Keeping cool during the summer can be hard if you don’t want to turn on the A/C. The truth is, if it’s not blistering hot outside (90+ degrees F), you shouldn’t even have to turn on the A/C! The secret lies all around us, it’s called moving air. As long as you have air moving through your WHOLE house, then it will stay cool.
The reason I said whole house is because a person will tend to open a window, put a fan in the room, and wonder why their house is still hot. You need airflow coming in and out of every floor of your house, including your attic. Heat rises, so the objective is to get your hot air out!
There are a few ways of doing this, well, that I know of. The first of these is your common attic fan. Two years ago, our roof was torn up by a microburst that hit our area. We needed our whole roof replaced because it was seriously trashed! My dad used to be a Heating, plumbing, and HVAC contractor before a career ending knee injury. Being the genius that he is, he had the roofing company put in about 3x more attic fans than were there before, and plenty of vents. These fans are wired up to a thermostat, that when the attic reaches 100 degrees F, they kick on and blow all of the hot air out and suck nice cool air into the house. Pretty smart, eh? It’s the middle of June and we still haven’t even put our A/C on yet, because our house has been nice and breezy all summer. If you ever get a chance putting extra attic fans and vents is a must in your house.
The other great way to keep your house cool is a whole house fan. It is a giant fan in the ceiling of the most central room in your house that sucks the air into the attic, and blows the air out of the attic. The reason this works is that when you start pushing all of the air from your house into the attic, you create a low-pressure zone in your living space. If you keep all of your windows open, fresh air will flow to the low-pressure zone, and presto, your house now has cool airflow.
If you really don’t have the know-how or funds to install either of the two listed above, I will let you in on a redneck knock off of this concept. All you need is a bunch of fans and some cardboard. What you want to do is find the hottest, upper most room in your house. Next, you would take your strongest fan and place it in the window, facing outside. Then, cut out some cardboard to put in the remaining space of the window, so air only passes through the fan. If there are multiple windows in that room, keep them closed. Then take all of the other rooms in your house and put fans in the windowsills pointing into the house. This will do the trick just fine, it’s all we could do one summer when our A/C broke, and I survived.
If you are still set in your ways, and you won’t part with your central air, I have the thing for you. The contraption you need is a dehumidifier. The thing that makes us feel hot is humidity, not necessarily the actual heat itself. What this does is takes the moisture out of the air, so it feels cooler. This way you can keep the thermostat up and your energy bill down.
If nothing else, at least try the redneck rigged air conditioning scheme. You never know, it may save you a few hundred bucks this summer.