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How to Cool Down a Dorm Room

How to Cool Down a Dorm Room

Wondering how to cool down a dorm room (without ac)? Keeping a dorm cool without an AC might seem hard. Unfortunately, the units are expensive. Even if you did have the cash for one, campus housing may not let you install an AC in your room.

How would you cool the dorm when it gets hot? There are several things you can do, and the majority of these solutions won’t cost you much.

How Do You Cool a Dorm Room Fast?

We’ve run through tips that would help tackle the heat immediately.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Check your ceiling fan’s product description. You might be able to get it to turn counterclockwise. The heat in the room would be expelled.

When it gets colder, ceiling fans turning clockwise would distribute warmth better.

Cover the Windows

The windows should be covered during the day. The heat outside would be blocked from coming in. Instead of curtains, honeycomb blinds would work too.

Shut Unused Rooms

How big is your dorm suite? There may be several rooms that are connected. When one of them is not being used, close it. You can prevent the heat from the space circulating. Before you close the room, cover the windows to make sure less heat comes in from the outside.

Buy a Pedestal Fan

Pedestal fans are not expensive. They won’t bring a lot of cool air to the dorm. However, they would keep you cool.

DIY Air conditioner

Air conditioners are expensive, but you can make one yourself. All you need is a plastic bag, a pedestal fan and ice cubes. You need to fill the bag with the ice and tie it over the fan. Have the fan oscillate or only be directed towards you.

Exhaust Fans

Most dorms have exhaust fans. Once turned on, they will drive out the heat.


If there’s a lot of moisture inside a room, the temperature inside would increase. The combination of heat and humidity would make you feel uncomfortable. A dehumidifier will be your saving grace.

Create a Cross breeze

How many windows are there in your dorm? Creating a cross breeze would cause heat to exit. Open windows that are preferably facing each other. One fan should be blowing air at the window (outwards), while the other should blow air from the window (inwards).


You might not realize it, but appliances create heat. You can’t avoid using the dishwasher, fridge or washing machine. However, you can make things easier by not using them during the hottest parts of the day.

Speaking of tech, look at your laptop and any peripherals. Not having them on all the time would limit the heat produced.

Be Alone

When it’s hot, the worst thing you could do is be around a lot of people. Everyone produces and radiates heat. Grouping together would result in more warmth generated.


Ways To Make My Dorm Room Cooler?

Having discussed several ways to cool down dorms fast, what are some things you can do that won’t be as immediate?

Open Windows at Night

Once the sun has set, the temperatures would become cooler. Open your windows at night. This would allow heat to escape, and cool air to come in.

Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights are not the best to have. They produce a copious amount of heat. It would be better to switch to LED bulbs. The change won’t be pricey, so there’s nothing stopping you.

Several types of incandescent bulbs in the US have been phased out. Your dorm may be old – and it could still have these old-fashioned bulbs installed.

Improve insulation

Without an air conditioner, you might think that it will be hard to cool down your dorm. However, insulating the space would help create an incredibly cool environment.

There are many ways you can insulate a dorm. The easiest is to use thick curtains over the windows. Something more extreme would be swapping the windows placed for options with thicker glass.

Eliminate Drafts

If the dorm you’re living in is old, there might not only be incandescent bulbs, but also cracks in the doors and windows. They would cause heat to enter. Getting them sealed would result in the space being cooler.

Speaking of gaps, the gap at the bottom of the doors may be too big. Draft stoppers would be needed.

Sleep on the Floor

Sleeping in a warm room is uncomfortable, especially if you have to wake up early for class. Heat rises, so think about placing your mattress on the floor. Although this won’t make the room cooler, it would help you feel better.

Another thing that could help would be to get different sheets. 100% cotton sheets are breathable. So sleeping on cotton sheets would result in you feeling less warm. Make sure that your pillows are cotton as well.

Cooking Time

You might be able to cook in your suite. When it’s hot, using the oven would be a bad idea because the warmth would radiate. Think about eating something light like a salad – it would feel fresh, so you’ll feel less uncomfortable.

Sleeping Position

Let’s talk about how you sleep again. You should spread your body out – you can increase the surface area for warmth to leave your body. You’ll feel especially cool if you sleep on the floor.

How to Deal with Hot Dorms?

There may be several reasons why your dorm is hot. For starters, it might not have the best ventilation. This means heat can’t escape.

The number of appliances present could also make the room warm. As mentioned, dish washers and computers generate heat. Monitor how often they are turned on.

Although electronics produce heat, they wouldn’t make your dorm as warm as incandescent lightbulbs. Be sure to switch to LEDs.

Most dorms have exhaust fans. Unfortunately, yours may not work. Campus housing would deal with the problem free of charge.

The position of the room may be causing it to get hot too. It may face the front of a building that’s reflecting heat. The only solution would be to switch rooms. Your RA could help with this. If there are a lot of trees by your dorm, they would absorb heat. They’ll produce oxygen which has a cooling effect. Sadly, there may not be that many trees or large bushes near your dorm.

How Do You Insulate a Dorm?

Without an AC, the best way to stay cool is by insulating the space. We touched a bit on how you can do this above. Just get a thick curtain to block light coming in. However, you can use a comforter as well.

You can also place bubble wrap. Tape the plastic over the windows with painter’s tape. Make sure there is a small gap between the windows and the wrap. It would act as an air barrier, not letting heat enter or escape.

When it comes to tackling heat in a dorm, there are many things you can do. Using ACs would be the best, but they are pricey. That said, see if any of these issues are making the room warm:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Dated lightbulbs
  • Buildings reflecting heat
  • Lack of insulation
  • Lack of trees