Air conditioning is a necessity for many people, once you have it, it’s hard to live without it. Getting accustomed to artificial cool air can make it harder for our bodies to get acclimated when we don’t have it. After learning that the AC unit in our homes is the source of the most energy usage, I’ve dug up some stuff to learn how to be more energy efficient and how to not waste so much.
Cooling your space without using air conditioning requires strategically using ceiling fans, box fans, or tower fans. Additionally, taking advantage of cooler weather when possible, smarter technology, better equipment and better habits.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you should limit your air conditioning use, what to do instead, and the most energy-efficient way to use it if you still can’t resist.
Why You Should Limit Your Air Conditioning Usage
As climate change is warming the globe, it’s expected that each year the summers feel hotter and the winters feel colder. Air conditioning keeps us cool and comfortable for those hot summers reaching 100 degrees and over.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Chart, electrical power comes in at number two. In residential households, air conditioning takes up almost half of the electricity usage. You can ready here to learn more about electricity and how to reduce electricity wastage and save money.
In short, electrical productions are powered by fossil fuels which produce greenhouse gases. These gases are the cause of climate change. Therefore, the more electricity we use (air conditioning) the more we are contributing. To do our part, we can learn the best practices so we can reduce our usage.
Constant cold air also affects our health. The sudden temperature change when we are out in the hot sun and enter a cold room or even the reverse, entering a hot room when we were outside in the cold. This impact of cold can lead to respiratory health. Air conditioning can also cause sinus problems, “sudden changes in temperature and humidity trigger glands in the nasal membranes to produce mucus”. If routine filter changes are not in place, the particles can also affect people with allergies.
Ways to Cool Your Room Without Air Conditioning
Whether you’re looking to be more environmentally friendly, want to save money, don’t have access to an air conditioning unit, or live somewhere where it’s hotter more times of the year, here are things you can do to cool down a room without air conditioning. I will list what I think is basic and most important and then I’ll include a video and link to more detailed things you can consider doing.
- The best place to start is the insulation. Once you have the cool air inside, we want to keep it inside and keep the hot air outside. Make sure your house is sealed nicely with no cracks, windows are solid and sealed, and walls are insulated.
- Use energy-saving curtains. Get curtains or blinds that block out light and make sure they’re closed at the hottest time of the day. These are also awesome for sleeping since they can really black out a room.
- Use ceiling fans, box fans or tower fans. You can learn about the difference of each and the amount of energy they put out here.
- Wet towels and freeze them. Place them on the key points on the body, wrists, neck, chest, temples.
- Freeze water bottles so you can place them in front of a fan or freeze larger bottles of water to last longer. You can also place these on the key parts of your body, but might need a towel in between or else it could be too cold.
- Use an instant pot or slow cooker or eat more salads to limit turning on the stove and oven. Cook outside if possible.
- Use cotton sheets and wear cotton clothes. Even better is wearing less clothes.
- Get in the habit of turning off lights when you leave a room or when a room is not in use.
- Get in the use of unplugging appliances when not in use.
- Drink water and stay hydrated.
- When outside is cooler, open windows and strategically use fans. Watch this video here:
This article here has additional things you can do! 37 Easy Ways – How to Cool Down a Room without AC | Happy DIY Home
This video is also helpful too!
What is the Most Energy Efficient Way to use AC
In most cases, understandably, people will still want to use AC and that’s okay too since it’s not realistic to get everyone to not use it. Everything you do will have a carbon footprint so evaluating other areas in your life to make changes can be impactful as well, this article points out the 4 main areas in your life that you can evaluate and make adjustments to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Otherwise, if you still want to use AC, the best thing you can do is optimize it for only when people are home. No need to have it running when the house is empty. Most thermostats have built-in scheduling you can use, but the better way is to use smart technology. Either have it set to automatically run around everyone’s schedule, or control it manually from your phone. This would even be easier when you are out of town or away for longer periods. The same goes for all the electricity in your home too, apply smart technology to lights, fans, etc.! Optimize for use only when people need to actually use it.
Set your temperatures to make you comfortable and not overdo it. There’s no reason to set it at 65 degrees daily and end up in long sleeves, long pants, and blankets piled on top of you. Be reasonable. Your body can adapt over time too, so what you’re training your body to do will regulate over time.
The AC unit is the most costly cooling system, so routine maintenance including changing the filter, making sure nothing is blocking the airways, regular cleaning, etc. will ensure it will last a long time.