Alternatives to Air Conditioning When Temperatures in the Home Start to Rise

by Ben SanfordJuly 3, 2017

5 Kinds of “Air Conditioning” That Won’t Break the Bank

In the summertime, most of us rely on our air conditioning to keep our homes cool and comfortable. But, there’s a downside to that – incredibly high energy bills.

The problem arises because the interior of a home is often much warmer than it needs to be, and there are quite a few reasons for that. Luckily, you can do something about it so you can keep your home cooler without relying on your air conditioning nearly as much.

Here are five summer hacks to try this summer that will help lower the ambient temperature in your home so your AC won’t be constantly kicking on.
Alternatives to Air Conditioning

#1: Use Your Ceiling Fans

Sometimes, all it takes is a little air flow to make a room more comfortable. This is where a ceiling fan comes in handy. Simply turning on your ceiling fan will start circulating the air in the room, which will have an immediate cooling effect on your body. The reason it works is because the moving air will start evaporating your body’s sweat, our natural cooling mechanism.

Using your ceiling fans will also pay off on your energy bills. Compare a 2.5-ton central air conditioner, which uses about 3,500 watts with a ceiling fan that uses only 15 to 95 watts and you can see there’s a drastic reduction in energy use.
Alternatives to Air Conditioning

#2: Eliminate Heat Sources in the Home

There are quite a few things in your home that produce heat, so knowing what they are and what you can do about them will help you make the appropriate changes.

One of the largest producers of heat in the home is the incandescent light bulb. And while you might think that a single bulb can’t really generate that much heat, the truth is 90% of the energy used to light an incandescent bulb goes to generating heat, not light.

To remedy this, simply swap out your old incandescent bulbs for LED lightbulbs. LED bulbs not only burn brighter, but they also do so by using much less energy and generating barely any heat at all. Add this to the fact that LEDs last up to 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and you can see they’re an investment that pays off in keeping your home cool and keeping more money in your pocket over time.

Three other big producers of heat in the home are your oven, dishwasher, and clothes dryer. During very hot days, you’ll be able to keep your home’s interior cooler by cooking dinner outside on the grill or by using the microwave or an air fryer.

When you need to run the dishwasher or dry a load of laundry, wait until the evening hours to do so. This will help keep the heat build-up in the home to a minimum and you’ll save money on your energy bill by running these appliances during off-peak hours.
Alternatives to Air Conditioning

#3: Invest in a Swamp Cooler

The technique used by modern swamp coolers can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians would hang wet sheets in doorways and windows to produce an evaporative cooling effect. This works because when hot, dry air flows through a wet medium, the air that comes out the other side is naturally cooled. Swamp coolers are an affordable option for keeping your home cooler and you can even make your own with a 5-gallon bucket.
Alternatives to Air Conditioning

#4: Install a Whole House Fan

A whole house fan is a powerful exhaust fan that gets installed in your attic. When you turn the fan on, it sucks all of the warm stale air out of the home and draws cooler outside air in. This system works best by cracking one or two windows on the bottom level of the home so the air can flow more easily. Further, it cools the home most effectively at night, when the outdoor air has dropped in temperature.

#5: Take Cooler Showers

Did you ever notice that you sweat quite a bit after taking a hot shower in the summer? This happens because you’re adding heat to heat. Not only will that, but the hot, moist air that your shower produces also heats up the house, especially if you don’t turn the exhaust fan on.

Instead, try taking cooler showers in the summer. You’ll come out of the shower feeling fresher and more revived, and you won’t be making the house any hotter than it already is.

While nothing beats the pure cold air that’s produced by an air conditioner in the summer, let’s face it – it can get expensive! Try one or more of the above five alternatives to your air conditioner, and give your AC and your wallet a break (even if just for a little bit).
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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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