Look for alternative ways beyond air conditioning to keep your house cool in the summer with Jill Cordes. (Courtesy: Brighter Living)



Conventional air conditioning uses a lot of energy, producing greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming. So here are some alternative ways to beat the heat, help the environment, and save you money. Start by limiting the amount of direct sun coming through windows, especially on the east and west sides of your home. To create shade, try planting trees, or use a solar screen designed to fit each window. Curtains and drapes can help on the inside, but it’s best to limit direct sunlight before it reaches the glass. In the mornings and evenings when the temperature outside is cooler, use a box fan in the window to help bring in the cooler outside air. Opening windows will also allow for cross ventilation by creating a comfortable air flow. Fans use 90% less electricity than A/C . So rather than cooling down the whole house, use portable fans in areas where you spend the most time. Also, look for Energy Star rated ceiling fan/light combo units. They save 15 to 20 bucks on your utility bill per year and can make your room feel 7 to 10 degrees cooler. I’m Jill Cordes.


BRIGHTER LIVING: Stay cool and save
Brighter Living with Jill Cordes: This summer, keep the house cool with these tips.