Light bulbs have a more significant impact on a home’s internal heat than you might realise. Incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a filament inside the bulb until it becomes hot and emits visible light. However, a significant portion of the energy consumed by these bulbs is converted into heat rather than visible light. This is why incandescent bulbs can feel hot to the touch.

To mitigate this effect, consider making the switch to fluorescent or LED bulbs. These alternatives produce the same level of illumination as incandescent bulbs but generate far less heat.

8. Choose lighter-coloured furniture

light coloured living areaImage credit: @hamnehome

The colour scheme of your home plays a huge part in how warm your home is going to be. This is because dark colours like black are excellent absorbers of thermal energy. When they absorb sunlight, they convert it into heat, warming up the surfaces they cover.

In an all-black home, the walls, furniture, and decor items would absorb heat throughout the day, leading to a warmer indoor environment. Conversely, white surfaces reflect sunlight, preventing excessive heat buildup. So you’ll find that giving your home a fresh coat of white or cream paint and swapping out some furniture for brighter options will magically make your space feel cooler.

9.  Throw windows and doors open to help cross-ventilation

Another way you can keep your home cool without using the A/C or fan is by taking advantage of the natural breeze. Most HDB flats have layouts that allow cross ventilation, whether throwing open your main door or the window on the opposite side of the hall.

Cross-ventilation is a strategy that hinges on the simple principle of allowing the natural flow of air to permeate your living space. It ushers in cooler, outside air and expels warmer air from within creating a refreshing breeze that can work wonders to lower your home’s temperature.

Keeping your flat cool without A/C or fans

Although we can’t change the hot climate in Singapore, there are plenty of ways to keep the house cool without using an A/C or fans.

With the tips above, you will be able to keep your home naturally cool without having to rely on electrical appliances, and you could save some money and the environment.

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Cover adapted from: @hamnehome,, @hellohomebodies

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