Let’s face it; no one wants to be hot during the summer. While the sun is welcome – as are the longer days and the fresh air – the heat makes it difficult to sleep. It is nice to be able to seek comfort inside a cool home.

Yet air conditioning can be expensive and environmentally unfriendly. The good news is that with a little planning and forethought, these eco-friendly air conditioning alternatives can make this summer bearable.

Passive Solar
During the winter months there’s nothing quite as effective at warming a house as the sun. Open the curtains and let the sun heat your home. This is particularly effective if you have a south facing home with an abundance of windows. The opposite happens in the summer time, however. Leave those curtains open and it can quickly get as hot as an oven in your home. So you take the opposite approach.

Close all south facing curtains and protect windows with thermal backed window treatments. They’ll keep the heat in during the winter and keep it out during the summer. Passive heating and cooling also embraces the concept of an energy audit, and sealing up all heating and cooling leaks with insulation improvements. Identify where you’re losing energy so you can keep the cool air inside your home.

Geothermal systems use the earth’s temperature to regulate the temperature inside your home. During the winter it will pump hot water, heated by the earth, into your home’s heating system. To cool your home it does the opposite. The water is pumped into the earth where the heat is absorbed. Geothermal systems can be expensive to install. However they’re incredibly efficient and you’ll get a return on your investment in approximately five years.

Solar-Powered AC
What makes more sense than an actual air conditioning unit that is powered by the sun? It gets energy when you need it the most. It’s a simple air conditioning unit that is manufactured with solar panels. Additionally, in many cases you can convert your existing air conditioning unit with solar panels. While the solar panels themselves can cost a bit, if you don’t have to buy or install a new system it’s a real money saver and you’ll save on your air conditioning utility bill.

Other options include swamp coolers and ice cooling, as well as the good old fashioned window opening technique. Create a cross draft during the cool hours of the morning and then seal up the house to keep the cool air inside. Cool your home this summer with eco-friendly air conditioning ideas.

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