August 15th, 2020
Human beings existed without air conditioning for thousands of years before its invention by Willis Carrier in 1902. But now, when the mercury climbs, surviving without it seems inconceivable. In towns like West Windsor and Princeton, NJ, air conditioning is a necessity for most people. After all, we’re not just talking about a little discomfort – the human body can only tolerate so much heat before going haywire. Exposure to high temperatures causes heat illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Heatstroke requires emergency medical attention and can result in death if left untreated.
Here are some ways you can keep cool without air conditioning (like in the olden days), or if you’re faced with a broken-down unit in the middle of a heatwave.
Turn on a ceiling fan or electric fan.Air movement dries sweat and cools the body. A fan will only help you stay cool, though, if you’re moving cool air. You can try to place a bowl of cold water or ice in front of a box fan. It will absorb heat when evaporating and cool the air being blown.
Run kitchen and bath exhaust fans.These mechanisms will draw out hot air from your kitchen and bathrooms. This will also remove moisture from your home that would otherwise make you feel hotter and prevent your body from cooling down.
Plant deciduous trees.Trees planted outside the windows that receive the most sunlight during the hottest part of the day will block the sun’s rays while also lowering the temperature through transpiration (evaporating water through plant leaves). This will help reduce the amount of cooling your AC has to do.
Deciduous trees offer the added benefit of keeping your house warm during the winter. When they lose their leaves, it allows solar heat to reach the windows and help warm the house. Evergreens also block the sun during the summer, but the only advantage they offer during the winter is blocking some wind from bringing cold air into the home.
Open your windows.Opening windows on opposite ends of your house encourages airflow. This works best if the air inside your house is hotter than outside. Opening windows on one side of the room is not as effective because it doesn’t allow air to move freely. If you must, use a fan to remove hot air from the room, or to pull in cooler air from outside.
Leave windows open at night to cool your house then close them during the day to keep hot air out. Close your blinds when the sun is out. You don’t want to undo your efforts by letting the sun warm the interior air.
If, after your best efforts to cool down, you’re still baking, then turn on your AC. Upgrading to a more efficient unit will keep your running costs down. If you’ve gotten this far without an AC system in the Mercer County, NJ area, it doesn’t mean you have to keep suffering. Give us a call today and we’ll find the right solution for you and your overheating family!
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