How to beat the heat at home without switching on the air-conditioner? Other than recycling wastes, doing away with plastic bags, finding ways to save water and electricity, this is the next thing that is becoming part of daily life.
The hottest time at my home is during lunch preparation. Only half of my family is into sandwiches and salads, so I can't avoid the stove entirely. With no breeze coming in from any direction and the fire burning before me, I am a torch myself.
Using the Braun quick-boiling kettle to heat up water for cooking saves me time and cuts down the heat emitted from the stove; drawing the blinds to shield the afternoon sun cools the whole apartment down by about 1.5 degrees; mopping the floor cools it down a further 0.5 degrees (although for a short while if the day is really hot).
Above all, I would give the highest credit to doing laundry in the afternoon. Using the Fisher & Paykel top-load that we've invested in 7 years ago, I would select the 'Permanent Press' option. The entire cycle completes in about 20 to 25 minutes with time reduced in spinning. The clothes finish up pretty wet but without dripping. I would hang the clothes indoor, and that lowers the temperature by 1 to 2 degrees. When dry, the clothes fold like they have just been ironed - and yes, I save from ironing too.
With the fan on at top speed, my temper could still go up - that's before someone rings the doorbell (a welcomed guest!) and I gladly give myself the excuse to turn on the air-conditioner!