Until the last couple of decades, most people in the U.S. did not have air conditioning in their homes. We have come to regard refrigerant-based air conditioning as in indispensable technology, and have forgotten other simpler and cheaper ways to beat the heat. A recent article in Mother Earth News recommends doing things like

  • moisture based cooling: Water will cool you off faster than air. Effective methods are evaporative coolers, placing ice in front of a fan, or wetting a cloth hung by a windo.
  • ventalation: A warm home with plenty of airflow from fans and open windows can be more pleasant than one that’s sealed up and air-conditioned. At night use window fans to flush the warm air out. During the day use ceiling fans or tabletop fans.
  • vegetation: Vegetation has a cooling effect. Consider planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your house to block sunlight in the summer and let it through in the winter.
  • reduce heat generation: The less heat you generate inside your home, the easier it will be to cool off. All energy-consuming appliances and devices produce heat.

You can read the full article at motherearthnews.com.