After enduring five stifling, A/C-free days earlier this month, I have a newfound respect for those who choose to brave the summer months without A/C. It can certainly be done, however, especially if you have a few fans, some heavy-duty window coverings and a little ingenuity.
I found the inspiration for this post on an article published by Natural Home magazine, a great source of information if you’re into green and environmentally friendly living. Web editor Susan Melgren has a great round-up of tips on living without air conditioning, and I was surprised to see how many my husband and I unintentionally incorporated to get through our A/C outage.
1. Fans: I cannot overstate the importance of fans! Placing them at key locations throughout your home will help create air circulation, which will go a long way in keeping your home cool. Try mixing different types of fans: box fans, oscillating stand fans, and even small fans that you can clip onto the side of your desk to stay cool while working. (Confession? I sometimes sweat while getting ready in the morning, so I clipped a fan onto the side of our bathroom vanity. Not only do I stay cool, but I feel like a supermodel when my hair blows around!)
2. Keep it dark: Keep your windows covered during the day. You may feel like you’re living in a cave, but reducing the amount of sunlight that comes into your home will keep the temperatures down. We went so far as to cover our windows with boards and then lowered the blinds over the boards, creating a dual layer of window covers.
3. Landscaping: Strategic landscaping can help create an exterior barrier that reduces the temperature within your home. Susan recommends placing deciduous trees and shrubs on the east and west sides of your home, which will help block sun. You can also plant leafy groundcovers, which will help cool the area around your home. Vines will shield your home’s exterior walls from the sun, too.
Other tips? Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, especially on hot days. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing inside, which will help keep you cool and comfy. And keep an ample supply of Popsicles in your freezer!
Are you one of those brave souls who foregoes air conditioning during the summer? Or are you an A/C-aholic?