In the days when most Bay Area homes were built, most were built without air conditioning. They didn’t need it. Back then, the Bay Area averaged about five days of temperatures over 85 degrees. Now we have 15 – 30 or more.
Before investing in an expensive electricity gobbling AC unit, there are several things you can do to help keep your home cool without air conditioning.
Keep your home cool with landscaping
What’s summer without cool lemonade and shade from trees. Your house feels the same about trees. You can help keep your home cool without AC with some strategic landscaping.
Plant tall deciduous trees on the south side of your house, where you get the most direct sun. Plant shrubs on the west side of your home to shade it from the afternoon sun. If you have solar panels, make sure the trees don’t block any of your panels.
Cool your home with window treatments
If you live without AC, you should aim to keep as much of the sun out of your house as possible. That’s where window treatments come in. If you have the budget, invest in some custom fitted blinds to keep each room cool. There are several that can block the sun and keep your home cool without raising your utility bills. A less expensive option is blackout curtains. You can buy a good pair for less than $50.
Cool your home by replacing windows
It is expensive to replace windows, but it pays off in the long run. With insulated windows, you’ll save money on both heating and cooling and you’ll be able to make more money when you sell your home.
Keep each room cool without AC using ceiling fans and standing fans
Keep your home cool without AC with a strategic use of fans. Ceiling fans and tower fans will help you keep each room cool without an air conditioner. Try window unit fans for a more streamline look and a way to capture the nighttime cool air.
You can also look into purchasing a whole house fan, which is installed in the attic and run through your home’s vents. If your home doesn’t have central heating, this may not be an option for you.
Create a cross breeze
Open up your windows to create a cross breeze to make each room cool. Open your home up so the breeze can go all the way through.
Turn off appliances and light bulbs
You’d be amazed at how much heat your appliances will generate. You can stay cool without AC if you turn off your lights. Eat salads or order takeout instead of cooking with your stove or oven.
Let the cool air in
Put screens in your windows and open everything up at night when it’s cooler to get rid of the hot air. You might feel temperature drops of more than 10 degrees without AC.
Paint your house a lighter color
Dark-colored houses are in style right now, but they can attract a lot of heat in the summer. Opt for a lighter color to keep your utility bills down. When it’s time to replace your roof, think about a light colored material.
Cool without AC using evaporative coolers
Evaporative coolers, or swamp coolers, cool using evaporated water. Think about those hot summer days when you sprayed on a refreshing mist of water. Evaporative coolers can effectively cool without AC, but they do need regular cleaning to prevent mold.
Block off your bedrooms
It’s one thing to be hot in the middle of the day when you’re supposed to be hot, but no one wants to sleep in a room full of hot air. Keep your room cool by keeping it as dark as possible using sun blocking window treatments and ceiling fans.