10 ways to keep cool at home without A/C

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Dark Knight, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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  3. CanManEh

    CanManEh New Member

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    Putting big fans in all your windows at night time is gonna cost twice as much as running one sweet air conditioner....turn the lights off put blinds on the Windows and one air conditioner cheaper and better...
     
  4. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I don't know about "all" your windows, but we run two evaporative coolers (which are fans that blow over pans of water) on the roof for a fraction of what the a.c. costs. The only problem is that coolers don't work when it gets humid (about six weeks a year: it isn't always a "dry heat" here in the desert).

    The best investment we made was putting white shutters over every window in the house. They save us hundreds of dollars per month on electricity during the summer and serve as a unifying design element as you go from room to room inside (not that all your shutters have to match, but we found that worked for us).

    Another thing not mentioned in DK's article are thermal films (that's not the technical name) which go over the outside of your windows. They are thin sheets of stick-on plastic that block heat while letting in light (just like modern window glass does). They are easy to stick on the glass and practically invisible once in place. If you are like us and have antique windows you don't want to or can't afford to replace, the film is available at Home Depot.
     
  5. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    A word of warning about those films--if you have double or triple-paned windows, don't use them. The heat builds up between the panes and causes the seals to break, then you get moisture between the panes of glass. I use the film in our attic windows and the transom over our front door because they are the original 1906 panes of glass. However, the rest of our windows are vinyl double-paned and it can ruin them.

    Our best investment was insulated drapes. We have them on most of our windows--they allowed us to turn up the thermostat to 72 degrees from 68 during the winter with no extra expenditure. During the summer, they do cooling duty.

    I am seriously missing my central air right now. :( It only got down to 82 muggy degrees last night. We have a 10,000BTU portable unit in the dining room which takes care of the entire downstairs, and two 5,000BTU window units upstairs which usually are enough to keep it comfortable, but they were really struggling last night.

    Thanks for the explanation about evaporative coolers, Nova. I've always wondered what they are. :)
     
  6. lorann

    lorann New Member

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    When my back concrete patio finally gets in the shade, I hose it down really well. Concrete holds the heat and reflects it back toward the house. When the sun goes down, I hose off front concrete patio. We like a lot of the country have been in a horrible heat pattern and cannot do without ac but must do everything to conserve usage. Although I hate drapes closed, it is a must.

    Since I am an early riser, I am in the grocery very early - I can park closer to the door, and if I shop quickly enough, the car isn'[t sitting in the sun for too long.

    Sorry for this is OT - nothing to do with keeping cool without ac.
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Thanks for the warning about the film on double-paned glass, Pandora. I didn't know that. It never occurred to me to put film on them because I assumed the film would merely duplicate the effect of double-paning.

    We installed double-paned glass windows in our circa 1975 addition, but couldn't bear to destroy the steel-framed, single-pane glass windows in the original part of the house. They are a noted characteristic of 1950-era Mid-century Modernism. So the film works on the windows that get direct sunlight.
     
  8. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I don't think your post is any more OT than anybody else's. We're all sharing tips for keeping cool.

    There's a reason why Mediterranean cultures have a tradition of starting work early, taking a 3-hour siesta during the hottest part of the day, and then working again into the evening. It isn't laziness.
     
  9. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Can't believe I grew up without a/c in the home. I think the number one way to stay cool is, "be young."
     
  10. Kaybug

    Kaybug New Member

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    It is Hot, Hot, Hot where I am. I run my central a/c 24/7, not on 80 degrees either. I just swallow hard when I pay the electric bill each month. If nothing else is paid the electric bill is paid.
     
  11. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I grew up in South Florida and we lived in houses without a/c. I didn't like the heat even then, but I don't remember it being a big deal.

    Nowadays, I dread July and August.
     
  12. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    At the moment, it is 104 in Central Park and 108 in Newark, NJ.

    It is 101 here in the Southern California desert. (Our norm for this time of year would be 110 or higher.)

    This is one crazy summer!

    Stay safe, everybody, and remember that hydration is your friend.
     
  13. keeponsearching

    keeponsearching The mighty Oak was once a little nut that stood it

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    I did not have an ac growing up either. Not sure why my parents never bought one, oh wait... I am in Maine, we might have one week of extreme heat, boo. But good news it this week, and I am loving the 90 degree weather! I have an ac on in the living room, but just fans at night.
     
  14. sweetheart29

    sweetheart29 Member

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    I have mine on 80 I want it colder but my husband said 80 was good. But when when the temp outside is 115, 80 feels great.
     
  15. legalmania

    legalmania Verified Paralegal

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    It is impossible for me to stop using the air our attic is about 1100 sq.ft. even with insulation and attic fans it gets around 90 degrees in the day. You can feel the heat coming down from the attic by 8 a.m. by noon it's just to hot for the animals. I personally wouldn't mind sweating but I feel it's just to uncomfortable for the animals. I have ceiling fans in every room plus fans on the floor, and a couple of window units to go along with the central. Yes my carbon footprint is bad in the summer but from Sept- May I use very little heat.
     
  16. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    We have feral dogs and cats as well as coyotes who live outside here where temps above 115 are not uncommon.

    Unless you are keeping penguins for pets, your animals should be fine as long as they have shade and (most importantly) plenty of water.
     
  17. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    Ha! Tell that to my spoiled dog! She holds it in as long as she can....finally goes out to do her thing and literally RUNS to the door and will throw her body against it while barking if I am not RIGHT THERE to let her back in!

    Seriously, my house is kept chilly. A/C is set on 68 and hasn't stopped at all for weeks now. I never skimp on a/c in the summer, or heat in the winter. I won't skimp on food either. I cut down on other things, like eating out and extra unnecessary shopping.
     

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