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How To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Conventional air conditioning systems (often referred to as phase-change, or vapour compression systems) effectively cool the areas that they are operated in when used as instructed, but, they have a high cost of ownership, their power consumption is high (between 500 watts and several thousand watts for residential units), and their price tags are often well north of $1,000 USD. Therefore, some people need alternative temperature control methods.

  • In the U.K., it would cost £61.15 per 28 day month to leave a 2600 Watt air conditioner running for 12 hours per day, if the cost of electricity was £0.07 per kWh, and you would have used 873.6 kWh of energy.
  • In Germany, it would cost €165.98 if the rate was €0.19 per kWh.
  • In Norway, it would cost 436.80 Krone if the rate was 0.50 Krone per kWh (same as Sweden).
  • In the U.S, it would cost $96.09 USD if the rate was $0.11 USD per kWh.

How Air Conditioners Work.

There are numerous ways in which people can keep their area comfortable, or at least make themselves more comfortable, such as:

  • Open the windows for ventilation and do not leave anything in front of them. Important Note: For increased safety, install quick-release burglar bars (this just means you can open them easily) or you can use permanent burglar bars on one of the windows in the room and open that one, while the others remain in the event of fires, but secure (sometimes) because they are closed.

Point a standing/pedestal fan at yourself (the key to make this work is to actually point the fan directly at you, do not use the fan to circulate the hot air in the room, that is not nearly as effective). Take your time and position it in such a way that it cools you best. A typical standing fan may be rated at 40-60 watts. Please keep the fan clean, as dirt, and dust bunnies accumulate in the spaces in the grille, they slow down air flow, and that will make you uncomfortable. Note: Fans are much less effective without adequate ventilation because humidity accumulates and fans cool your skin by accelerating the evaporation of your sweat.

Ventilation Is A Great Way To Keep Cool Without A/C

Use a window fan for ventilation if you are not using A/C. You cannot use both A/C and ventilation simultaneously. Ventilation fans are usually rated at 50 watts and upwards, and sometimes more. Please keep the fan clean, as dirt, and dust bunnies accumulate in the spaces in the grille, they slow down air flow, and that will make you uncomfortable.

Bear in mind that some types of ventilation fans are designed to work faster, hence their higher wattage (sometimes they are several hundred watts). Their cumulative power consumption is not necessarily higher than the 50 Watt fans mentioned above, because the 50 Watt fans operate for longer periods to achieve the same effect.

If you can point your ventilation fan at you, then do so. Ventilation fans are most beneficial when the air outside of your home is cooler than the air inside (and it often is), or if the humidity of the air inside your home is higher than the air outside, and they maintain a flow of fresh air into the home. I would recommend setting up a dust screen first.

Thin Clothes Help Your Body Cool Off Without A/C

Wear thin and lightweight clothes which don’t insulate your body much. Do not wear multiple layers of clothing. If you want to follow current fashion trends, try to find shirts which make you look like you are wearing a different coloured shirt under another.

If you have large windows, purchase blinds that you can close when it is sunny.

Evaporative Coolers Can Keep Certain Areas Cool Without A/C

Evaporative coolers are a great air conditioning alternative in low-humidity areas, provided they aren’t terribly hot. Evaporative coolers operate by forcing air through a wet pad, inducing evaporation. Evaporative coolers must draw air in from outside (this is usually done through a window), and there must also be another window open in the same room to exhaust humid air outside, otherwise the accumulation of water vapour will stop the evaporation process, and the cooler will be rendered ineffective.

If you live in a terribly humid area, I would not recommend an evaporative cooler, as evaporative cooler efficacy is inversely proportional to humidity.

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