Moving into a dorm room is an exciting time in any student’s life, but dealing with a hot, stuffy dorm room in the summer months can be a struggle. While air conditioning may not be an option, it’s important to find alternative ways to keep your dorm room cool and comfortable. This article will explore why air conditioners are not allowed in dorm rooms, how to survive a dorm without air conditioning, and strategies to keep your dorm room cool without AC.

Why Are Air Conditioners Not Allowed In Dorm Rooms?

Students are typically not allowed to bring their own air conditioning units into college dorms for several reasons. Firstly, air conditioners require installation, which could pose safety risks and be challenging to regulate. Moreover, most dorm room windows do not open, making venting hot air out of air conditioners impossible. Additionally, air conditioning units consume a significant amount of power, which could result in increased student housing fees if allowed.

Do Dorms Have Air Conditioning?

In general, most dorm rooms do not have air conditioning, especially in older buildings where central air was not the norm. Additionally, installing air conditioning in older dorm buildings may be costly, making it unfeasible for colleges to retrofit each room with AC. However, newer dorm buildings and those located in warmer climates may be more likely to have air conditioning, either in individual rooms or common areas.

How To Survive a Dorm With No Air Conditioning

1. Get a Fan

Investing in a high-powered fan is one of the most effective ways to cool down a dorm room. Placing fans strategically around the room can help circulate air and provide much-needed relief, especially while studying or sleeping. Consider having a small clip-on fan as well for extra airflow.

2. Purchase a Portable Misting Fan

In addition to a regular fan, a handheld misting fan can provide additional cooling by combining air circulation with mist. These fans can be especially helpful in extremely hot conditions.

3. Open a Window or Door

If your dorm has windows that open, use this to your advantage by letting fresh air in. If this is not an option, cracking open the door can help improve airflow, albeit to a lesser extent.

4. Turn the Lights Off

Switch off overhead lights and unplug electronic devices that generate heat when not in use. This simple tactic can help reduce the overall temperature in the room.

5. Install Blackout Curtains

By installing blackout curtains, you can keep the sun from heating up your room. These curtains can also help regulate room temperature throughout the year, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

6. Place Ice Water in Front of Your Fan

For a quick and easy cooling solution, place a bowl of ice water in front of a fan. The resulting cool air can help lower the temperature in the room.

7. Buy Cooling Sheets

Opt for sheets made from breathable fabric such as 100% cotton to stay cool at night. Some students also find relief by lightly dampening their sheets but caution is advised to avoid getting them too wet.

How to Get a Dorm With Air Conditioning

If air conditioning in the dorm is essential for your comfort, check if you can request a room in a newer dorm building with AC or if you can pay a higher student housing fee for amenities like air conditioning. It’s also important to notify the student housing office if you have a health condition that requires a temperature-controlled environment.

Do Dorms Get Hot?

Yes, dorm rooms can get hot, particularly during the summer months. Lack of airflow and exposure to sunlight can contribute to elevated temperatures, especially in higher floors facing the sun. Depending on the climate of the college’s location, the duration of hot weather could vary.


Ultimately, navigating a dorm room without air conditioning requires creativity and resourcefulness. By implementing the strategies in this article, students can find relief from the heat and enjoy a more comfortable living environment. While the absence of AC may pose challenges, with the right approach, it’s possible to stay cool even in the hottest dorm rooms.

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