Air conditioning use in the U.S. exceeds that of most other countries in the world. In fact, U.S. government and commercial buildings use more energy on air conditioning than the rest of the world’s residents combined. In many areas of the country, using an air conditioner is simply considered standard practice, and having a warmer home is considered abnormal.However, due to the massive energy consumption needed to cool homes, alternatives to air conditioning are worth exploring.
Why Are You Using Air Conditioning?
There are lots of reasons why you use an air conditioner. When you realize why you’re using AC, it’s easier to find alternatives for cooling off. The main reasons for switching on the AC include:
• Do it out of habit. Sometimes, you set the thermostat and forget it. It may even be a moderate temperature outdoors, but the AC continues to run inside. A conscious decision must be made to switch it off.
• You want to feel cool and refreshed when it’s hot outside. Try the benefits of a slightly warmer home. Did you know air-conditioning can actually work to remove moisture from the air, limiting your ability to self regulate your own temperature? Additionally, the lack of moisture leaves your skin and eyes dried out.
Consider These Alternatives to Air Conditioning
To keep a room cool without an air conditioning, consider this:
• Open your windows! Create a cool breeze within your room. This works especially well in the evening and night, when the air is cooler.
• Use your drapes. Close your blinds to block out direct sunlight that will heat a room quickly.
• Reduce heat. Turn off excess appliances. Avoid using the stove or oven when you could use a grill outdoors.
• Choose fans. Fans, instead of AC, can work much more efficiently, within the room you are in – and they don’t waste energy cooling rooms that you are not in.
Here’s What Reducing Your Air Conditioning Use Can Do
Since AC units can use a significant amount of your home’s energy, switching them off more often has the potential to lower your bill. Further, reducing your energy consumption can help prevent blackouts and brownouts, lessen your carbon footprint, and help minimize the use of non-renewable fossil fuels. It’s a win-win! And remember: Air conditioning isn’t always necessary. Even turning it off for a short amount of time can be beneficial to the environment and to your bills. Next time you think, “It’s so hot outside. Let’s crank the AC!” Turn on a fan, open a window and employing alternatives to air conditioner usage, you can remain comfortable in your home and know that you are helping the planet as well.
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