Stay Cool Without AC

According to the New York Times, modern air conditioners, while still an environmental threat, are not only getting better, but don't pollute the way we think they do. The traditional worry has been HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) that AC units emitted. Turns out HFCs are more highly regulated now, and AC units actually don't release much unless they leak, or emit HFCs through the process of manufacture and disposal. The real issue is their drain on the power grid. The same NYT article cites that AC use adds up to 6% of the total power draw in the US, and releases up to 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That's a lot. But at least we have control over that part. To help you stay cool this summer, without AC, the team at Bentall Kennedy Residential Services has curated this list of ways to reduce your power bill, and your impact on the environment.

Use Fans

While they still use energy, fans use much less than a standard air conditioning unit. Increasingly they're coming out in high efficiency models, and combinations of fans in different rooms when placed close to windows can dramatically improve airflow indoors. Check it out.

Close Window Shades

Keeping window shades down and blinds closed, even partially, during the high heat of the day, provides a great deal of solar reflection. Keeping the sun out means keeping cool air in. A good option is to get some white, sheer, see-through curtains to allow some light in, while simultaneously cutting the heat down. Read more.

No-cook meals

In summer, the heat from cooking provides a highly potent source of unwanted heat. After baking a nice salmon, that 20 minutes of 400F can mean an unwanted bump in room temperatures, and the subsequent need for cooling. An easy fix is to try making meals that require little to no cooking. Think salads, raw vegetable meals, wraps, precooked chicken, charcuterie and cheese, etc. Check out more.

Air-dry laundry

Hanging your laundry to dry is a great way to save power and reduce heat in a small space. Leverage your balcony with a laundry line, and make use of all your apartment's hanging spaces. Learn more.

Windows open? Or Windows Closed?

Consensus varies, and it depends on the state of your apartment's insulation, but generally, if it's hotter outside than inside, keep your windows and blinds closed when the sun is shining. Then, open your windows in the evening and at night to take advantage of cooler air. See more.


The Bentall Kennedy Residential Services blog team hopes this list of cool tips gives you some ideas for how to use less AC this summer. For more information about Bentall Kennedy properties in your city, please visit our website.