Originally published on Green Building Elements By Nicholas Brown.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the bitterly cold winter is ending. However, the summer heat is going to cause discomfort all over again. Not to worry! I’m here to provide you with cheap ways to keep cool this summer, and without any expensive upgrades or purchases.
- Drink cold water. If you don’t have a standalone water cooler, fill a pitcher with water and keep it in the refrigerator, or put ice in your water.
- Use a 16″ to 20″ standing fan. This only works if you point the fan at yourself. If you find yourself moving around too frequently, set the fan to oscillate. This feature has been incredibly helpful to me. These consume an average of 40-60 watts if used all day. Air conditioner power consumption averages out to 318 watts, that is 5 times more!
- Ventilation keeps humidity under control (unless the air outside is terribly humid, which is uncommon in most areas). Containers of vapourizing liquids such as wash tubs, kitchen sinks, glasses of water, among other things will contribute to the accumulation of water vapour inside your home, making it feel even warmer. Opening your windows will allow the wind to blow out humid air. A ventilation fan can enhance this process.
- Close your window blinds if you have any. White blinds are best for this.
- Put up white curtains to block out sunlight, which is a major source of summer heat. These have helped me for years. Whenever mine are taken down for washing, the room becomes far hotter. Shortly after they are replaced, the room cools off!
How To Reduce Air Conditioner Power Consumption
Not everyone is ready to stop using their air conditioner. If you’re not, there are ways to make your air conditioner less of a financial burden.
- Don’t leave your other appliances on when they are not in use. That helps to reduce your electric bill, compensating for the air conditioners’ expense.
- Close your blinds/curtains, most of the summer heat is from the sun.
- Minimize ventilation, always close the door behind your immediately. Unfortunately, that means no chatting in the doorway.
- Point a 16″ to 20″ standing fan at yourself, and turn up the air conditioner’s thermostat temperature.
- If you happen to be shopping for an air conditioner, choosing the incorrect size will waste energy. Don’t exceed 24,000 BTU for rooms under 250 square feet.
- Trying to use one wall-mounted air conditioner to cool two other rooms through their open doors can be very wasteful, as whoever is in the secondary rooms will want to turn the unit up to a very high setting. This is because airflow in such scenarios is too poor for this to work efficiently.