Most of our friends in southern more tropical climates rely on air conditioning to keep cool in the summer, and if you’ve ever visited in the warmer months you really can’t blame them. But for many others who live in cooler northern areas, air conditioning seems to be less of a necessity.

Today approximately three-quarters of all homes have some form of air conditioning. Studies show that most people who have air conditioning will run it even when conditions outdoors don’t require it. With heating and cooling consuming about 40% of household energy, rethinking air conditioning is a consideration worth exploring.

Many households without mechanical air conditioning rely on age-old methods of keeping cool. One essential component is very good exterior wall and ceiling insulation in your home. Cycling air from naturally cool areas, such as the basement, can act as a natural cooler. Using ceiling fans to permit cooler air to replace warmer air in the evenings can also help to keep families cool. Higher ceilings and the ability to deflect solar heat from windows in the summer with shades or awnings and overhangs can also help. House orientation to take advantage of prevailing breezes can circulate summer air for a more pleasant effect.  Some homeowners opt for an ancient means of cooling, with an indoor fountain featuring water running over stones or masonry to cool and add a soothing effect to a room.

If nothing else, opting for a natural approach to cooling in warmer months can certainly save money!