7 ways to stay cool without AC

Who says you need the air conditioner running all summer to keep cool? Here are seven ways to beat the heat

7 ways to stay cool without AC

Source: Best Health Magazine, Summer 2011

Your eco challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to turn off your air conditioner one day a week. It’s good for the environment, and you’ll save money. Don’t sweat it, instead, try some of these stay-cool tips.

"Wear light, breathable clothing, and avoid polyester," says Adam Scott, green energy program coordinator for Environmental Defence and coordinator of the Green Energy Act Alliance.

‘ Open your windows, and use a fan to circulate the hot air out of your home, says Scott. "People will often close windows on a hot day, but it’s better to get a breeze to blow through the house. It does work." Or install a cold-air return on your furnace, suggests Lindsay Coulter, spokesperson for the David Suzuki Foundation.

Cool your pillow in the freezer before bed, Coulter suggests. Also, sleep in the basement.

“Plant leafy, deciduous summer-shade trees near the windows of the east and west sides of your home,” says Coulter.

"Sleep naked," suggests Scott, and "take a quick cold shower just before bed."

Install white drapes and awnings, says Scott. "They won’t absorb the heat and will reflect it back out," he says. Coulter says window coverings can block 65 percent of the heat that comes through windows. You could also opt for light-coloured shingles on your roof.

For days when you need AC, set it to 25 degrees Celsius."It’s just as comfortable as 21 degrees Celsius," says Scott. If every Canadian household did this, imagine the impact on the Earth.

This article was originally titled "Turn off the AC!" in the Summer 2011 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!