I am participating in a "No A.C Challenge" this year and we did pretty good last year using a few easy home cooling tips, but there were still days we would flip on the A.C so it wasn't a win for me. But that is why frugality is a life-long endeavor and not a temporary fix.
I've got my free air conditioning all ready to go but there are always more tips to make the summer a colder one.
In the winter, we love the sun, but in the summer we hide from it. Putting up curtains or a blanket to keep the heat of the sun out of your room reduces the heat by up to 45% if you didn't have something taken care of.
A Twist - If the air outside is dry and cooler than the air inside the house, hang a damp sheet up on the window to make the incoming air even cooler as it blows into your home.
A Cooler Fan -
Turning on a box fan will help circulate air in the house and drop the temperature down, but if you place a bowl of ice in from of it, you will circulate the air with a cooler breeze.
A Twist: Use the sheet idea and dampen a shirt or pillow case and hang in front of the fan. Remember not to cover the back of the fan or you may cause a fire, plus the fan won't suck in enough air to blow out.
Seal it Up -
Keeping your home cool during the day means sealing up the home. Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible. Whenever the outside air is hotter than the inside air, then you will get heat that rushes in through any leaks it can find.
A Twist - If you have a fireplace, make sure your damper is closed because it will suck all the hot air from outside into the home - called reverse flow.
Strategic Fanning -
If your house is hotter inside than outside and you want to cool down as quick as possible, turn your window fans around so the blades are blowing the hot air out. If you have a nice breeze coming from the north and going to the south, you would face fans outwards on the south side and fans on the north side of the house would be faced inwards.
A Twist - To cool yourself quickly, keep a cold squirt bottle in the frig to spritz the inside of your wrists, the back of your neck and the back of your legs.
Internal Heat Sources -
If you haven't changed to CFL lights, one advantage to having them in the summer is that they don't give off as much heat as a incandescent lights give off, up to 70% less. Also consider using the oven one day a week but cook for the whole week and use the microwave to heat up the left-overs. Keep electronics powered down or in sleep mode to reduce heat that they give off as well.
A Twist - Invest in a camper cooker and cook outside as much as possible during the summer.
Hot Air Can be Your Friend -
If you haven't gotten into air drying your clothes yet, try one small line and dry non-personal items with it. This will allow your dryer to heat up a little less and use less electricity. Also open the dishwasher door right away after it is done to dry the dishes faster.
A Twist - Wear a damp shirt around the house to keep you cool while you clean and chuck your shoes and socks, as sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools the skin and the blood in your feet
Food and Drink to Cool You -
Eat lighter during the summer with more fruits and vegetables as it is easier to digest than a hamburger that can make you more sluggish. Also drink more tap water to cool the inner core of your body down. Stay away from drinks with sugar and caffeine that can dehydrate you and tire you out faster in the heat of the day.
10 Extra No A.C Ideas -
- Wear light colored clothes when out in the sun
- Think cooler thoughts and daydream about the winter and colder locations
- Sit and read more to lower your metabolic rate and cool your body off
- Eat hot, spicy food to cool your inner core from the sweat your body generates
- Take a cold shower before bed
- Water down the south-side of your house to help the house cool down
- The lower in a home you are, the cooler it is - spend more time in the basement
- Try a box fan in a vent in the attic to push out hot air and keep the house cooler
- Want to be outside, keep a kiddie pool or bucket filled with water to keep feet wet and cool you down while outside - add ice cubes to keep cooler longer
- Wet your baseball cap or wear a wet do-rag while running around to do errands
Are you ready for the no Air Conditioning Challenge?!