Most conventional central air conditioning systems use both complex chemical and mechanical processes to cool almost every room in a home. If you only need to bring down the temperature in a single room, it is not feasible to use the exact same principles used by a central A/C. In addition, cooling that requires electricity as a power source is impossible where households experience a prolonged power outage or natural disaster, such as after an earthquake. Alternatives to a conventional A/C system include both powered and nonpowered methods, and you can decide which options are within your personal capabilities.
Close the curtains, blinds and shades in the room when the sun is at its highest, to block out thermal energy. This period may range from the morning to the late afternoon hours. A window shade or thick curtain may completely block out the natural sunlight. Consider changing to blinds that may allow some sunlight to beam through each overlapping slat so that you do not have to turn on hot incandescent lights that also contribute to heat buildup.
Allow cold air to seep through the open window into the room at night, then close the window when the daytime temperature rises. Most homes have adequate insulation to keep cool air inside, including the panes of some windows. Some areas of the country, such as California, have dry and cool nights during the summertime.
Reverse the ceiling fan’s blade rotation in your room for summer weather, if you forgot to switch it back from the winter setting. Many modern ceiling fans have a switch on the housing assembly that allows owners to change the direction to push air down or pull it upward. For summer weather, you want the blades to turn in a counterclockwise direction, pushing a fast, cooling breeze down into the room, past your body’s skin.
Invest in a fan to help circulate air in the room. For example, some small appliance manufacturers indicate that box fans can fit inside an open household window to help forcefully circulate air in and out of a room. Use an oscillating tabletop fan to help move stale and stagnant warm air around in the room.
Turn off or reduce the use of heat-generating appliances in the room. For example, both desktop computers and television sets emit heat. Switch from a conventional cathode ray tube TV or monitor to a flat-screen, LCD display that uses less electricity and emits less heat energy.
Things You Will Need
- Blinds (optional)
- Flat-screen TV (optional)
- Indoor thermometer (optional)
- Medical thermometer (optional)
Consult with local landscapers or tree planters to learn about options for naturally shading a room from outside sunlight using trees. These professionals are also knowledgeable about local laws as well as how to prevent trees from falling on your home during an earthquake or high-wind weather event.
Obtain a dehumidifier to help remove moisture from the room.
Obtain a swamp cooler, if you live in a dry environment. These appliances emit moisture into the room’s dry air, offering cooling effects.
Avoid heat-illness by actively monitoring the temperature of the room and your body, when using alternative cooling methods. If nothing works, leave a hot and sweltering room and house, for a cooler location, such as the mall or public library. Always consult with your landlord, housing association or any other local entity that has authority when you change aspects of your home. For example, improper use of a swamp cooler can cause a buildup of mildew in a room due to extreme humidity levels. Some leasing agreements forbid mold and mildew buildup and hold tenants responsible.