How To Keep Your House Cool Without AC – Part 6.
When 100-degree heatwaves strike, should you close windows or leave them open? How do you keep the upstairs cool naturally?
Sit back with a glass of ice tea and practice using that old paper fan correctly. Move it languidly not fast! Practice with your non-dominant hand so you can actually do something with your dominant hand – like scrolling down to read more. I am sure you are a pro at this by now!
If You Have To Use AC
Depending on where you live and how your house is designed, you may decide you need at least some air-conditioning to make it through the summer. [Like maybe your bedroom for sleeping?] Save money on electricity and keep your environmental impact as low as possible by doing everything I’ve already suggested and using AC only when you really need it. Seriously consider replacing any unit that’s older than 10 years with a new, more efficient model (this could easily cut electricity use by half.) , but be sure to have the old unit properly recycled. Look for the Energy Star label when you buy, and get the right size unit for your space (either too big or too small will suck up more energy). Buy high-efficiency units, and look for useful features like timers and air filters (clean these as directed, for max efficiency). If replacing a whole-house unit, shop around and consider heat pump options as well as traditional condenser units. In a few years you may even be able to buy a solar AC unit, but chances are they will be pretty pricey for a while.
And re-think how cool is cool enough.
Do you really need to shiver and have cold feet?? Turning up the thermostat just a few degrees will save significant energy and money. Use fans to keep the air moving in occupied rooms, and you can nudge the thermostat up another degree or two. If you are away from home during the day, install (and use!) a programmable thermostat that will cool off the house just before you arrive home, instead of maintaining a cool temperature when no one’s there. It takes more energy to keep a house cool over time than it does to cool a hot house down—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Last, but not least, embrace summer. Enjoy it—don’t fight it so hard. Think about moving your daytime activities to the coolest part of the house for summer, and/or sleeping on a screened porch on hot nights (this latter is a lovely indulgence—almost like a mini-vacation in my experience). When you get hot and sticky, soak in a cool bath, play in a kiddie pool with the kids, or even just put your feet in a basin of cold water, and sip iced drinks! The heat is nature’s way of saying “slow down,” and we can certainly all use a bit of that!
Do you have any other ideas about staying cool and saving on A/C money??? If so do comment on this post to share.