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College Advice

How to Keep Your Dorm Room Cool, Especially Without an AC!

DormEssentials November 24, 2020

For some reason, most dorm rooms do not come with an air conditioner, and we do not know why educational institutions still will not install one! However, this article is not about ranting on the dorm amenities. 

We know your struggles to sleep at night when it is or feels like it is over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit outside- we hear you. But worry not as our article talks about all the things you need to know about how to keep dorm room cool all year round, especially when you cannot use an air conditioner! From simple tricks to even purchasing plants, this article will help you learn about all the great and small things that you can do to make sure your dorm room is cool during the summer and year round, even without an air conditioner installed.



Of course, you probably have thought about this already but hear us out anyways. A fan is the most important thing you can invest in if you live in a dorm room where air conditioner installation is strictly prohibited. 

Instead of investing tons of money to get a ceiling fan, we think you should purchase a stand fan or a portable one instead. Not only will it help you stay cooler during the summer, but you can also take it with you if you have to change your dorm room later sometime. 

One amazing hack you can try out with a fan is by placing a huge block of ice behind it before you turn it on. The ice block will create colder air when the fan is turned on, therefore letting you sleep peacefully at night. This technique is almost like that of an air conditioner, but hey, who’s complaining, right?

Spray bottles 

If you have got a fridge in your dorm, why not fill up a spray bottle with chilled water to use at night when you are feeling hot and sweaty? Studies show that spraying your body with a few drops of cold water under hot weather conditions can create a really positive effect. 

Not only will you feel much better, but your temperature will also go down a bit. If you want, you can also pour a few drops of essential oil into your spray water bottle mixture to create a better ambiance. 

Blackout Curtains

Having blackout curtains in your dorm room can greatly contribute to lowering the overall temperature by many folds. It is recommended you invest in a good curtain set if you live on a side that always has sunlight pouring in during the day. 

Having your curtains pulled on during the day might make your room a bit darker than usual, but it is a great way to keep your dorm room cooler during the day as well. 

Cold Mist Humidifier

Technology has come a great way, and with that being said, we now also have cold mist humidifiers to go along with traditional humidifiers. How great is that?

You can use a cold mist humidifier to keep your dorm room much cooler during the day. Although we do not suggest you keep more than two electronic devices in your room during the summer as it increases the overall temperature of the dorm, we guess a cold mist humidifier can be overruled here. 

The best thing about a cold mist humidifier is that it will help you out physically as well, as your hair and skin will feel much softer and smoother. Some people have also said that a cold mist humidifier helps to relieve headaches and nosebleeds. 

Keep doors open 

Keep the doors of your dorm open during the night if you know you live in a safe house. Keeping the extra doors and windows inside the room will help with proper air ventilation, therefore reducing the stuffiness and temperature of the room by numbers. This might make more sense if you are in a suite, as opposed to a single or double in a hall.

Take showers at night

Most people prefer taking a warm shower at night before they go to sleep, but taking a contrast shower can actually be much better for you as it will help you calm down your nerves while also cooling you down in the long run. 

Not only is that healthier for you physically and mentally, but it will also make you feel like your dorm room is much cooler as you will not feel as hot as you did before taking a contrast shower. 

Turn those lights off

It is important you keep all your extra lights turned off as early during the day as possible if you want to keep your dorm room cool without using an air conditioner. 

Keeping all the lights off will allow the heat from the room to dissipate, therefore making your room feel much lighter and cooler in general.

Keep larger electronic devices off

Another easy way to keep your dorm room cool even without an air conditioner is by getting rid of all your electronic devices as early as possible. The light and more importantly heat generated from the screen of your mobile phones, television set, laptop, and even game stations like an Xbox can increase the temperature in the air inside your room. 

Purchase plants

Purchase a lot of greenery for your dorm room in order to reduce the temperature by numbers. However, you need to make sure you do not invest in large leafy plants as those can increase the stuffiness in the room instead. 

If you can, we suggest you buy small and compact potted plants that you will be able to keep on the windowsill during the day. 


Talk to resident advisor or maintenance contact

If all else fails and the heat is too much to take, we suggest you directly talk to the resident advisor of your dorm and ask them if they can assign you to another room. Honestly, there is nothing worse than not being able to spend time in comfort in your own dorm, so what is the point in staying in one anyway?

In this case, try to see if you can move out of your current dorm room and relocate to one that is more open in general and has a greater number of windows installed. 

When you cannot install an air conditioner inside your room, a window is one of the best alternatives. Having a door room with more than one window will really allow the air to circulate more properly, therefore reducing the stuffiness and heat generation inside the room. 


Why your dorm room is hot

Having a hot dorm room is actually a common problem most students deal with on a worldwide basis, however, some dorms tend to be hotter than regular, and that can indeed be a problem. But why is your dorm room hot? 

Well, there can be a couple of reasons behind that. For example, a room in which there are too many electronic devices will be much hotter than one with only a few electronic devices.

