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Stay Cool Without AC: 7 Useful Summertime Tips

From the surprisingly simple Do-It-Yourself wind tunnel to the microwave dinner, these tips will help you stay cool without AC during the hot summer months, or if you just don’t want to pay to run it all the time.

Tips To Help You Stay Cool

Adjusting your thermostat can help you stay coolAdjust the Thermostat – If you have central air controlled by a thermostat, use a programmable thermostat to save energy by raising the temperature setting during the day when the house is empty. You can give up a couple degrees at night, too – especially on the hottest days. You might be surprised to find that the contrast between outdoor and indoor temperatures matters as much as the absolute temperature inside your home. When home, aim to set the temperature at 78 degrees to balance comfort with energy and cost savings. Together with winter energy savings, a programmable thermostat used properly can save the average home up to $150.

Close Windows – Open your windows only at night if the air outside is cooler than inside, and close them – along with blinds and shades – before the sun hits your house in the morning. In many areas of the South, it is too humid in the evening to use this trick, as humid air during the summer months will make your home feel warm, even if the outside temperature is below the inside temp.

Use Fans Strategically – Ceiling fans can create a pleasant breeze to cool a room significantly and help you stay cool without AC. Be sure you have the fan running in the right direction since ceiling fans can also be used in winter to create an updraft: in the summer, you should feel the breeze blowing down. And remember, ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, so turn it off when you leave the room. If you’re buying new ceiling fans, make sure you buy Energy Star ceiling fans that use 50% less energy than comparable models – a choice that will pay off in the long run the longer you keep your fan running.

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Stand-alone fans placed directly in front of you help you stay cool. Add in a spritz bottle and you can dramatically change your temperature; as the water evaporates off your skin, your body sheds heat.

A DIY wind tunnel is the third option; if there’s a cool breeze, particularly at night, set one fan facing in on the side of your home receiving the wind, and another facing out on the opposite end of the house. You’ll maximize the cooling power of a natural breeze.

Eat Cold Meals – eating cold food helps keep your internal temperature lower on a hot day. eating cold foods can help you stay cool in hot weatherTry a simple watermelon salad, for instance, or a cold soup. If you do cook, use the grill or the microwave, or else you’ll heat up your kitchen from using the oven and stove. And remember, kitchen appliances aren’t the only devices that give off heat; limiting your use of electronics and lighting will help keep your home cooler, and help you stay cool too.

Turn Off Lights – Incandescent light bulbs can produce as much heat as they do light. Energy Star-rated light bulbs produce 75% less heat, so consider that when replacing bulbs. It’s always a good idea to turn off lights to save energy, and on hot summer days, it can also affect the temperature of the room.

Install More Attic Insulation – Attic fans may not help much to cool your home or help you stay cool, but attic insulation can help a lot. Insulation keeps cooler air in your home from escaping through the ceiling. If you have central air, also seal ducts – especially at vents and registers, where you could be losing up to 20% of your cooled air. While the tax benefits aren’t as generous as they used to be, you may still be eligible for a tax credit worth 10% of the material cost, up to $500.

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Plant Shade Trees – While not something that will offer you much in the way of energy savings or helping you stay cool right away, strategically planting shade trees will help significantly in the future when they are mature. In the summer, their broad leaves will shade your house and help you stay cool without AC, while in the winter, bare branches won’t stop the sun’s warmth from reaching your walls. Also consider planting trees or shrubs to shade high-heat areas – air conditioning units that emit heat, for instance, and driveways and walkways that absorb it.

These tips will certainly help you stay cool without AC, or at the very least, help you cut down on your electric bill some. Every little bit helps!

If you’re needing service on your AC unit, call Brown and Reaves Services, 843-497-9867.

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