Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning – Look for an ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner. They use 10% less energy and cost an average of $70 per year. Cavan Pictures/Getty Images

We all think this year is cool. But escaping the heat that grips the country comes at a price. In my 130-year-old Victorian, the summer electricity bill is tiered. But when everyone seems to have something to sell, where do you turn for help with your cooling decisions? Roofs, windows, air conditioning systems, insulation – companies that produce and sell these products have cooling and energy saving requirements. When it comes to myths about keeping your home cool and keeping your electricity bill down, how do you separate fact from myth?

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Luckily, several experts gave NBC BETTER some tips on how to stay cool and wear yourself this summer. Lauren Urbanek is a senior attorney for the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, Climate and Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Robert Daguilard is a spokesman for the US Environmental Protection Agency. They helped us unpack some of the coolers.

How To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning

It sounds simple, Urbanek says, but “when the sun comes in through a window, it warms your house. During the day, make full use of things like window coverings to block sunlight from entering your home, especially in west- or south-facing rooms when you leave during the day.”

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

So what is the best window covering? Orbanek says it’s usually a pretty safe bet to look for purpose-built products like thermoses. “Ideas are impermeable to light and heat.” This means you have something even thicker and thinner. Of course there are also thermal shades (we use them on south and west facing windows and they make a big difference), practical blackout curtains and even interior curtains.

If you added up all the small cracks and crevices in your home where warm air enters, the typical home would have a hole the size of a basketball, Orbanek says. “If there’s a hole in the wall the size of a basketball, you fix it right away.” He says people often don’t realize how much heat you can let in: think around windows, door frames and crawl spaces, and even recessed lights.

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Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

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If you added up all the small cracks and warm air intakes in your house, the typical house would have a hole the size of a basketball.

A good resource for finding these petty criminals is your local utility company, he says. Many can perform home energy audits, and some even offer discounts if you listen to their advice. “You can get a professional to run some diagnostic tests and they’ll give you a list that usually includes the information that makes the most sense to invest in,” he says. (No wait, I called mine a few weeks ago and the earliest they could arrive was mid-August.)

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Urbaneck says all those beautiful photos you find on Pinterest of gorgeous exposed grills are insulated. He himself lives in a century-old house, and although “it’s not fun to spend money — even if you know it right,” insulating the walls and attic is one of his first priorities. “It’s not as fun as a new staircase, but it will save you money and make your home more comfortable.”

Best Ways To Stay Cool Without Air Conditioning

How does insulation work? “The way thermodynamics works is hotter,” Urbanek explains. “Lack of insulation means more heat seeps into your home and the air conditioner has to work harder.”

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Or to use the words of the insulation contractor who came to our house to take thermal images, “the heat is screaming through your roof.”

It’s an old debate: Is it better to leave the air in all day to keep the room cool and not have to work so hard to restore a comfortable temperature? Or do you need to turn the thermostat up a few degrees when you’re not home?

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

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Everything is in balance, Orbanek said. “Heat moves from a warmer environment to a cooler one. So in this case, the heat from the outside wants to come into your nice cool room. If you set the thermostat higher, there will be less airflow when the day is hot. If it comes out at 85 and you put it at 65, the air conditioner has to work harder. “If you set it to 78 during the day and turn it [down] when you get home, maybe you’ll work a little harder and run longer … but at the same time, it won’t work all day.”

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He also talks about the importance of programmable thermostats. “It helps you set the temperature and forget it.” That’s another area to check with your utility company to see if they have thermostat rebates, he said. Of course, it’s really cool to have a wifi thermostat that you can control with your phone so you can cool your home before you go home.

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

The same rule applies to window unit air conditioners, Orbanek said. When you leave, turn them off or move them to a higher temperature. I understand that a hard way to run a cooling system too long (new small split third floor in a typical Kentucky summer) is to fry the fan motor. (Yes, I’m getting new insulation.)

How To Keep An Apartment Cool Without Air Conditioning

What if you have a window item that you can’t save? “You may not have the right size room in your home,” says Daguilard. Want to go big? “Oversized air conditioners are actually less efficient and waste energy at the same time. Air conditioners remove heat and moisture from the air. If the unit is too large, it cools the room quickly, but only removes part of the humidity. It leaves the room feeling damp and musty.”

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Be sure to look for an ENERGY STAR certified air conditioner. They use 10 percent less energy and pay an average of $70 a year, Daguillard said. Then make sure the device is installed correctly. “An improperly installed air conditioner can leak air through a 6-square-inch hole, increasing energy costs and making your home less comfortable,” he says.

One of the easiest solutions, says Orbanek, is to focus more on how the air feels than the actual temperature. “If you have ceiling fans, make sure you’re using them and make sure they’re facing the right way and the right direction. “When you look down at it, it’s supposed to go counter-clockwise… it’s pulling cool air from the surface and giving it back to you. The air coming out of the fan “can make a room ten degrees colder on the skin,” he said. If the house is empty, there’s no need to do it, he said. “All it does is use energy.”

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Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

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Want more tips like this? NBC News BETTER is interested in finding simpler, healthier, smarter ways to live. Subscribe to our newsletters. Opinion: How to stay cool without air conditioning – life tips from India: Dr. Gulrez Shah Azhar, goat and heat wave researcher, grew up in Uttar Pradesh, India, without air conditioners. He tells us how to deal with the heat – like wearing a wet scarf around your neck.

In Uttar Pradesh, India, where I grew up, temperatures can reach 120 degrees in May and June. But very few people can afford an air conditioner.

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

With a per capita income of about $1,000 a year, many people in this part of the country cannot afford air conditioning or pay their electric bill to use it.

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

This is a question people ask themselves because many parts of the world, such as the Pacific Northwest and Europe, do not have air conditioning. This summer’s extreme heat has already killed thousands.

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

Yet people in India and other countries of the Global South have long found ways to cope with the scorching heat. So I would like to share some tips on how to stay cool that I learned while growing up in Uttar Pradesh and from my parents. Some of the advice is exactly what you’d expect – like drink plenty of fluids and stay out of the sun – but others may surprise you.

I know that each of these methods may seem trivial on its own. But as a heat wave researcher, I can tell you that it is

Best Way To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

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