It seems like each summer, it only gets hotter. So, for most of us, it goes without saying that each summer, due to our central air working overtime, our electricity bills only get higher as well. This doesn’t just put a dent in our budget, but it also causes us to use up a lot of energy.
There are some eco-friendly air conditioning alternatives for the summer that are not super-expensive (especially in comparison to our summertime utility bills) and are also great for the environment. Here are just five of them below.
Get a window-mounted unit. Although the convenience that comes with having central air is that it cools (or heats) the entire house, the truth of the matter is that it’s very rare when we find ourselves using all of the rooms at once. One way to utilize less energy is to put in a window-mounted air conditioning unit in the rooms that you find yourself being in the most. It will cool that space quicker and you won’t have to worry about paying to cool rooms that you’re not in.
Get some solar or thermal curtains. Did you know that there are curtains that are specifically made to keep heat out of a room? They do this by providing an extra-protective barrier between the window and the room itself, which helps to regulate the heat. For more information, put “thermal insulated curtains” or “solar curtains” in your favorite search engine.
Purchase a few (more) ceiling fans. If you do go the central air route, it is recommended that you keep your thermostat (preferably an electric one) set between 70-75 degrees. If you would like your house to feel a bit cooler than that, ceiling fans are a great addition to any home. They’re not only a nice complement to a house’s décor, but they also keep the air circulating throughout the rooms of the house.
Do some research on hydronic cooling. An alternative cooling method that is gaining more and more attention is one that’s known as hydronic cooling. Basically that this means is that rather than focusing on ways to cool the air, it is actually a system that works to cool the pipes throughout the house. One heads up about it is that hydronic cooling tends to work better in dryer climates than humid ones. If you go to CoolBase.org and put “hydronic” in the search field, it will provide you with some pretty extensive information on the options that you have and how much it would cost to install.
Pull the blinds. Purchasing a set of blinds is another great and relatively inexpensive way to keep the interior of your home at a pleasant temperature. Some of the ones that are best for the job include Roman shades, woven wooden shades and solar window blinds. You can also get some great ideas on styles, colors and prices at www.web-blinds.co.uk.
Focus on your body more than your house. A cold shower, a quick swim, a tall glass of lemonade, a popsicle—all of these are cheap and fun ways to keep the body cool during the hot summer months. Another trick to try is to wet your wrists with cool water and then apply a cube of ice to it. Being that the wrist is a pulse point in the body, it will immediately cause your body temperature to drop by as much as three degrees (Fahrenheit) for as much as 60 minutes at a time.