How to cool down a living room – the best methods to lower the temperature in an extreme heatwave

Our experts share their top tips to cool down your home and end your suffering this summer

white walls
(Image credit: Matthew Millman)

With summer in full effect, it is important to learn how to cool down your home. With the advantages that come with sunshine and hot weather, there are some disadvantages too. 

One disadvantage, in particular, is overheating your home, especially if some rooms are without windows or if you live without AC.

There are a number of solutions that will cool down your living room, including ingenious advice on keeping your home cool in a heatwave, and how to cool down a room without windows this season.

The best methods to cool down a living room

The living room is both a space for entertaining guests but also a place to relax, so it is essential to keep it cool. Below experts share some of their quick wins and long term solutions.

1. Use window treatments

living room with blue couch, cream drapes, console, table lamps, patterned cushions, footstool

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

‘Curtains, blinds, or shades can be very effective in blocking sunlight and reducing the amount of heat that enters through the windows,’ says Brad Smith, CEO and lead interior designer at Omni Home Ideas.

You can enhance the effect of window treatments even more by opting for those lighter-colored ones. This will reflect heat instead of absorbing it. 

Layering multiple window treatments is an excellent way to reduce heat. For instance, adding drapes to a window with shades or blinds will combine their insulating effects. Laying provides better heat control while improving the beauty of your living room.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

Brad “Omni” Smith, the CEO and chief editor at Omni Home Ideas, based in Dallas, Texas. Brad Smith is also an interior designer, committed to providing tips about renovating homes.

2 Utilize indoor plants

a pair of spider plants on a coffee table

(Image credit: Catherine Gratwicke)

Surprisingly, there are a number of indoor plants you can buy that will help cool down your living room. According to interior designer Elizabeth Grace, certain plant species, such as snake plants, aloe vera, and peace lilies, have natural air-purifying properties and release moisture through transpiration, helping to cool the surrounding air. 

By placing these plants strategically in your living room, not only do they add a touch of greenery, but also contribute to cooling the space, improving the air quality and creating a refreshing ambiance.

Elizabeth Grace on a grey background
Elizabeth Grace

Elizabeth Grace is an interior designer and furniture expert. She received her degree in Interior Design from the University of Notre Dame. Elizabeth landed her first job as an intern with a leading firm in New York City, learning from some of the city’s top designers. She currently works as an interior designer for both residential and commercial clients.

3. Invest in a HVAC system

A more permanent and long-term solution to cooling your living room is to install or upgrade your HVAC system. 

Consult with a professional HVAC expert to evaluate your current setup and recommend an appropriate solution. Consider installing a programmable thermostat, which allows you to regulate the temperature based on your schedule and preferences.

Additionally, regular maintenance of your HVAC system is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency. Josh Mitchell, an HVAC technician recommends servicing your HVAC annually to ensure its performance is optimized.

For those that can't fit an HVAC system into their homes, a portable air conditioning unit will work wonders for cooling down a living room. This best-selling Black + Decker air conditioner from Amazon is highly-rated.

Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell

Josh is  HVAC expert and the owner of and has years of experience tackling the challenge of home cooling. Josh has explored various innovative methods to cool down living spaces during hot weather.

4. Create a DIY air conditioner

A close up of a metal fan next to some plants

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you are unable to invest in an HVAC system but want to cool down your living room quickly, you can also create your own air conditioner, with little more than a pan, some ice cubes, and a portable fan, like this one from Amazon

‘Fill a shallow pan with ice or cold water and place it in front of a fan,’ says interior designer Lori Jernigan. ‘The fan will blow air over the cold water, creating a cooling effect in the room.’

Does a dehumidifier work in cooling down a room?

No, a dehumidifier will not lower the temperature of your room, but it can make you feel cooler. This is because it reduces the room’s humidity creating that cooling effect.

Best fan buys to show now

There are a number of great and easy ways you can cool down your living room. Another tip is to open the windows in neighboring rooms to create a cool airflow throughout the home. When using one cooling method with another your living room and entire home will be cool in no time. 

However, investing in a good quality fan is the easiest option. Below, we've picked our favorite, highly-rated fans from the Prime Day sale.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.