The central air conditioning system is our main weapon against the summer heat. But to help your AC system obtain the longest life possible, as well as to keep down your bills over the season, it’s a good idea to find others ways to keep cool. You can give your air conditioning system longer periods of downtime when you use some of these “stay cool” tactics:
Keep the window blinds closed
You won’t need to have the light sealed off from the inside of your house all the time, but for windows that face toward the sunlight during the day, keeping the blinds closed can prevent up to 30% of unwanted heat from coming in.
Invest in a whole-house fan
This is fan installed in the attic of your home that draws hot air up through the top of the house, which then allows outdoor air to rush inside. A whole-house fan is especially helpful during the evenings, when the air outside the house is cooler than that inside.
Use less light—or change to LEDs
Rely on natural light as much as possible, since incandescent bulbs give off extra heat. (This is also a good way to save on electricity.) For a great longer-term solution, switch over to LED bulbs, which don’t give off heat and use significantly less power than standard bulbs.
The fan-and-ice cubes trick
This is an old-fashioned form of low-cost air conditioning, but it still works! Place a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan. The air will lose heat to the ice cubes and cool down. This is a good way to chill-out a small part of your house at minimal little cost (just the electricity to run the fan).
The wet sheet across the window
Here’s an air conditioning trick that’s been around for thousands of years: hang a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze that comes in will be much cooler, and will lower the room’s temperature quickly.
Drink plenty of liquids
A large part of staying cool is keeping your body cool instead of the air around it. Make sure that you’re well-hydrated on the hottest days of the year with plenty of ice-cold drinks.