Green Living

Cool Your Home Naturally

16 ways to use your air conditioner less (or not at all).
Cool Your Home Naturally
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Encourage airflow
Increase your breeze. Open downstairs windows on the side where a breeze is coming in and upstairs windows on the opposite side to create an effect called "thermosiphoning." "Your house naturally acts like a chimney—cooler air comes in at the bottom and warm air leaves at the top," says Scheckel. If there's no breeze, create one with window fans.

Use a ceiling fan. Because it circulates air over warm skin, a ceiling fan can extend your comfort range by up to 10 degrees. Run the fan counterclockwise so it blows air down. "But turn it off when you leave the room—ceiling fans cool people, not rooms," Ackerly advises.