Staying cool while inside the house is a must in hot weather or heat waves of the summer. However there are problems with the energy demand and the cost of keeping a home cool. Not everyone can afford an air conditioner or want to spend so much money on energy bills to keep themselves cool. Therefore other alternatives for more cost-effective home cooling systems may be a better choice.
Making the old system better
While a more cost-effective and efficient home cooling system is best, not everyone has or wants to spend the money to obtain it. Therefore improving the existing cooling system could be a better alternative. Getting proper maintenance and regular replacement of filters is a must. Properly sealing ducts and making sure that a house is completely sealed (doors and other gaps that let in large amounts of outside air). Adjusting the thermostat to a different temperature like 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and even purchasing a programmable thermostat are also useful methods of making the current system as good as it can be.
While fans and ceiling fans are an excellent way to stay cool and much cheaper than air condition, they only work for a given room. Fan systems however are a cost-effective way to cool an entire house. The systems usually consist of placement of a large fan in the attic or fans in windows of the top floor. The fans will pull warm air out of the house and push it into the outside while also pulling in cooler air from outside. Though not as effective as air conditioning, these fans use much less energy and are less expensive.
This type of home cooling system is only viable in area with relatively low humidity. Evaporative coolers pull in outside air and run it across water saturated pads. The water is evaporated and effectively cools down the air by as between 15 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool air is circulated into the home and will push out the warmer air. These coolers are about half as expensive as air conditions to install and typically use a quarter of the energy. With this system it is important to have some windows in the house slightly open so the hot air is properly pushed out.
Heat pumps are an efficient method of heating and cooling in moderate climate. The principal behind heat pumps is that they move heat and not generate it. Heat is pumped outside the warm house outside and from the outside into the cool house. The efficiency of this system does drop the colder the temperature gets outside but there are ways to overcome this. Some systems are a hybrid system that uses normal house system in conjunction with a heat pump to help heat during the winter months.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems are on the rise and are very efficient. These systems are very similar to heat pumps except they use the ground to help heat the home. While temperatures on the surface can vary greatly, about six feet under the ground the temperature remains relatively constant all throughout the year as between 45-70 degrees Fahrenheit. By pumping air water into or through pipes in the ground, a heat exchange is created and the air can be cooled by the cooler temperatures in the soil during the summer or warmed by the warmer temperatures of the soil in the winter.
Reduce heat sources
Sometimes the best method of ensuring that your home cooling system is effective is to reduce the ways that a house can get heated up. No system can be completely efficient or cost-effective is the home has sources that are heating up the home besides just the outside temperature. Sunlight entering the house will heat up whatever room it enters into. This however can be avoided with the use of energy efficient window treatments (shades and blinds) as well as through planting trees outside of the house that shade the windows and even parts of the house. Even something as simple as using light materials for siding and even roofing can make an impact on the amount of heat that diffuses into the home and can help out the home cooling system.