How to Stay Cool in Stuttgart...without AC

stay cool fan

When peo­ple move to Ger­many, one of the first things they notice in the sum­mer­time is the lack of air con­di­tion­ing. While some large stores may have AC, it’s quite unusu­al to find it in homes. So what do Ger­mans do to stay cool in the sum­mer heat? Read on for some help­ful tips!

Bring in Cool Air

It’s a good idea to open all your win­dows for 10–15 min­utes first thing in the morn­ing. Stuttgart tends to cool off con­sid­er­ably overnight; you may be sur­prised how chilly it can feel! You should def­i­nite­ly take advan­tage of this oppor­tu­ni­ty to bring cool air into the apart­ment. Be sure to close the win­dows after­ward to avoid let­ting warmer air come in over the course of the day.

You can do the same thing right before you go to bed at night. While the air won’t yet be as cool as in the morn­ing, it can still be refresh­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly if any mois­ture has built up inside the apart­ment dur­ing the day. If noise isn’t an issue where you live, you might even find it pleas­ant to leave your bed­room win­dow open overnight.

Block the Sun

It’s very com­mon for Ger­man apart­ments to have out­door shut­ters or heavy met­al blinds that can be closed to block the sun­light more or less com­plete­ly. If you close them before leav­ing your apart­ment for the day, you can actu­al­ly pre­vent your apart­ment from heat­ing much at all. That’s because Ger­man build­ings are con­struct­ed with thick walls and good insu­la­tion – keep­ing your apart­ment warm in win­ter and cool in sum­mer, as long as you don’t intro­duce the exter­nal heat of sun­light! On days when you’re home, you can still close them par­tial­ly or just close them on win­dows with direct sun in order to mit­i­gate the heat. Heavy cur­tains such as black­out cur­tains can serve the same purpose.

Take a Cool Shower

A cool show­er can be as refresh­ing as a dip in a pool, espe­cial­ly if you allow your­self to air dry. Try turn­ing the water as cold as it’ll go at the end of your show­er to give your­self a fresh appre­ci­a­tion for the warm air.

Use Fans Wisely

First, be sure to buy or order a fan as soon as pos­si­ble. When a heat wave strikes, it’s com­mon for stores to sell out or for there to be long wait­ing peri­od on online orders. Think about get­ting one before every­one else sud­den­ly decides to!

Sec­ond, focus on using fans strate­gi­cal­ly. They work best when the breeze actu­al­ly flows over you, whisk­ing away any humid­i­ty to cool your body. They can help set up a cross-breeze so that air moves from one side of your apart­ment to the oth­er, which is espe­cial­ly use­ful in the ear­ly morn­ings or late evenings when the out­side air is cool­er. In gen­er­al, it doesn’t make sense to leave fans on when you’re not home. The ener­gy used to run the motor actu­al­ly does gen­er­ate some heat, which isn’t worth it if you’re not there to ben­e­fit from the moving air. In addi­tion, it’s nev­er advis­able to use a fan when tem­per­a­tures exceed 35°C or 95°F, since blow­ing air that hot over your body can increase the risk of heat-relat­ed ill­ness. For­tu­nate­ly, such tem­per­a­tures are rare in Stuttgart!

Fake AC

If you’re real­ly crav­ing air con­di­tion­ing, there’s a cou­ple of tricks you can try. Take a cool show­er or splash your­self with water, then stand in front of a fan until you dry off. Alter­na­tive­ly, place some ice in a bowl and direct the fan’s air flow over the bowl and to your body. The cool­er air over the melt­ing ice will blow over you and feel like air con­di­tion­ing. The effect is short lived but can be just the thing to help you drift off to sleep on a hot night!