There are a lot of reasons people don’t have central air conditioning. It is expensive to install and even more expensive to operate during the hot summer months. To save money and reduce energy consumption, there are a variety of simple things you can do to stay cool in your home without central air. In most cases, it will be necessary to combine several of these strategies to get an indoor environment similar to what central air conditioning would provide.
Use Strategically Placed Window Air Conditioners
The easiest way to reduce energy consumption without sacrificing comfort is by installing a few window air conditioners in strategic locations. The most common areas are the living room and bedrooms. This ensures a majority of the time spent in your home will be in cooler rooms. At the same time, you can avoid spending time and money cooling down rooms you rarely use. Some people add a window air conditioner to nearly every room, but will only turn them on when needed. This offers the same energy saving benefits without sacrificing comfort.
Use a Portable Air Conditioner
A similar strategy is using a portable air conditioner. Portable air conditioners have become increasingly popular over the past 5 years. While they have always had the ability to cool a room, the term portable wasn’t always accurate. They were large, bulky, and difficult to navigate around corners and stairs. Today’s portable air conditioners are much easier to move around and are even more effective at cooling down hot rooms quickly with minimal energy use.
If you don’t want to use any type of air conditioner or just want to have one or two window units, then it will be beneficial to place fans in the rooms without air conditioning. Moving air is always cooler air. Plus, you can use fans strategically to bring in additional cool air during the evenings and early morning. Both ceiling fans and portable fans are great options. The best part is they are extremely energy efficient. While they may not get a room as cool as a portable air conditioner, they do provide noticeably cooling benefits.
Shut Off Hot Appliances and Electronics
A common sense step to cooling your home is reducing the amount of heat generated in your home. It is easy to block sunlight because you can see it. The same can’t be said for hot appliances and electronics. Appliances and electronics generate an enormous amount of ambient heat, even when they are not being used. Try to unplug all appliances and electronics when they are not being used. At minimum, make sure they are all shut off during the heat of the day.
There are a variety of other ways to keep your house cool in the summer months. Common advice includes using fluorescent bulbs, minimizing humidity, insulating the attic, and even using certain landscaping techniques. The key is to choose a combination of strategies that will allow you to stay cool and comfortable.