Say you painted your living room a few months ago and just noticed that the...
5 Ways To Cool Your House Without An Air Conditioner
By Mike Holmes
Thursday, May 30th, 2019 @ 1:24am
There’s no denying that air conditioning has been a blessing for millions of people around the world. Beyond simple comfort, air conditioning has literally been a life saver to many people who need to escape the heat. A comfortable indoor temperature has been shown to increase productivity, mental activity, and sleep quality, and with proper maintenance it can even improve the air quality in your home. And you know that my son Mike Jr and I are very big on improving indoor air quality.
Remember that newer houses are more energy-efficient. They have better insulation, quality of windows and greater air tightness, which all greatly affect the amount of cooling power you need.
Did you know that you can also keep your home cool in the summer naturally? Before you invest in an air conditioner, check out my top 5 ways to cool your house without an air conditioner. It will help you save money this summer.
5) Shade in Any Shape or Form
Use your windows wisely. Keeping the blinds closed throughout the day can have a big impact on the work your air conditioning unit has to do to compensate. Think about installing an awning or planting trees and bushes around your windows outside, to help decrease your home’s exposure. And making sure your windows are properly sealed can go a long way. Check the caulking around your doors and windows so that you aren’t losing cool air. SikaBoom is a great multi-purpose low expanding spray foam for weather sealing and insulation for doors, windows, gaps and crack. You can do it yourself.
Keep your blinds closed to avoid passive solar heating that will make your AC work harder.
4) Keep Your Home Cool With Insulation
Some homeowners are surprised to know that insulation is always good, hot or cold. An attic with proper insulation can reduce heat transfer by preventing the sun from making it’s way to your living room. Having a well-insulated home is great for keeping your home at optimum temperature because in doing so will have your humidity decreased. This means a cooler home in the summer and less money spent on utility bills!
3) Use Your Landscaping To Cool Down
The most natural way to cool down from the summer has always been staying in the shade. Tall trees near your home can both be great to cool down your home for the summer, that way you can reduce air conditioning cost but tall trees can also be a headache to maintain.
If you find your home is nice and cool because of the trees that surround your home then it’s your due diligence to protect your home from these trees damaging it.
- Always be on the lookout for trees that are especially close to your home.
- If you notice branches that extend over your roofline then keep these branches trimmed and maintained.
- Don’t wait for a major storm to damage your roof. Have dead branches removed right away.
Learn more landscaping tips this summer.
2) Use Ceiling Fans to Cool Your Home Naturally
First of all, let’s be clear that ceiling fans don’t make the air cooler. What they do is keep the air moving. Ceiling fans are a great way to cool down a room. The other thing ceiling fans do very well is combine air masses–they mix hot air and cooler air. Your fan will draw warm air from the room upwards. On some days, a ceiling fan may provide all the cooling you need. And you can use the central air or your air conditioner only when the heat becomes unbearable. This will save you a good amount of money this summer.
In the hottest part of the summer, a combination of ceiling fan and air conditioner will do the trick. With the fan, you can set the air conditioner a couple of degrees warmer, still be comfortable, and save on your electricity bills.
1) Avoiding Heat Build-up & Reduce Energy Cost By Not Using An Air Conditioner
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You can make simple changes in your daily life to avoid heat buildup in the home. Instead of using your oven (which produces a lot of heat and consumes a lot of electricity), take the cooking outside to your BBQ.
You can also wash your dishes by hand, air dry your clothes, and use your bathroom fan to remove humidity. And this is a tip I got from my partners at Effect Homes in Edmonton– use linen sheets instead of silk sheets. Silk traps heat and can make your situation even warmer. Linen sheets can make you feel cooler.
If You Do Use an Air Conditioning Unit
If you are using your air conditioner this time of the year, there is an easy way to save on your energy costs.
Putting up with a slight increase in your thermostat settings can show a big decrease in your monthly bill in the summer. This doesn’t necessarily have to be while you’re home either. Using smart technology like a smart programmable thermostat gives you the ability to control your temperature remotely.
Don’t forget about regular maintenance on your air conditioning unit.
There’s no denying that having a licensed A/C technician regularly service your air conditioning system can help you avoid costly repairs down the line. Replacing your air filters once every two months will prevent dust from blocking your vents, reducing the amount of work your A/C unit has to do. This also has the added benefit of helping with your home’s air quality. A simple check to make sure there’s no debris in or around your outside unit can also help keep it running smoothly all year long.
Installing a New Air Conditioning Unit
When you decide to replace your current air conditioner, make sure your HVAC contractor performs a load calculation using industry recognized methods, to determine the proper size unit. They should also be checking the ducts. There should be enough ducts, and they should carry enough air, to ensure adequate supply of cool air to every room – and, just as important, to ensure enough warm air gets back to the air conditioner. Also, the ducts should be as air tight as possible. This might involve sealing ducts. I had the ducts sealed on one of the houses on Holmes+Holmes Season 2, and I would highly recommend this technology (called Aeroseal) to homeowners. The ducts should flow through the conditioned space in your house. If they go through the attic, they should be insulated.
Even a very efficient air conditioner will perform as badly as an inefficient one if it isn’t installed correctly.
Move Onto Other Projects
The best part about following the 5 tips as mentioned is now you’ve saved on utility bills. With this extra cash in your pocket why not work on projects that you’ve been meaning to get done around your home. Read about my summer home maintenance tips to keep your home healthy and strong for the summer.