These Air-Conditioning Alternatives Prove Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Can Be Cool

Everybody loves the extra dose of summertime sun… but few of us are looking to purposely swelter in the mid-day heat just to avoid costly air-conditioning options that increase our carbon footprint substantially. That’s why we searched high and low for ways to cool (and green) your space without relying on wasteful energy sources. Here is what we found:

Embrace Your Inner Cowgirl/ Cowboy. In the wild west, they didn’t have fancy-schmance electric air conditioners. Heck, they didn’t even have the electricity to run an indoor fan (yikes). Instead, they relied on window curtains to block out much of the daytime sun, while leaving windows open at night to let in the cooler breezes. Fortunately, we now have advancements like thermal and blackout curtains to help make the job easier. Got extra fabric lying around? Try this DIY version.

We tip our hats to the prospect of Cowboy A/C and lower energy consumption.

Get Smart. These days, smart technology is everywhere… including gadgets designed to automatically manage your home cooling system for optimum, energy-efficient performance. Smart thermostats are shown to reduce cooling costs by as much as 15% simply by recognizing your everyday schedule – when you’ll be home, when you’ll be out – and adjusting the temperature accordingly. Plus, they look pretty swanky and can be run on your smartphone. Isn’t that smart?

Smart thermostats, like this one from Nest, use advanced technology to predict how much cooling you really need.

Sleep to the Season. Most people make small lifestyle adjustments to suit the season, choosing to trade in pants for shorts, trying to schedule strenuous outdoor activity in the early morning or evening when the heat is less intense. But have you ever considered changing your bedding? Light cotton sheets, blankets, and mattress covers – which don’t trap heat like their synthetic alternatives – can make all the difference on hot summer nights. Consider these eco-friendly brands.

Breathable, chemical-free cotton is a cool choice on hot summer nights.

Give Fans a Chance. Let me guess: you see your ceiling fan as just another way to maximize your air conditioning. But did you know that a ceiling fan, by itself, can cool a room as much as 4 degrees if it’s turning counter-clockwise? When circling this direction, the fan pushes cooler air down, so make sure you check your settings! And, next time you’re at a dinner party, you can wow guests with your new Bill Nye-level fan knowledge.

All we are saying is give fans (like this Shanahan Bronze model from The Home Depot) a chance.

Vents Just Make Sense. Maybe you’ve noticed that when you cook a hot meal in midsummer, your kitchen (and surrounding areas) heat up like the Serengeti… this is one reason why many people prefer to grill outside or dine on fresh greens during hot months. It’s also why vents were created! Using your over-the-stove vent (and bathroom dehumidifier when showering) helps suck up much of the heat and humidity so you can keep your home surprisingly comfortable.

Range hoods with vents: they’re more than just a fancy hat for your stove.

So, there you have it. Five boldly sustainable ways to cool your home without relying on high-energy air-conditioning. Give them a try and let us know what you think!