When summer hits most fiercely, most of us turn to air conditioning to save us. And though it might be a great and quick answer to a melting heat, air conditioning can also be pretty expensive – and hard on our planet. That’s why you should be looking for alternatives to HVAC, not to stop using it at all but to drastically reduce its usage.
It might seem like a hard goal to achieve but, believe us, it isn’t. You just need to follow these pretty simple tricks that will work in any house, anywhere you are.
1 – Keep the fresh air locked in
Close the blinds and keep shut the doors of the rooms you aren’t using. A windows without any shade or blind let’s up to 25% of summer heat in, enough to warm up a room – and increase your need for air conditioning. Additionally, keeping the doors shut maintain the cool air within the room you’re using instead of making it go around your home – which can heat it up a little bit.
2 – Move the air
Have a fan? Turn it on! The cool air trapped in your home could certainly use some movement. The breeze created by that fan will make you feel cooler, even if the air isn’t that cool. Besides, turning on a fan will definitely use less energy than an air conditioner and the effects (combined with the others described in this list) will be roughly the same.
3 – Dehumidification, baby!
People think that the only way to feel more comfortable when the heat comes is to lower the indoor temperature somehow, anyhow. But there’s another variable in that equation that few people pay attention to – moisture. Moist heat is really unpleasant and it’s one of the main reasons why people hate heat. This is easily solvable, though – get a dehumidifier. It will suck the moist out of your rooms and condense it, which serves two purposes. It will make you more comfortable and it will give you water for your plants. A bonus benefit? You can use a unit that turns off after your target humidity, saving some energy along the way.
4 – Use big appliances during the cool summer nights
The biggest appliances in your home don’t just use a great deal of energy – they also generate tons of heat. Your oven, range, dishwasher, washer and dryer are all like that and will certainly add to your home’s indoor heat if you use them during the day. The solution is simple: turn them on at night. You can make a routine that leaves your daily chores for the end of the day, when your house is cooler and can afford some extra heat.
5 – Weather strip and insulate your home
Last but not least, you’ll have to pay attention to your home’s structure. Most of the cool air you desperately struggle to keep inside could be escaping through your roof, walls, windows, doors and cracks you haven’t noticed yet. So, perhaps it’s time to hire an expert to help you with that. What can he do for you? Examine your whole house to check if you need insulation and weatherstripping.
On one hand, insulation is pretty cheap and will help you to reduce the amount of time you keep your HVAC on. Besides, it will work silently to keep the cool air inside without your input. Weatherstripping works similarly, but in reverse. Though many people believe it to be a measure to be used during winter, it also works during summer by preventing the outside heat from coming into your home.
This summer you have a choice to make. Either you turn your HVAC on and up and enjoy paying higher bills in a cooler comfortable environment or start following these tips that can be give you an equally comfortable home for a quarter of the price of air conditioning. That’s not all. You’ll also be saving energy and helping the planet while using these tricks. Too many benefits to let these ones pass, right? So, why don’t start using them today? Isn’t it hot outside to give them a try?
Posted May 31, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.