Staying cool in the summer can be an enormously challenging task. And it comes with fairly hefty price tag.
Interestingly, I find that most people end up paying a lot more to cool their homes because they rely principally on their air conditioners to do the job. Fortunately, there are other ways to stay cool that don't cost as much. One way to cut down on cooling costs -- and to reduce your carbon footprint -- is to employ natural cooling methods.
Cool nighttime air can often be used to cool a home. This works really well in hot, desert climates, but also humid climates early and late in the cooling season. So, before you turn your thermostat down to cool your home, be sure to check outside temperature. If it’s below 75oF – and it often is early and late in the cooling season in many locations – open windows and let the cool nighttime air cool your home.
To accelerate the cooling, a whole house fan can be switched on. Or, you can place a couple box fans in windows to draw cool air into your home. Fans use a lot less energy than air conditioners.
Opening windows in upper stories also helps draw hot air out of a home, accelerating the influx of cool air from lower windows.
Next morning, shut the windows to prevent daytime heat gain. You may want to draw curtains to reduce heat gain during the day, especially if you are gone during daylight hours at work or at school.
Repeat this procedure the following evening until the evening temperatures are too warm to cool your home. At this point, you will very likely have to switch over to your air conditioner ... although there are many other things you can do to reduce air conditioner use that I'll discuss in subsequent blogs.