7 eco-friendly alternatives to air conditioning

By

Greener

·

January 12, 2023

Keep cool and carry on without the climate price-tag.

Let me guess. It’s the middle of summer, your house is a hot box and someone’s just eaten the last Frosty Fruit. You’re hesitant to switch on the AC because you know they’re a massive contributor to global warming, and it’s too ironic and expensive to bear. Or you simply don’t have one.Whatever your situation, I’m glad you’re here.Air conditioners and electric fans account for nearly 20% of the total electricity used in buildings around the world today1. While providing some temporary (often ineffective) relief, they put a huge strain on the planet, as well as our bank accounts.Thankfully, while we wait for policy makers to improve the cooling systems that are currently available, there are some environmentally friendlier ways to beat the heat this summer.Please enjoy the following list of refreshing AC alternatives.

Hello darkness your old friend

Light has energy and will warm up any object that absorbs it2, including you, not that we’re calling you an object. Close your blinds and leave the lights off from first thing in the morning, turning your home into a cooler cave throughout the day.

Ice ice baby


Your trusty old hot water bottle can come in handy in the warmer months. Simply fill it, pop it in the freezer, wrap it in a towel and snuggle up with your new ice baby. GIve it a name and take it to brunch. Give people something to talk about.


Cold showers

As well as bringing your body temperature down, cold showers have been said to increase blood circulation, mental clarity and even improve your immune system3. If replacing a hot shower, they’ll also reduce your carbon footprint. Brrrrrilliant.


Shut it down


Close your windows and doors during the day, keeping the hot air out and cool air in. Increasing the air-tightness of your home is one of the simplest ways to stay cool and bring down those energy bills4.


Open up


Once the worst of the day’s heat is over, fling everything open to let air travel through, ideally from one end of your building to the other5. Adjust ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise, which helps to move hot air out instead of just spinning it around the room6.


Hydrate



Keep calm and carry on drinking lots and lots of water. It’s also not a bad idea to limit caffeinated beverages on a hot day, as these have a tendency to increase blood pressure and consequently, body temperature7.


Cook outside, or not at all


Make use of the electric BBQ at your local park and enjoy an alfresco meal, while limiting the amount of heat generated by your stove and oven. Or better yet, don’t cook! Browse Greener brands for some great no-cook meal ideas, and fight climate change while you’re at it.

Sources:

1. Does Light Energy Produce Heat?

2. Are Cold Showers Good for You?

3. Ventilation and airtightness

4. Caffeine Q & A

5. Fan blade geometry (top and lateral view) and counterclockwise rotational direction

6. Caffeine Q & A