This post is all about how to cool down a dorm room without an air conditioner.
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Moving into a dorm room is SUCH an exciting time in your life. You’ve just bought all of your dorm room items, you’re meeting all kinds of new people, and settling into your life in college. But if you’re moving into your dorm in the summertime, it can be HOT.
During the late summer months, the heat can be relentless. If your dorm doesn’t have air conditioning, it can get hot and stuffy really quick.
It can be so hard to study and sleep in a room that’s too hot. Not to mention, it can be dangerous for your health if it gets too hot.
So how can you cool your dorm room without air conditioning?
AC is the most convenient way to cool a room down, but your dorm may not have it. That’s why I’ve put together a list of ways to cool down your dorm room without air conditioning.
Do Dorms Have Air Conditioning?
Your dorm room may or may not have air conditioning, depending on what college you attend and when your dorm was built.
Most dorm rooms do not have air conditioning. A lot of colleges have dorm buildings that were built at a time when AC wasn’t common. It would simply be too expensive and too much work for the school to add central air to older dorm buildings.
If your dorm building was built more recently, you may be lucky enough to have air conditioning in your room. Oftentimes there may be air conditioning in common areas of the dorm building, but not in each individual dorm room.
Colleges in warmer climates are also much more likely to have air conditioning, because it can be dangerous for students to live in conditions that are too hot.
When I was in college, I lived in a dorm that had been built very recently. We had air conditioning and heat in every single room, along with a thermostat where we could control it ourselves. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have that in their dorms!
If your dorm room doesn’t have AC, you’ll want to read on for how to cool down a dorm room without air conditioning.
How To Get A Dorm With Air Conditioning
If your school is anything like mine, you may be able to request placement in a particular dorm building. Check to see which dorm building was built the most recently, and try to request a room in that dorm.
Keep in mind that you may not get placed in your top choice dorm. You also may have to pay more in student housing fees because of the additional amenities.
I was placed in a newer dorm building with AC and individual thermostats, but my student housing fees were higher than people who were placed in the older buildings. Unfortunately, you often don’t have much of a say in the matter.
If you have a health condition that requires you to be in a temperature controlled environment, be sure to contact your student housing office before you get your housing assignment.
Do Dorms Get Hot?
If you’re assigned to a dorm that doesn’t have air conditioning, you may be wondering how hot your dorm will get. Obviously, this greatly depends on the climate that your school is located in.
Dorms do tend to get hot, because of the lack of airflow and usually no ability to open your windows. Your room will also get hotter if you are on a higher floor and your room is facing the sun during the heat of the day.
If you’re attending a school with regular academic semesters, you’ll probably move into your dorm in late August and move out by May. That means that you’ll probably only have a few weeks of hot weather at the beginning and end of your time in the dorms.
Why Are Air Conditioners Not Allowed In Dorm Rooms?
Students are typically not allowed to bring their own air conditioning units with them to their college dorms. This is due to a few reasons.
First of all, air conditioners typically require some installation, which can be difficult to regulate and potentially dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Most air conditioning units are designed to vent hot air back out the window, so this would be impossible to install in a dorm building where the windows don’t open.
Another reason is that AC units use a LOT of power to run. You typically pay a flat rate for student housing, which includes energy and utilities. If everyone was allowed to run an air conditioning unit, they would have to raise their student housing fees substantially.
How To Cool Down A Dorm Room With No Air Conditioning
If your sweltering hot dorm room is driving you crazy, there are a few things you can do to cool it down and make it more comfortable.
Here are 7 easy ways to cool down a dorm room without air conditioning:
1. Get A Fan
The most efficient way to cool your dorm room down is to use a high-powered fan. Fans cool down your dorm by circulating the air.
You can even place a few fans around your room for maximum comfort. I recommend having a fan at the foot of your bed while you’re sleeping, and one near your desk for when you’re studying.
This high powered fan uses a special vortex air circulation action to effectively move air throughout the entire room. It’s also small enough that it won’t take up too much space in a cramped dorm room. I like that it has a pivoting head so you can direct the airflow wherever you need it to go.
If you’re looking for an oscillating tower fan, this one has incredible reviews. It even has a night mode that runs more quietly and dims the lights on the fan.
I recommend that you also have a small clip-on fan in your dorm room. You can clip it onto your desk or bed frame so that you get a little bit of extra airflow when you need it the most. This little fan is actually one of the top purchased items off of my Ultimate College Packing List post.
2. Purchase A Portable Misting Fan
If a regular fan isn’t cutting it, you may want to get a handheld misting fan. The combination of air and mist actually does wonders at making you feel cooler and more comfortable.
I really like the one linked above because you can either use it as a handheld mister, or fold down the handle and place it on a surface in front of you.
3. Open A Window Or Door
The reason that dorms get SO hot is that they have no airflow. If your dorm has windows that open, leave them open for awhile to let some fresh air in. If you live in a dorm without windows that open, you can prop open your door and get some airflow from the hallway.
This may not make a huge difference in the temperature of your dorm room, but it will make your room less stuffy.
4. Turn The Lights Off
Overhead lights can generate a substantial amount of heat in a small space. Turning your lights off can help your room feel a little bit cooler.
You should also unplug any electronic devices that aren’t in use. Large electronics like computers can actually generate a good amount of heat when they’re running.
Every little thing you can do to cool your dorm room a bit helps, right?
5. Keep Your Blinds Closed
If your dorm room gets a lot of sunlight, that can be a contributing factor to how hot your dorm room gets. Closing your blinds will help shield your room from the sun, and hopefully cool it down a bit.
Installing blackout curtains like these can also help keep the heat out in warmer months. Blackout curtains work by reducing the amount of heat transferred through your windows, which means your dorm will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If you want blackout curtains in your room, be sure to install a rod that won’t cause any damage to your dorm walls. I recommend this damage-free curtain rod from Maytex.
6. Place Ice Water In Front Of Your Fan
If you have access to ice, place a bowl of ice water in front of your fan and turn it on. This should help distribute colder air throughout your room.
You’ll want to close your doors and windows while you’re doing this, so the cooler air gets trapped in your room.
7. Buy Cooling Sheets
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night because of the heat, you may want to invest in some cooling sheets. Sheets that are made from 100% cotton are more breathable and will help keep you cool.
If you’re absolutely desperate for some relief from the heat, you can try getting your sheets a little bit damp before you go to bed. This is known as the Egyptian method. Just make sure you don’t get them too wet, or you may end up with a cold.
How To Survive A Dorm With No Air Conditioning
If the heat is starting to cause health issues or getting in the way of your studying, no amount of fans or cool sheets will help.
If it’s a temporary heat wave, see if you can find a friend or family member with air conditioning and stay at their house. You can also try talking to your student housing office to see if there are other options. They may be able to temporarily move you to another building that has air conditioning.
If you feel that you’re in danger of heat stroke, head to the health center on your campus to get treatment.
The good news is that the heat is temporary. Unless you’re living in the dorms over summer break, you’ll probably only experience a few weeks of intense heat during your school year.
This post was all about how to cool down a dorm room.
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