Imagine spending another miserably hot summer inside your own home without air conditioning? Lots of homeowners shy away from cooling systems as they tend to jack up energy bills and although AC is the most common way Americans tend to keep cool, there are several alternatives to consider.
Whether you want something more budget-friendly or need to get by until you can have your HVAC repaired, here are five air conditioning alternatives along with the pros and cons of each.
1 – Portable Air Conditioners
These units are often on wheels and can be moved from room to room. They have an exhaust tube that vents hot air through a window and back outside.
- More affordable to purchase than a new central AC unit.
- Easy to install and adjust.
- Heavy electricity use, so they’re expensive to run all day and night.
- Not all models are ENERGY STAR-certified.
- Typically cost at least $300, so it will be expensive to buy one for each room in the house.
2 – Whole-house Fan
Whole-house fans draw cool air from the outdoors and vent hot air through the attic and vents. Whole-house fans can be good substitutes for air conditioners, especially when they’re combined with ceiling fans.
- Use up to 90-percent less energy than central AC
- Relatively easy to install
- Unable to adjust temperature; whole-house fans can’t go any lower than the outdoor temperature.
- Do not filter air or dehumidify.
- Require attic space and can be noisy
3 – Ceiling Fans
These are a staple in most homes, and they can be adjusted to perform better. Turning your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise can create a funnel that draws hot air out of the room and pushes cool air toward the ground.
- Can lower a room’s temperature by five degrees.
- Cost less than AC to run constantly.
- Can also be installed outdoors on decks and patios.
- Do not produce cool air, only a breeze.
- Require regular cleaning and maintenance to protect fan motor and reduce dust and dirt exposure.
4 – Ductless or Mini-Split Air Conditioner
You may not be able to install the ductwork necessary for central AC, so a mini-split system can be a great substitute. These systems feature outside units and can be used to control the temperature in individual rooms.
- Greater temperature control than central AC.
- Do not require expensive ductwork installation or maintenance.
- Can be expensive to install in every room; ductless units generally range between $1700 to $7000 per unit.
- Can cost twice as much as central units if multiple units are used throughout an entire house.
- Require monthly cleanings.
5 – Air Cooling Fan
A fan is definitely the most affordable alternative to air conditioning, and there are a variety of designs and models to choose from.
- Portable and affordable.
- Come in a variety of sizes for comfort and convenience.
- Easy to use – just plug into the wall.
- Can quickly become dirty and must be disassembled to clean motor and blades.
- Cannot cool air unless model features a mister or exhaust vent.
- Wear out quickly with heavy use.
Find Your Perfect Air Conditioning Solution
Contact us at GEN3 Electric & HVAC today to learn more about summer cooling and air conditioning alternatives. Our technicians can assess your home and recommend the right cooling choice for you as well as assist with any installation and maintenance.