The magazine Scientific American recently answered a reader's question about how to turn down the heat without turning on your air conditioner, and I thought it was definitely information worth sharing. You can read the whole article here, but I've summarized most of the major points below.
- The key to keeping cool is maintaining air flow over the skin's surface (also known as a breeze). Thus, "Instead of turning on that AC, see which direction the breeze is blowing outside (no matter how minimal it may be), and then open a few windows strategically to try to get it flowing through the house from end-to-end or side-to-side."
- Use fans if the breeze isn't doing the job.
- Even better, create a wind tunnel effect by positioning one fan near a window, to pull air in, and another by the other end of your house to suck hot air out.
- If your house gets a lot of sunlight, keep the curtains and/or blinds closed to cut down on the heat gain that can happen with sunlight beating down on your interior space.
- Turn off lights, too! While CFLs give off much less heat than incandescent bulbs, they still produce some heat.