17 Tips to Cool Down and Save

Imagine if, when having gone to sleep on a hot sweaty night with welcomed air conditioning you wake up in the wee hours a bit chilly and turned off the air conditioner instead of pulling on more covers. If everyone did that we’d probably save the world from global warming. Here are more air conditioning tips, 17 of them:

• Avoid indoor heat- and moisture-generating activities.
• Reduce the amount of heat in your home by controlling heat sources such as incandescent lights, dishwashers, dryers, ovens, and solar gain through windows and insufficient insulation.
• Remove unwanted heat and moisture at its source (showers, laundry, cooking, wet basements and crawlspaces) with spot ventilation or drainage.
• Prevent heat and moisture movement from outside to the inside with air sealing and insulation.
• When discomfort is a problem, start with the least energy-intensive solution, such as a fan.
• Using a fan while the AC is operating can allow you to increase the temperature and still feel comfortable.
• Using ceiling fans instead of, or in conjunction with, the AC will increase your comfort at higher thermostat settings by moving air over your skin, creating a wind-chill effect by evaporating sweat and cooling you off.
• Shade sunny windows with landscaping, shades, curtains, or awnings.
• Open windows at night.
• Use natural ventilation instead of AC.
• When using the AC, close all windows and turn off exhaust fans (unless they are removing source heat and/or moisture).
• Upgrade older central AC systems with new, high-efficiency compressors.
• Increase your AC’s lifetime and reduce its operating costs with proper periodic maintenance such as: checking the refrigerant level, condensate drain, controls, and air filters, and cleaning the evaporating and condenser coils. Clean or change filters monthly and clean the cooling coils and fan blades as needed.
• Central air conditioners rely on ductwork. This ductwork needs to be properly sealed, insulated, and balanced to provide maximum efficiency.
• Have the compressor professionally serviced at least every two years.
• Use a programmable set-up thermostat to automatically turn the AC off when you are out of the house, and turn up the temperature at night.
• When you leave the house, turn the AC off!

Adapted from The Home Energy Diet by Ray Dodd (New Society Publishers, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Paul Scheckel. Reprinted by permission of New Society Publishers.
Adapted from The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel (New Society Publishers, 2005).

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Vicky Barman
Vicky Barman3 years ago

great tips.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Ambrose Merly
Past Member 5 years ago

excellent article. lots of good reminders.

Ellinor S.
Ellinor S.5 years ago

thank you

Kari Dyrdahl
Kari D.6 years ago

My AC quite working last year, but the repairman wouldn''t be able to come out fo a few days. Instead of getting a new one, I used an old trick my grandmother used A Poorman's AC! Take a fan, place a cake pan with a Block of ice (cubes work, ut melt faster)Behind th fan. Turn on fan and you have a cool breeze! Also works on Hot Flashes!

ĴΩ N.7 years ago

Live in hot climate? Cover your roof top with foam insulation protected with bright white paint. Need to clean and paint about every five years. Pays for itself in energy savings every year and I end up pocketing more money. Oh, and then you don't have to change your roof every thiry years, adding even more to your savings.

Be vocal to your local leaders about planting more trees and not more business.

Julian Parson
Julian Parson8 years ago

Ideas for hot flashes: 1. take a spray/spritzer bottle, fill w/ pure water, if you like add a few drops/sprigs of your favorite herb/aroma. I like rosemary, lavender, tea tree oil, citrus, depending on my mood... keep in the fridge or a cool place... spritz yourself, your sheets at bedtime--you will be surprised how well it works! :-)

2. put light cotton clothes, slips, sheets in the freezer. Put them on when you are really heated up-- divine! Inspiration from Marilyn Monroe.

Ki Hi
K. H.8 years ago

When you turn your a.c. off and turn it on once you get back home-you create a power surge. You use more energy in those few minutes then if you turned it up to 80. Also, many people can not keep there windows open at night. For one-safety reasons, for two-those that are allergic to pollen etc. will actually get more exposure withthe window open. Using ceiling fans circulates dust so be careful and dust the ceiling fans before you use them. Room wehre ceiling fans are used tend to have more dust in them. Dust frequently. Put on black screens on the windows-this will reduce the amount of heat that comes into your home. Use heavy curtains to block out the sun as well or those that are treated to keep the sun out-"solar curtains".

Kimberly S.
Kimberly S.8 years ago

This summer we have committed to not use our window air conditioner and leave it in the garage and to using fans. It's working so far.