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No air conditioning? Here are a few ways to stay cool without AC

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2021 is already shaping up to be a hot year, with warmer than average spring temperatures and hot streaks across much of the continental U.S into June. In May 2021,  there were 947 record warm daily high temperatures recorded across the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Stacker scoured scientific studies, DIY websites, and even American history to come up with 15 ways to stay cool on warm days without AC.

For anyone not living along the northern edges or mountains of the U.S., the dog days of summer feature weeks—if not months—on end of intolerable heat. Sizzling temperatures have been shown to negatively affect memory, reaction time, productivity, moods, and even suicide rates. One study by Harvard University in 2016 tracked students before and after a heatwave and determined that higher temperatures correlated with decreased cognitive function; another by Stanford University in 2018 studied the links between suicide rates and temperature and ultimately theorized that bumps in temperature from now through the year 2050 may correlate with an added 21,000 deaths from suicide.

For the times we can’t be in air conditioning 24/7, there are thankfully many low-cost, energy-efficient ways to cool off during summer heat that work and don’t involve sitting in a bath of ice water all day. These tricks can make a difference when your attention is required in a classroom or office setting, or if you’re working outside and need relief from the hot sun.

Keep reading to see a simple hack for using skin care products to bring down your core temperature, how hot beverages may actually cool you off, and how to up your use of fans to beat the heat this summer.

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