How do I cool a bedroom - that has a ceiling & standing fan, but is still hot?

Ideally, the cheaper the better.

I live in Jamaica - where the climate is warm most of the time, and the summers are very hot. Even the nights.

I have a Zinc roof, and a wooden ceiling....so in the night, it feels like it is just releasing from the roof.

The both fans don't make the room too cool.

An A/C is too expensive right now.

P.S. I was thinking that maybe if I could make some thing that is water based, that I put behind the fan, then the fan would be blowing cool air and that would cool the room? Not sure what I would make, or how I would do that...so that is the type of answer I am looking for. Not "buy X wall-mounted A/C unit". That is out of the question.


1 Answer 1


You have got to get the most amount of outdoor air in your bedroom at night. This is the most important thing you can do. Make sure the windows are open and the fan(s) are sucking in the hot air. The ice works but it needs to be in front of the fan and you need to do some pretty big chunks. Fill a bucket up and put it in the freezer.

So the windows need to be open from sundown until the morning. After that your room needs to go into lockdown. Put a blanket over your window (better is put something over bedroom windows from outside), no lights (and switch to fluorescent), no shower humidity, no electronics, nothing.

There are other things like insulation or adding trees around the house but these cost a lot of money.

An easy cheap thing that has worked for me is putting a semi-wet towel in the freezer. Keep it around your neck and head. Keep an extra in the freezer if your house is really hot. I went a summer without AC in Fort Worth doing this!

  • So, just so I understand the first part of the first paragraph. Should I be sucking the hot air INTO the room, or suck it OUT of the room using the fans via the open windows? Also, when you say the bedroom needs to go into lockdown - do you mean I need to get all the heat out of the bedroom, 1 night...and then do my best to never let it in again (i.e. keep all windows closed forever??). Not sure how I can do that with the Zinc roof though. Jun 12, 2013 at 4:39
  • Sucking the outside air (cooler air) into the room at night. During the day the fan should not be running. Lockdown means keep windows closed, turn off lights and electronics, put something in front of window... I am not sure why it matters the type of roof you have. In Jamaica any type of roof/attic space is going to be hot. If you have an attic you can try to improve air flow there... I guess you could try putting something on ceilings but your question was working without $$$.
    – DMoore
    Jun 12, 2013 at 5:46
  • Or working with little $$$ is fine too. What could be put on the ceiling? What would be an example? Jun 12, 2013 at 6:11
  • Insulation but you don't want to ruin the wood and it would cost as much as a cheap window unit. You could try hanging blankets across the ceiling. This is could trap some hot air but the physics don't support this in the long run - unless the blankets were ultra thick. Also should have mentioned this in the answer but put your bed on the floor. It helps. Also a polyester/cotton blend sheet helps too - I tried sleeping without sheet and it actually seemed worse.
    – DMoore
    Jun 12, 2013 at 6:16

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