You'll save money, obviously, if you turn off your air conditioning.
But there are other surprising reasons for going AC-free at home:
#1 You'll Spend More Time in Your Yard
Your patio or deck will be the coolest room, so you'll be out there, under the stars enjoying the occasional breeze...
Walking barefoot on the cool grass you've nurtured all spring and summer...
Plucking the occasional weed as you admire your home's curb appeal.
Sigh. Life is good.
#2 You Won't Yell at Your Kids, "Shut the Door..."
"... because I'm not paying to cool the whole neighborhood!" — thus avoiding the moment when you realize you sound exactly like your parents.
Your home, your rules. So let the door swing open.
#3 You'll Dine Al Fresco More Often
Your grill isn't yard art. A well-used grill is a sign of home well-lived-in.
Go ahead, live well.
#4 You'll Like What You Hear
When you're sitting outside and the HVAC kicks on, you won't have to pull out an ear trumpet. When you're inside, the HVAC drone won't be your life's soundtrack.
You'll open the windows seeking a breeze and hear the sounds of the world: wind in the trees, crickets chirping, distant sirens, people on the street, your neighbors laughing.
Sounds that reinforce a sense of community, of home.
#5 You'll Gain Some Romantic Bliss
Has there ever been a couple who could agree on an ideal indoor temperature? With the AC off, you can stop arguing over the thermostat setting and start, uh, gazing into one another's eyes or something.
Whatever people do when they don't have a thermostat to bicker about, you can do more of that... in the privacy of your own home.
#6 You CAN Find Better Ways to Stay Cool
You have the power.
- During the day, when you're not home, close the blinds. Thirty percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows. Curtains or blinds can save 7% on bills and lower the indoor temperature as much as 20%.
- Better yet: blackout curtains, like the ones in hotels. They block heat by as much as 33%.
- Moving air feels cool on your skin. Open one window, and air pretty much stands still; open windows on opposite sides of the house, and you'll create cross ventilation — some people like to call it a breeze. Get some fans going, and you'll wonder why you ever bothered with AC in the first place.
- Speaking of fans, make sure yours are going the right way. Counterclockwise ceiling fans push air down for a nice summer breeze.
- When you really need it, just click on a window AC unit in a bedroom or nursery at night.
- Another way to ease the work of cooling your home: Add some smart blind technology. When the sun moves to the other side of the sky, you can get different rooms cooling and others full of light.