The 10 best ways to cool down a room without ACⅠ - ipanergy
Summers are getting hotter, and extreme heat events are only becoming more common, including in places like the Pacific Northwest, where less households have air conditioning than in other parts of the country.
So, what can you do when the heat hits?
Fans are a powerful tool, especially if you don't have air conditioning or are running it at a higher temperature. Fans are generally cheaper to buy and install than AC units. Plus, they are better for the environment because they use less energy.
In fact, AC costs homeowners about $29 billion each year, according to the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Fans are far more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
If you have some fans on deck, you can optimize how you use them for the best, coolest results. There are also plenty of other steps you can take to keep your home cool.
Here are 10 ways to cool down a room using fans and other items you can easily buy or might already have in your home:
1. Put window fans to work
Window fans are installed in open windows to draw cold air in and push hot air out, and can be set up to cool an entire house. Here's how to use window fans most effectively.
Only turn window fans on when it's cooler outside than inside. In order for window fans to cool your home, the outdoor temperature must be lower than the indoor temperature. That's going to be at nighttime or early in the morning.
Window fans are installed with a fitted sheet metal mounting that slots into an open window and seals around the edges. So, you don't have to worry about opening or closing that window.
However, other windows in your house should remain closed during the hottest part of the day and — when safe — open at night and early morning.
Use more than one fan to create a crosswind. Window fans work best when you use more than one to create a crosswind, which pushes the hot air out and draws the cool air in. To do this, setting the fans up in the right location is crucial.
Here's how to be strategic about your window fans' placement:
- Fans blowing air into your house. "You want the cooler air to blow inwards, so place one fan or more on the coolest side of your home that sees lots of shade — this will ideally be on the north side which gets the most shade — facing in towards the house and away from the windows, " founder of Kipnis Architecture and Planning and specialist in the sustainability and energy efficiency of architectural design.
- Fans pushing air out of your house. Then place an equal number of fans on the opposite side of your home facing out of your windows to push the hot air out. "Pushing air out on the south side is ideal," says Kipnis.
- Keep as many inside doors open as possible. This will help maximize airflow throughout the house.
Work with the design of your home. If you live in a multi-story home, place the inward-blowing fans on the lower floors where it's cooler and the outward-blowing fans on the upper floors. This method will rid your home of the warm air rising to the upper stories.
2. Optimize your ceiling fans
Ceiling fans circulate air in the room by pushing it down. However, they can not lower the temperature like a window fan or AC unit. But they can still cool you down.
That's because their breeze creates a slight wind chill effect that can help sweat evaporate from your skin, which cools you down. So, it's not your home that it's cooling, but rather your body.
Here's how to use your ceiling fans most effectively:
Make sure your ceiling fan is rotating counterclockwise. In the summer, make sure your fan is rotating counterclockwise. This will push the air straight down and create that wind chill effect. Follow the instructions in this DelMar Fans guide to safely check and change the direction of your ceiling fan.
Turn your ceiling fan off when you leave the room. Make sure you turn ceiling fans off when leaving the room because they cool people, not rooms. It's a waste of energy to have them switched on if there is no one there to feel the wind chill effect.
Combine a ceiling fan with your AC unit. If you have a ceiling fan in the same room as an AC unit, it helps blow colder, air-conditioned air throughout the room. This can cut your energy consumption and reduce how hard your air-conditioner has to work.
"You could set your AC unit four degrees higher, combine it with a ceiling fan, and feel just as cool," says Kipnis. "And the key thing with AC is that it dehumidifies the air which is what helps make the fan even more effective."
It's worth noting that all ceiling fans work more effectively in dry air, "Because the sweat on your skin evaporates more quickly than if the air was humid, so you feel cooler," says Kipnis.
3. Create an icy breeze with tower fans
Tower fans are narrow, tall, and portable, meaning they easily fit into the corner of most rooms. They create airflow by oscillating from left to right.
Again, they work by creating a wind-chill effect rather than lowering the temperature of the room.
Use ice for extra cooling. If you're really struggling to stay cool, for instance, during the peak of the day when it's hottest outside, place a bucket of ice or a large, frozen water bottle covered with a damp cloth in front of your tower fan as a homemade AC unit. The ice cools the air pushed out by the fan, which then circulates around the room.