Sweltering? Here are 10 Hacks for Living Without AC

Filed under: Home Improvement, How To, Renting

Shutterstock / ChameleonsEye

By Michelle Hainer

No AC? No problem! With these hacks, you can keep cool this summer — and keep your electric bill down.

When the temperature creeps past 90 degrees on a hot summer day, it’s natural to regret the decision to rent a place without air conditioning or own a home without AC installed. But don’t despair. With these tips for living without an air conditioner, you can stave off the sweltering heat without paying a sky-high utility bill (or putting in a noisy, energy-sucking window unit).

1. Change the rotation on your ceiling fan to counterclockwise.

It’s easier than you think to make this fix (usually your fan will have a little switch on the motor housing that alters its rotation), and doing so will allow the blades to circulate faster, creating a cooler breeze. If you have box fans, turn them around so that they blow hot air out the window.

2. Don’t let the light in.

Keeping shades, curtains, or blinds closed can lower the temperature inside your house by up to 20 degrees.

3. Channel your inner MacGyver.

Create a misting effect by placing a metal mixing bowl full of ice in front of a fan. Tilt the bowl so that the fan blows directly onto the ice. When the air hits the cubes, it will release a cool, misty breeze that chills the whole room.

4. Don’t close yourself off.

By shutting doors, that is. Keep inside doors open throughout the day, which allows the cool air to circulate throughout your house.

5. Revamp your bedding.

Pack away the flannel sheets (duh) and opt for percale instead, which is more breathable. Mist your sheets with cool water before bedding down for the night (or stick them in the freezer for a few minutes), and invest in a buckwheat pillow, which won’t trap heat the way traditional pillows do.

6. And then sleep solo.

Your partner may balk, until he or she realizes how much body heat cuddling creates.

7. Hit up your hot water bottle.

Only this time, stick it in the freezer first and then position it near your feet, which contain many pulse points. If you don’t have a hot water bottle, dunk your feet in ice water before turning in.

8. Unplug.

Appliances that are plugged in radiate heat — even when they’re not in use. So unplug what you can. Now is also the time to embrace your grill; turning on the oven on a 100-degree day is only going to make things hotter. But you knew that.

9. Turn off the lights.

Even the most energy-efficient light bulbs give off some heat, so make do with natural light on super-hot days. But still swap out incandescent bulbs for CFLs, which will also lower your energy bill.

10. Lie low.

Literally. Hot air rises, so putting your mattress on the floor can help you stay cool while you slumber. Or if you’re feeling outdoorsy but like sleeping with a roof over your head, rig up an indoor hammock, which will increase airflow. Bonus: It may even lull you to sleep, which will make you forget how hot you are.

 

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Serena and Venus Williams Sell NYC Loft for $2.1 Million

Filed under: Celebrity Homes, Selling

Getty ImagesWorld No. 1 Serena Williams will attempt to win the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in New York in September.

By Melissa Allison

Serena Williams raked in more money than almost any other female athlete this year, and now she has a little real estate dough to go with it.

Williams and her sister, Venus, just sold their 1,800-square-foot Manhattan loft for $2.1 million, as first reported by 6sqft. They bought the two-bedroom, one-bath home in 2005.

Serena, the No. 1 ranked women’s player in the world, will be attempting to win the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in New York in September after winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon already this year. But she and Venus will need another place to stay after selling their loft, which they had not been using anyway.

The apartment is set up as a one-bedroom now, with a giant walk-in closet and laundry room.

Situated in the heart of the Fashion District, it has a loft feel, with oak floors and high, beamed ceilings.

It may have lost its famous owners, but the place still has sports ties. The tennis superstars sold it to Ted Wells, an attorney hired by the National Football League to investigate “Deflategate,” and his wife, Nina Mitchell Wells, former Secretary of State for New Jersey.

The listing agent was Maria Anguah-Boafo of Douglas Elliman.

AOL Real Estate contributed to this report.

 

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Mortgage Rates Remain Low Despite Prospect of September Hike

ZillowThe weekly mortgage rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals.

By Lauren Braun

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed home loans rose this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 3.77 percent, up 2 basis points from the same time last week.

The 30-year fixed rate rose Wednesday, then returned to the current rate and stayed there for the rest of the week.

“Mortgage rates temporarily rose last week after [Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart] said interest rates could increase in September, but ended the week essentially where they started,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “Mortgage rates should move lower as investors seek safety after China devalued the yuan. Friday’s Consumer Sentiment data could also move rates toward the end of the week.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.96 percent. For 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.83 percent.

Check Zillow Mortgages for mortgage rate trends and up-to-the-minute mortgage rates for your state, or use the mortgage calculator to calculate monthly payments at the current rates.

 

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