Alternatives to Central Air

Although it might feel worth it on a blisteringly hot summer day, a central air conditioner can truly burn homeowners up in operating costs. Depending on the size and shape of the house, and on the finances of the homeowner, these convenient air-conditioning systems may not always be the ideal choice when it comes to home cooling. The frugal homeowner can rest assured that there are multiple money-saving alternatives to central AC units.

Window Units

Window unit air conditioners can be installed in any room with an accessible window. Instead of paying to cool an entire house, window air conditioners allow the homeowner to prioritize only those rooms that most require air conditioning. The power costs of cooling just one or two bedrooms, as opposed to a whole two-story house, are going to be more budget-friendly. To save more money, homeowners can purchase Energy Star-certified models. Window unit air conditioners using the Energy Star label use 15 percent less energy than traditional window unit air conditioners.

Natural Ventilation

Homeowners can prevent the high electrical costs associated with central air conditioning by completely doing away with conventional air conditioning and, instead, learning to capitalize on their home’s natural ventilation. Although optimal ventilation plan will vary from house to house, clever homeowners can cool their homes by simply opening and shutting the ideal windows in appropriate times daily. Generally speaking, opening windows at night will help cool air to circulate in the house. When the cool atmosphere is inside, windows must be shut as the new day starts, to keep the cool air in and the warm air out. Ceiling fans can also boost your comfort level during the daytime.

Heat Reduction

Sometimes a house could be cooled simply by the elimination or diminishing of internal heat sources. Constant usage of ovens, clothes dryers and other heat-generating appliances during the hottest times of the day should be diminished as much as possible. This will help prevent further buildup of heat in the house. Homeowners who would like to keep their homes as trendy as possible — sans air conditioners — must get into the habit of using their “hottest” appliances only during nights or mornings, once the house temperature is at its coolest.

Box Fans

Timeless box enthusiasts can act as a money-saving choice to both central air conditioners and window unit models. Like window AC units, box fans, that can help circulate the air by supplying a cooling breeze, could be placed in only the most important rooms of the house. Depending on the design of the house, box fans can be used in concert to make heat ventilation: One could be used to suck in air from a lower, cooler part of the house, with the other one placed to blow air from a warmer section of the house. Window box fans could be turned inward and placed within an open window, and then used at night to “suck in” as much cool night air as possible. That window could be closed during the day to keep the resulting cool air inside.

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