5 Tips for Staying Cool With or Without AC

If your air conditioner is broken or you just want to use less energy, follow these tips.

TipsMany people of the younger generation don’t realize that air conditioning was a rarity in American homes just 50 or 60 years ago. So how on earth did those generations survive without air conditioning? They used some of the following tips. If you would like to save money on your air conditioning bills, or you just need to survive the day until you can get your air conditioning repaired, consider following their example and using these tips to stay cool.

Get Better Window Treatments

Solar heat entering homes through south- and west-facing windows is a major contributor to hot indoor temperatures. You can reduce this solar heat by using various types of window treatments to keep light out. The simplest thing to do is to invest in blinds or curtains with a reflective white backing. This will help reflect light away from the home, resulting in an average heat gain reduction of around 45 percent according to the Department of Energy. Another option is to install awnings over the windows. This requires more effort and expense, but the DOE says it can result in a 65 to 77 percent reduction in heat gain.

Use Your Ceiling Fan Correctly

Many people don’t realize that the direction in which a ceiling fan rotates affects its cooling power. In summer, make sure your ceiling fan is spinning counterclockwise and pushing air down into the room. This will make you feel cooler. In winter, the fan should spin clockwise, creating an updraft that will force heated air down into the room.

Avoid Cooking

When you stop to think about it, it should be fairly obvious that cooking on your oven or stove can generate a lot of heat. Simply avoiding baking meals in the oven or cooking on the stovetop can help keep your kitchen cooler and your home more comfortable. Eating cold meals rather than hot ones will also help you feel cooler.

Turn Off Unnecessary Lights

Incandescent light bulbs generate heat as well as light. Depending on how many lights you have on, you may or may not be able to feel this heat, but it is certainly affecting your indoor air temperature. To reduce temperatures and energy consumption, don’t leave lights on when you’re not using them.

Improve Your Attic Insulation

Without quality attic insulation, your home will heat up much more quickly due to solar heat and high ambient temperatures. To reduce this effect, consider installing additional insulation to help keep cooled air inside and hot air outside. Also consider installing radiant barrier foil, which can help repel up to 95 percent of solar heat.