Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Air Conditioning

lA couple of weeks ago here in the Chicago area we experienced a week’s worth of the typical “dog days of summer” — 90 degree temperatures coupled with about 99% humidity. Sure, we got a break from it for a while, but summer’s not over yet and we could certainly get some more hot temps before Labor Day.

For many air conditioning is a must – especially those with medical conditions or difficulty breathing. But, air conditioning just sucks energy and it can shrink your wallet. So, what are some easy things you can do to keep cool if you do need to stay cool?

  1. Close the shades – keep your shades drawn. Not allowing any sunlight will naturally keep it cooler. Also, look for quality blackout shades, which will considerably cut down the amount of sunlight which seeps into your home.
  2. Don’t use the oven – if you can get away with using a toaster oven or the microwave and cook simpler meals for a while do so. Or, better yet, just prepare salads and fresh fruits and vegetables, not using any kitchen appliances at all.
  3. Consider your landscaping – plant some shade trees close to the house
  4. Purchase ceiling fans, or even a large floor fan may just do the trick
  5. Focus on cooling yourself off rather than cooling the house down – take a cool shower or go for a swim, have a tall glass of a cool lemonade, water or iced tea – all will help you cool down