In our effort in keeping our houses cool during the hot summer days our first thought is turning on the air conditioning system, if we already have one, or buying one. This is probably the best and fastest solution in reaching a desirable indoor temperature. However, before you decide to use an air conditioner, you should first look at some alternative and inexpensive ways of cooling your house that can minimize your electricity consumption. Air conditioners consume a great deal of electricity and especially during peak hours that it might be even more expensive and as a result cooling comes at a considerable cost. Moreover, since most of the electricity is produced using fossil fuels you are at the same time increasing your carbon print which means you are polluting the environment. Finally if you have no other choice but to use or buy and ac we will give you some tips on how to minimize your energy consumption.
Tips for cooling your house without air conditioning
Get proper shading for all your windows. Choose the right type of shading depending on the orientation of each window. In specific, south facing windows should be closed during the day since they get most of the sunlight whereas east and west facing windows should be properly shaded.
If you have a garden then you should plant deciduous trees especially on the south side of it. This way you get to shade your house in the summer and during winter the much desired sunlight can get through to warm it up.
If you live in an area where the climate is hot then it is wise to choose light colors for exterior walls, roofs and tents that don’t absorb less heat from the sunlight.
Reduce the internal heat sources. Do not use energy consuming devices that increase indoor temperature such as the stove, iron, dishwasher etc during the day time. Instead try to use such devices in the afternoon or during the night when temperature is not at its peak.
During hot days keep your windows closed or shaded during the daytime and try to ventilate your house during the night in order to bring the building’s temperature down.
Skylights, openings over staircases, chimneys, combined with some openings in lower parts of the building can create very effective stack ventilation without opening all your windows that can help decrease indoor temperature.
If external conditions and existing building openings do not provide sufficient ventilation then it might be a good idea to install inlet and exhaust air fans.
Install ceiling fans in all the rooms. Ceiling fans can help with cooling your rooms and they consume very little energy, usually around 70 to 75 watts, as oppose to an air condition that consumes 1,200 to 2,000 watts. Alternatively you can buy a floor fan but keep in mind that ceiling fans can also be used in the winter to bring down hot air and keep you warm so even though they cost more they can be used throughout the year.
Tips for buying and using your air conditioner at a low cost
If you are in the market to buy an air condition unit find out its energy efficiency rate and how does this translates in energy consumption.
Make sure that the unit you are planning to buy is suitable for your space. Consult a qualified energy auditor and not just your vendor since a number of factors such as dimensions of a room and its orientation play an important role in making the right buy. If you plan to install an air conditioning system for your house it might be a good idea to ask an expert to conduct a study for you.
Adjust the air using a good thermometer wall and do not pursue a temperature below 77 F in summer unless you are willing to pay extra!
Make sure that all windows are closed when running the air conditioning system to avoid losing valuable energy.
Do not turn ac on for rooms that you are not using instead just close their doors to keep the heat off from the rooms that you have the air conditioning on. If you are planning to leave a room or your house for more than an hour then it is best to turn off your air conditioning.
Follow strictly the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance of your air conditioning unit, regular cleaning of filters is required mainly for health reasons but it also affects the performance of the ac unit as well.