8 ways to stay cool and safe during record-breaking heatwaves without AC

Ways to combat extreme heat if you don’t have AC power

According to a recent NewsNation article, extreme heat “affects more Americans than any other weather emergency.” To help people across the country better prepare for these unhealthy conditions and prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths, the government recently launched heat.gov.

If you don’t have an air conditioner, heat waves can be even more dangerous because your body has no chance to relieve itself. However, there are several products you can purchase to help you through days or weeks of relentless high temperatures.

Why is the heat so dangerous?

To function properly, the human body must maintain a core temperature between 97 and 99 degrees. Once the body drops below or rises above this temperature, it invites a wide range of diseases. To maintain this functional core temperature, the weather needs to be around 82 degrees.

As the body’s core temperature rises, blood is diverted from vital organs and directed to the skin to help release internal heat. In addition, water from your skin is excreted in the form of sweat. To evaporate, it needs energy in the form of heat. With limited blood flow to vital organs and a rapidly diminishing water supply, your body can quickly slip into a life-threatening crisis mode.

What are the symptoms of heat-related illnesses?

External and internal heat can be a problem. Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated and wear breathable, moisture-wicking clothing. In addition, heat-related illnesses can have an immediate or cumulative effect on a person. Symptoms may intensify over several days.

The main symptoms of heat-related illnesses are:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • The thirst
  • light shock
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Unconsciousness

Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke

It can be helpful to keep these two heat-related illnesses in mind by remembering that exhaustion is something that builds up over time, while a stroke is something that strikes suddenly with a significant impact.

Heat exhaustion

With heat exhaustion, the body gets tired trying to maintain its core temperature. A person suffering from heat exhaustion needs help to maintain body heat. This is accomplished by moving them to a cooler area and replenishing fluids.


Heat stroke occurs when the body has lost the fight and your core temperature rises. This can happen suddenly or be the result of prolonged heat exhaustion. It is a life-threatening condition, so immediate medical attention is required. Dial 911. While waiting for help to arrive, move the person out of direct sunlight and try to cool them by any means available.

What strategies can you use to stay cool during an extreme heat wave?

The key factors to staying safe during extreme heat are:

  • Pay attention to temperature and humidity
  • Avoid going outdoors, especially for prolonged periods
  • Stay away from dangerous environments, such as inside a car
  • Wear lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking clothing
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear sunscreen

Products that help you stay cool without AC

Igloo Half Gallon High Performance Sports Pitcher

Trying to stay cool without drinking water is like trying to run an air conditioner without refrigerant. This half-gallon insulated jug has a flip-top cap that closes to prevent spills and a wide mouth for blowing. Sold by Amazon and Dick Sporting Goods

Best 30oz Yeti Rambler Tumbler

Yeti Rambler Tumbler 30 oz.

The double-walled structure of this stainless steel tumbler ensures that your drink will stay cold. It has an innovative magnetic seal that keeps the lid closed. The tumbler is BPA-free, features a sweat-wicking design, and is dishwasher safe. Sold by Amazon and Dick Sporting Goods

Best Modern Blackout Curtains Eclipse Fresno

Eclipse Fresno Modern Blackout Curtains

The easiest way to stay cool is to not let your house or apartment get hot in the first place. This blackout curtain can keep up to 99% of home-warming sunlight out of your living space, providing an impressive barrier against the summer heat. As a bonus, it also dampens noise to create a more calming environment. Sold by Amazon

Best Whole House Window Fan Air King

Air King Whole House Window Fan

When used correctly, a window fan is extremely effective at removing household heat or bringing in cooling air. This model has three speeds, a front mounted switch and a powder coated steel front grill. Sold by Amazon

Best Hunter Fan Company Builder Deluxe Indoor Ceiling Fan

Hunter Fan Company Builder Deluxe Indoor Ceiling Fan

Air circulation can even out the overall temperature of a room. More importantly, when a breeze passes through the body, it aids in evaporation and allows cooling with greater efficiency. This quiet model is energy efficient and features a long lasting dimmable LED light. Sold by Amazon and Home deposit

Best Bedsure Cooling Sheets

Bedsure Cooling Sheets

One of the most uncomfortable times during a heat wave is at night. Your body needs a sheet that allows air exchange so you can stay cool. This luxuriously soft bamboo option helps regulate your body temperature, allowing you to have a more enjoyable night’s sleep, even without air conditioning. Sold by Amazon

Best Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow

Your pillow is another bedtime necessity that can do more harm than good when it comes to trapping heat. This ultra-soft, gel-infused memory foam pillow helps diffuse body heat so you can have a more comfortable sleeping experience. Sold by Amazon

Best HomeLabs Countertop Ice Maker

HomeLabs Countertop Ice Maker

Ice can be used in drinks and on your body, cooling you both inside and out. This countertop machine can produce up to 26 pounds of refreshing freshness every day. It features a compact design, so it is suitable for a kitchen with limited space. The reservoir reuses water resulting from melting ice, making the model extremely efficient. Sold by Amazon

Do you want to buy the best products at the best prices? Check out the daily deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.