Keeping a space cool in the summer months (or in hot climates) is always a challenge. And whether it's cost, size, or ecological concern, using air conditioning isn't always a great fix. In this light, Bentall Kennedy Residential Services brings you a list of creative ways to keep your apartment cool without AC.
One of the primary causes of brownouts and blackouts in urban centers is the overtaxing of energy grids - in large part due to air conditioning. While certainly not the only draw, there's a direct correlation between spikes in AC use and power requirements. While reducing strain on the grid isn't everyone's top priority, power outages take a toll. Don't forget the blackout in Toronto, Ontario in 2003 that lasted nearly 48 hours. Reducing AC use reduces energy use, which reduces environmental impact.
Air conditioners use refrigerants to cool air. Well known by their acronym, CFCs are infamous for damaging the earth's ozone layer and contributing to global warming. While AC units are being built with higher efficiency and are gradually making changes, minimizing their use helps reduce the impact on the environment.
You'll Adapt Better
Ever notice how it seems hotter out when you've been inside in an air conditioned space all day? Sure, suffocating heat isn't fun. But after a glorious night of cool AC sleep, the same outdoor temperature can appear hotter than it actually is. While it doesn't happen overnight, your body will adapt to environmental conditions and reach more of an equilibrium if it's not constantly swinging from outdoor heat to indoor cool.
AC also hits hard on the wallet. While unit sizes/capacities vary, as do costs in different areas, a simple search for AC cost-of-use garnered this result:
"The town of Wellesley, Mass., estimated the average energy use of running central air conditioning in a typical home for six hours a day at 900 kilowatt/hours (kWh) per month. At a cost of $0.134 per kWh, this amounts to $120.60/month."
While some may say it's worth it in the dire heat of summer, it's still a significant cost over the long term.
Fans are great. They're cheap. They're quiet. And they don't use much electricity. Set one up by a window or open door and you can create excellent airflow through a home or apartment.
Keep Blinds Closed
Ambient sunlight increases internal heat. And as greenhouses and parked cars have taught us, glass traps solar energy. Keeping blinds drawn is a simple and hugely effective way to maintain cool temperatures indoors without the need for AC.
Use Windows Wisely
Opening windows in the morning and evening when temps are lower can help keep a space cool. Closing them again before high heat at midday can help hold in cool air while keeping out the hot.
Lightweight Summer Bedsheets
The right sheets can make all the difference in the warmer months. Throw the flannel in the winter closet and replace it with some lightweight cotton sheets and pillow cases.
Try eating more vegetable based meals, go raw-vegan for a month, eat more bulk dried foods, hummus, fruit, smoked salmon or meat; all of it will reduce the amount you spark up your oven and add to internal ambient temperatures.
Bentall Kennedy Residential Services hopes this article helps you find ways to stay cool this summer, and rethink the need to use AC. For more information about Bentall Kennedy properties in your city, please visit our website.