Save Electricity – How to Stay Cool in the Summer Without Air Conditioning
If you have a well insulated home and a few fans, you have the minimum requirements to do without air conditioning. Before you click away, hear me out. Most people use their fans incorrectly, and hence only get minimal relief from the heat. Depending on your particular situation, you may find that you won’t need any air conditioning at all or very little if you use the method described in this article.
You’re probably wondering how a few fans can possibly make your home comfortable during the hottest months of the year. The short answer is this: use the fans to draw air in from the outside overnight and during the early morning hours. When the air temperature outside starts to get warmer than the inside of your home, turn off the fans and seal up your house tight. This means keeping all of the windows and doors closed, much like you would do on a cold winter day.
You want to seal in the cool air inside your house. Because your home is well insulated, it will take many hours before the inside of your home gets as warm as the outside temperature. By the time the temperatures equalize, the hottest time of the day is almost over and it won’t be long before evening arrives with cooler temperatures. Then you repeat the same cycle again over the next 24 hours, etc.
The mistake that most people make is that they continue to leave their windows open with their fans drawing in air after the temps outside get very warm. It doesn’t make sense at all to draw in air from the outside after it has heated up. This will only warm your home up faster.
Here are some tips to make this method even more effective:
1.) Close your blinds and draw your curtains or shades during the day. This prevents the sunlight from warming up your home through your windows. Your glass windows tend to act like the glass of a green house, so keep the shades down.
2.) Ideally, you want the side of your home that faces the sun to be as shaded as possible.
3.) If your house is painted a light color such as white, it will reflect solar heat away more effectively than a dark color.
4.) Don’t draw in air from windows next to any asphalt. Asphalt gets very hot during the day and remains warmer than it’s surroundings well into the late evening hours.
Note that this technique gets less effective under conditions of extreme humidity. It also works less well during a very long and sustained heat wave when even the temperatures at night can remain very warm.
When I use this method, the inside of my home can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the outside during the early to mid afternoon hours. The temps inside eventually heat up to match the outside temps at around 5 or 6pm. At this point, the hottest part of the day is over and I can look forward to a cooler evening and night.