Air conditioners are bad for the environment. Yet, using them has already become part of our lifestyle. Once the summer heat starts to show, we turn on our air conditioners to full blast. We are not willing to decrease our HVAC system’s consumption despite encouragement from the government to conserve energy. It is hard to imagine a summer without an air conditioner. We are used to it and cannot function well. We may find it hard to stay or sleep inside the room with a faulty air conditioning system. Workers would also surely complain if their cubicles are not properly ventilated.
Yet, despite the inconvenience and discomfort that we feel in the absence of an air conditioner, we cannot deny its harmful effects on our environment. We tend to ignore how CFCs/HFCs increase the ozone layer’s holes as the years go on. Air conditioners also require more energy use than other appliances, thus requiring more fossil fuels to operate. On a small scale, HVAC systems may become hiding places of bacteria, dust, and other toxic chemicals. It also uses metals and plastic, which are non-biodegradable and harmful to the environment when discarded.
We can still change our energy consumption and decrease our air conditioner usage. We can modify our lifestyle as we look for other alternatives for us to stay comfortable even without the use of air conditioners. Here are some of these ways.
Installing awnings near windows is a great way to prevent direct sunlight from entering inside the house. When installed in strategic places, awnings can significantly reduce the heat by up to 70 percent.
Families use awnings during gatherings on the terrace or balcony. ; Try using them, not just on these occasions. Use them during the summer and see the difference they can make to the ambient heat in your house. With less heat indoors, you can protect your furniture and make it last longer.
Apply special coating on your roof
Reflective coatings reflect sunlight that hits the roofing surface. They also have thermal emittance properties that deflect the heat and prevent it from getting absorbed. Reflective coatings can help you significantly decrease your energy bill as your cooling system does not need to work that much.
Surround your house with plants
Adding greenery will reduce the heat in your place. If you live in a private residence, you can always place these plants on the terrace to cool the surrounding area. Trees can also significantly reduce the heat. A study once said that three trees around your property would let you save up to $250 in energy costs every year.
Be aware of how long you have opened your windows
You don’t need to open your windows the whole time in the middle of summer. Opening them will cause more heat to enter. Try opening only the bottom part instead of allowing the air to pass underneath while limiting the amount of heat.
Windows are also important places that you should pay attention to during winter. Consider hiring a professional to seal them. Besides closing windows, consider preparing your house for alternative energy sources used to power HVAC systems. Alternatives such as the infrared comfort gas heater are a great choice to keep the family warm the whole time.
Consider changing your habits
- Making personal adjustments in your routine can also make a difference. Instead of putting on the air conditioner in full blast, consider these habits to cool you down naturally.
- Taking a cold shower is one immediate solution to lower body heat and enjoy its cooling effects later on.
- Consider using a peppermint body wash or infused soap to make you feel refreshed and invigorated naturally. This refreshing body wash is perfect for showers after a sweaty activity.
- Using cooling beauty products can also guarantee to cool you down. There are cooling waters, cooling gels that you can apply to your face when necessary.
- Indulge in some vegan ice cream. Are you worried about getting the calories after eating dairy-based products? Try this vegan dessert without the guilt that comes after.
Changing weather patterns can be cumbersome at times. We want to relieve ourselves from the heat or intense cold around us. However, let us not forget to be more sensitive about how our ways are affecting the environment.
We can always try environment-friendly alternatives and decrease our energy consumption. Consider using alternative sources of energy. Add greenery to your house. Change your habits to make yourself more comfortable. With creativity and dedication, we can show our love for the environment in small but meaningful ways.