Many Americans like their air conditioning blasting–to the point of freezing! If you have no air conditioning at home in your new apartment, you may be thinking to yourself: How am I going to survive the summer without melting? Realistically, it’s not that hard! During my summer abroad in Italy, I learned that I could handle the hottest of hot weather because the heat radiates through the medieval stone streets of Florence. Unlike America, it’s uncommon to find an apartment with air conditioning in Europe and even the shops and restaurants keep the temperature at a comfortable level–business thermostats aren’t set at 60 degrees in Italy. Here are a few tips to stay cool and calm during the balmy summer months:

Keep it Shady

I have no air conditioning at home in my Chicago apartment, and if you’re not familiar with the Windy City’s weather, it gets steamy in the Summer! Luckily, I reside on the first floor of my apartment building and my neighbor’s backyard has a couple towering trees that keep our place cool during the summer. However, if you’re on the top floor of your building, you likely don’t have that luxury. Invest in some energy-efficient blackout curtains to keep the sun out of your apartment during the sun’s peak hours. Keeping your pad dark and closed up during the day when you’re at work will keep cool air in and warm air out. By the time you get home, the sun won’t be directly shining into your abode, and you can open up the windows for some fresh summer air.

Proper Fan Placement

Fans are trickier than they actually seem. Many people with no air conditioning at home will place a fan in a window pointing in the room, but that won’t necessarily cool down the room. You’ll need a couple fans in your windows: One facing inward and another facing out. This will help circulate the air better and blow hot air outward. Also, since hot air rises, you might want to put a fan on the ground that faces up.

During those extra-hot summer days, you can make a DIY air conditioner. Place a large bowl with ice in front of the fan so theoretically the air blows through the ice to create cooler air. Make sure to have a towel underneath the bowl to protect your floors from condensation.

Did you know that ceiling fans have a switch to change directions for winter and summer? Make sure that they are running counter clockwise in the summer to circulate cool air; clockwise ceiling fans push warm air down.

Cook Outside

There are few better ways to heat up your apartment than turning on the oven. On those ultra-hot days, try to avoid cooking altogether. Instead, embrace the summer weather and throw something on the grill, chop up some veggies and make a delicious salad or sandwich, or simply order takeout. Eating cold meals will also help keep your body heat down.

If all else fails, you can always go to the mall or the movies to cool down. How do you deal with no air conditioning at home?