Without a doubt, air conditioning has allowed people across the globe some much-needed relief from the heat. With it, we’re able to live in hotter regions comfortably, can enjoy full-length movies at the theater during hot summer nights, and are able to drive to and from work without having to pack a daily change of clothing. Modern cooling conveniences may have put AC alternatives at the back of our minds, but it wasn’t too long ago that our ancestors had to rely on natural methods to keep cool.
Air conditioning became popular in the 1950’s after World War II. Many of our parents and grandparents can reminisce over the times they spent rolling down the windows and taking night time drives to cool off before bedtime. While our kin may not have had the conveniences we have today, they might have been on to something. AC alternatives aren’t just nostalgic– they’re good for the environment. Let’s take a look at some of the hidden costs behind using– and abusing– air conditioning, and some throwback tips to help us all chillout.
The Hidden Costs Behind Air Conditioning
Modern conveniences aside, the most notable cost behind air conditioning is the impact that it can have on the environment. When we crank up the air conditioning before leaving our homes for the day, we’re running the risk of abusing a privilege that our ancestors didn’t have the chance to use. Like anything else we plug into our wall outlets, our air conditioners are no exception: they draw a lot of power and thereby can have a significant impact on the carbon footprint that we each contribute to the environment.
Combine this with the output of emissions from every home, school, and commercial building in each of our towns, and the collective carbon footprint that we emit as a society is pretty high. According to Salon magazine, up until 2016 electricity was the largest contributor to pollution across the United States. We’re happy to report that this same article states that our total carbon emissions have dropped 1.7 percent over the past year, which is something we can all get excited about.
The final cost is one that is oftentimes forgotten about in conversations about energy consumption: the impact of carbon emissions on our health. While we aren’t trying to assert that air conditioning is inherently bad for us, increased amounts of carbon output in our environments can have a negative impact on our overall physical well-being. Research indicates that conditions such as arthritis and sinus problems can become worse when exposed to artificial cooling. With most things, moderation is key. You may find that your body is telling you to turn off the air conditioner in favor of ac alternatives on warm or temperate days.
AC Alternatives to Keep You Cool as A Cucumber
AC alternatives can help us to stay healthy, live green, and stay cool. Here are a few suggestions that each of us can practice to help drive down our overall use of air conditioning:
- Use fans – Don’t ignore the fan in favor of the air conditioner! Fans circulate air, which is great for cooling the home. Use them creatively to create a breeze in a room. And if you absolutely must turn on the air conditioner, fans can take some of the load off the AC.
- Open windows – You want to keep cool air in your home and warm air out. Opening the windows during the heat of the day might not do much to help, but you can use your windows strategically. Open them at night to allow cool air to come into your home, then close them in the morning to keep that hot air out!
- Use cooler appliances – Using appliances that heat up inside your house is a guaranteed way to trap warm air inside! Try grilling outside or using a crockpot rather than using the stove or oven.
- Cool from the inside out – During a hot summer day, it’s easy to blame your misery on outside forces, but you can combat the heat from inside your body. Stay hydrated with lots of water. Want to make cooling down more fun? Summer is the perfect time for popsicles!
- Hydronic Cooling – Instead of cooling the air in your home, this type of cooling system cools surfaces such as walls and floors. It works by running cool water through pipes in your home. Hydronics require less energy than air conditioners, and the effects are long-lasting.
AC alternatives is only one of the many ways each of us can pitch in to conserve the environment. Are you are looking for other ways to save energy and help the planet? Schedule a home energy assessment with Energy Monster. We’ll help you address areas of energy inefficiency in your home, including efficient ductless mini splits, so you can start saving energy and save money right away!
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