The heat and light from the screen of electronic devices can increase the overall temperature of your dorm room without you even realizing it. Does your roommate have a heavy-duty laptop that he or she does not turn off at all? Chances are the laptop is the very source of heat generation. 

Another reason why dorms are much hotter than normal house rooms is because of how small they usually have to be in order to accommodate many students on one floor at once. 

This in turn creates a lot of stuffiness and humidity in each individual room, even if only two people live together in one dorm room. If you can, you should apply for an individual dorm room as that will help make your summer troubles a bit easier to deal with. 


Detrimental effects of heat on the body

Heat is usually generated from everything that we do, but the intensity of it tends to vary with the situation. Too much heat can not only be a bother for everyone around you, but it can also have detrimental effects on your body. 

Excess heat has been known to affect a person’s physical and mental health, as it can cause dizziness as well as hallucinations to some extent. Other than that, extreme heat can also increase irritability in a person and make them make rash decisions. 

Someone feeling too hot can also lose concentration and the ability to perform simple tasks. The worst thing that can happen to you when you are feeling too hot is a heat stroke. 

Most college students have claimed to have experienced a heat stroke at least once during their stay in their college dorms. This mainly happened due to the excess heat trapped inside such small spaces combined with the prohibition of air conditioner installation. 

During a heat stroke, a person might even lose consciousness alongside their ability to speak and produce a coherent phrase. Some patients have also had serious long term side effects after experiencing a heat stroke. 

Some people also tend to develop rashes on the body due to heat. These rashes develop around areas where heat is generated the most, usually around the neck, behind the head, under the arms, and behind the knees as well. 

The rashes can appear in tiny red dots or spots and can soon spread from one part of the body to the other. This mainly happens due to the hormonal imbalance that takes place in one’s body when under tremendous heat. 

Heat cramps are also quite common among college-goers. During such a cramp, one’s muscles start to contract and shoot a sharp pain through the limbs. The pain can be topped over with excessive sweating and weakness, alongside vomiting and dizziness. 

Some people have claimed to have suffered from diarrhea and palpitations as well. 


Why it is important to keep your dorm room cool

In general, a dorm room is much smaller and compact in size than a regular house room. In this case, it is important a dorm room is kept in cooler conditions as those living in such rooms can experience harm to their physical and mental health if exposed to such a condition for a long period of time. 

Other than that, dorm rooms are usually the safe haven of students, as this is the place a student comes back to after a long day of studying and partaking in basic university functions. 

Without proper rest in a cool and fresh dorm, a student’s academic performance can drop down drastically. 

Their mood will also be more irritable during the day due to lack of proper sleep, and that in turn will prove to be detrimental to their state of mind. 


How to live in a hot dorm without an air conditioner without falling sick?

One of the easiest ways to live in a dorm with an air conditioner is by purchasing a fan. As mentioned before, a fan can be a piece of great equipment to own if you live alone in a small dorm. It is best if you invest in a compact stand fan that you can take along with you if you happen to change dorms in the future. 

Other than that, you can also rely on dark blinds during the day to keep your dorm room comparatively cooler. It will also allow the room to be significantly chillier at night so that you can experience a night of peaceful sleep.

Other than that, you should also turn off extra electronic equipment during the night before you go to sleep as that will help lower the temperature of your dorm room by numbers. 

The best thing that you can do is to buy a portable air conditioner if you are allowed to and place that right over your head while you sleep or study during the day. Another way to keep your dorm room cooler is by placing your refrigerator (if you are allowed to keep one, to begin with) against the wall. 

The wall here will absorb the heat from the refrigerator and move it down to the floor so that your room is much cooler in general. Also, try to keep any TV or computer off during the night so that the room feels much lighter and less stuffy. 

Invest in a cold mist humidifier if all else fails and keep that turned on during the day in order to really take away all the heat before you sleep at night.

Purchasing plants for your dorm room is also a great way to reduce the temperature during the day as it will make the air in your room feel much cleaner and lighter in general. 

As mentioned before, avoid purchasing plants that have large leaves as that can instead increase the stuffiness of the room and thus increase the temperature to some extent as well. 

However, if nothing works out in the end anyway, we hope you take our advice and directly talk to the people handling and maintaining dormitories officially and check if they can relocate you to another room instead. 

Most school and college authorities will not budge to change your room even if you make a hundred requests, but they will still agree to your request if the situation is as bad as a hot and stuffy dorm room during the summer season. 

On top of that, know that you are paying quite a hefty amount to study in that specific college so there is no reason for you to not reach out to the officials. You might be paying them to provide you with quality education, but it does not mean you have to do so at the expense of your own mental and physical health!

Chances are they will listen to your requests and change your dorm room if you keep pressing down on the subject frequently.



Nothing can be worse than having to live in a dorm room where you are not even allowed to install an air conditioner, but we hope it will not be too big of a problem for you if only you can implement the tricks and hacks that we mentioned in this article today. 

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it will assist you in toning down your college dorm problems as of right now and in the future as well!


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