Energy Savers – Keeping Cool with the Air Conditioning Switched Off!

Energy Savers – Keeping Cool with the Air Conditioning Switched Off!When it’s the heart of summer and you’re suffering through the kind of heat where all thirsts are unquenchable and you’re sweating through every shirt in a matter of seconds, there is no real alternative to air conditioning. However it is easy to become complacent and keep the AC running, even when it’s only mild or slightly warm outside, as we become accustomed to a certain level of atmospheric comfort. This is incredibly wasteful though and could put a hefty strain on the environment and your wallet that is frankly unnecessary.

Here we’ll be examining a few tips on how to keep cool in warm climates without the need of AC so that you only need engage the air conditioning when it’s absolutely necessary. Whilst it might seem tempting to forego any actual effort and turn to the AC whenever you’re even close to working up a sweat, the sheer savings you could make and the environmental benefits should prove incentive enough.

Top tips

Windows – Yes it might seem obvious, but it’s important to realise which windows to open to best facilitate a temperate atmosphere. Wet your fingers and hold them up to the breeze and you should be able to tell in which direction the wind is blowing. Open the windows which allow the wind to flow through the house from side-to-side and end-to-end.

Fans – Even relatively small table top fans can really help keep cool air circulating. Larger fans meanwhile, positioned in strategic places around the room can be almost as effective as an AC unit. Try placing one fan by an open window so it catches the air flowing into the room and place another at another window or door to blow the warm air out. If conditions are right, this could create a ‘wind tunnel’ that pulls cool air through the room. Ceiling fans are also an option, though it’s generally far more cost effective to buy portable fans than to install, immovable ceiling fans. They use around 3% of the power of an AC unit though so even with the initial install cost they will still work out as significantly cheaper. Plus aesthetically a ceiling fan can really help make a room seem more impressive and grand.

Harness the night – Regardless of the time of year it is always cooler at night. To prepare for the cooler night, remember to shut your windows in the morning before you leave for work to keep the cool air in and the warm air out during the day (of course you should be closing your windows anyway to keep potential thieves at bay). Also, try to keep any curtains and blinds drawn as the sunlight will create more heat. If you leave any lights on during the day too, they will generate small amounts of heat and will be wasting energy.

Clothing Another obvious but no less effective work around. Wearing thing, short sleeve shirts and shorts instead of jeans and jumpers. We understand this might not be feasible at work (where a certain dress code will no doubt be in place) but at home there’s no reason why we can’t change our wardrobe to favour function over fashion. Also a little known tip is to keep the sleeves of your shirts and the legs of your shorts ever so slightly wet. It might feel a little uncomfortable at first but it genuinely works.

Water water everywhere – Use cold water to your advantage, an old wives tale that actually rings true is to wet your pulse points (wrists and temples) with cold water and then keep them cool by pressing an ice cube wrapped in a cloth against them. You should find the relief immediate and it can drop your total body temperature by as much as 3 degrees (Fahrenheit) for as much as an hour!

Playing devil’s advocate

Of course with all that being said, if you live in an area that is prone to constant, uncomfortably hot temperatures it might be untenable to forego air conditioning entirely. We’re not suggesting that though, only that it’s perhaps not necessary to have the AC running perpetually and if your home is quite small, you might perhaps only need a small, single window unit. Installing a full blown, building wide unit will prove expensive and keeping it operational will be both and economical and fiscal nightmare . When you look into getting your air conditioner installed, we recommend going with a local, independent firm such as in New York, who will be able to offer a more eco-friendly and ‘personal’ service than their big-chain counterparts.

Remember though that air conditioning is a privilege, not a right, so next time you arrive home in the evening and decide it’s a little ‘clammy’, think twice before ‘engaging’ the AC and keep the tips above in the back of your mind.

George Torres is a keen green enthusiast who loves to think of great ways to save energy on a daily basis.

Editorial Team
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