Air Conditioning has become standard in most homes. Except in the most extreme climates, you can easily live without it, saving money, saving energy, enjoying the fresh air and experiencing the seasons instead of being in a controlled climate at all times.
Box fans, stand fans, oscillating fans and window fans all help cool you by creating a breeze. Place them strategically to blow gently on you (or not to if it bothers you) to bring cool air inside or to push hot air out. When I was a child we had an elaborate system for turning the fans around at night and blowing the hot air out and sucking cool air in other windows. I don’t ever remember being uncomfortable no matter how warm it was. Experiment with your fans and find out what configuration works best for your home.
Now some of you might object to the statement as fans aren’t enough during peak summers and one might prefer a blaux portable ac but still there is no harm in experimenting with it as there is no better place than home to try it out.
Ceiling Fans will cool your room in the summer and also help distribute heat during the winter. Install ceiling fans where you can, they are quite inexpensive and you will cool your rooms and save on heating bills in the winter. Ceiling fans lower room temperature by up to 8 degrees and will make you more comfortable. Make sure to get ceiling fans with the Energy Star rating that will be 50% more efficient. Most ceiling fans use only as much energy as a 100 watt light bulb.
Curtains and shades to block the sun can be a huge help in keeping your home cool, especially in the afternoon when the sun beats down. Dark colored curtains or light blocking blinds will drop your room temperature at the times you need it most. Wal-Mart has a new line of heat blocking curtains that will do the trick.
Drink lots of cold beverages, especially water when the temperatures climb. Most people don’t drink enough water to begin with. The common rule is 8 eight ounce glasses per day. This may be enough, but in extremely hot weather, be sure to drink whenever you feel thirsty or need to cool down. Homemade popsicles will cool you down too. Cheap and simple, freeze your favorite cold beverage in a paper cup with popsicle stick, or buy a reusable plastic popsicle maker at the dollar store for an unlimited supply of treats.
If it gets really hot, take a nap. Take a lesson from people in southern environments and take a nap in the warmest part of the day. Take it easy in hot weather and do yard work at other heavy chores in the early morning hours rather than in the heat of the day.
Plant shade trees near your home. Trees will help keep your home out of direct sunlight and lower the temperature inside and out. Deciduous trees are best to cool in summer and allow sun to reach the house in the winter. Plant shade trees on the east, west and south sides of your home, these are the directions that get the most sun. Evergreen trees on the north side will help protect your home from winter winds. You will also have nice outdoor space, throw some lawn chairs under the tree and enjoy the outdoors or put out a hammock for your afternoon nap.
Remember, people survived with air conditioning for millions of years. You can live a more natural life and save on utilities while being kinder to the planet. Try it and see.