With the record breaking temperatures happening all over the world right now, the thing on everybody’s mind is how to stay cool. There are parts of the world that don’t usually need any air conditioners as the summers are quite mild. That has been turned upside down lately as the temperature in the Arctic has been over 30°C this past week.
The problem when we see these extreme temperatures is that it can be quite unhealthy to try to simply tolerate it. It takes keeping your home cool, especially if there is a person with an illness or vulnerability. The big issue is how much it costs to keep your home cool.
The cost of electricity is also very high per kW hour so it can also be a financial burden in addition to the health aspect. In this article, we will go over a few tips you can use to keep your house cool without needing to spend more money than necessary.
Use the right fans
Putting a box fan in the window is simply blowing hot air around the room. You may feel a smidgeon of relief but it is not nearly enough. There is a system that can be used with your fans to cool the entire house down and make it more comfortable.
The first fan that you need to get is a specialized whole house attic fan. This will remove the hot air by up to 20°C by blowing it out of a vent into the outside. The heat from the attic can bleed into other areas of the house making it difficult to cool down. Even if you use a central air conditioner it will run better if you add a whole house attic fan.
There are other whole house fans that will also help to remove hot air from the house and blow it out through a vent to the outside. Though these fans will be using electricity, it helps keep the air conditioner from being run 24/7 so you can see a reduction in your energy bill while also enjoying a comfortable temperature at home.
Maintain your A/C
If you haven’t done anything to your air conditioner in years then it is surely not running at peak capacity. It is also running much harder than ever so you are spending more on electricity for less comfort.
Take some time before the heat sets in to do some routine maintenance of the unit to make sure it is running at full efficiency.
One of the most important things to do is to change the filter. Some people literally never do this and it is affecting the performance in a big way. There are some that can be washed and reused while others simply get replaced.
You may also want to have a technician come and check the thermostat to make sure it is accurate so it will cool the house the proper way. Plus, a technician can tell you if you need to recharge the freon in the unit.
This also includes fixing leaky air ducts if you are using a central air conditioner system. If your system is more than ten years old, your ducts may have seams that have failed and allow the cool air to escape into the walls of the house. If the exhaust ducts are faulty then you are actually keeping the hot air inside the house rather than blowing it outside.
Use some shade
The sun coming into your home may brighten your mood, but it is also making it very hard to keep your house cool. The windows act as a sort of greenhouse so the heat of the sun gets in and then the warm air is trapped inside.
Use some curtains to keep the sun out while allowing any wind to breeze through the house. This is how they do things in the Mediterranean to keep things cool without using an air conditioner. On days when it is hot but there is a breeze then you may be able to avoid turning your A/C on by doing this.
Use smart thermostats
A smart thermostat can help you keep your costs down by using AI to take control of your HVAC system. It can detect when it should cool the house, which rooms need to be the coolest based on how much they are used and even go by the current weather report to decide if it needs to cool your home or not.
They even give you a breakdown of how your energy is being used over the course of the month so you can make changes where necessary.
Try geothermal cooling
If you have a basement you have no doubt noticed how cool it stays down there in the summer. Or, maybe your grandparents have a cold storage root cellar where it stays cool enough even in the summer to keep their preserves and vegetables.
This is because it is much cooler deep in the earth than it is on the surface. Geothermal cooling harnesses this cool air and brings it into your house so you can passively keep your house cool for basically free.
This system uses a loop of liquid filled pipes that run through your house to the underground and back into the house. As the hot air warms the liquid in the tubes, it is circulated underground where the heat is absorbed by the ground, then the cooled air is circulated back into the house.
Even though it is expensive to set up this system, it ends up paying for itself over the years as there is very little ongoing cost to operate it. Unlike air conditioning that costs little to get started but adds up to a lot over the years of high energy bills.
The other benefit to the geothermal cooling system is that it works in reverse in the winter so it takes less energy to warm your home.