There are many alternatives to air conditioning which can be used to keep your employees or guests comfortable while potentially reducing your energy expenses. Some of the suggestions are easy to implement with no upfront costs, while others may be viewed as more of a long-term investment. If you’re looking to cut costs or just give your AC a break this summer, check out our recommendations below!
Evaporative coolers: Evaporative coolers work by using water to cool the air. They are a good option for dry climates, but their effectiveness can be limited in humid environments.
Fans: By circulating the air and creating a breeze, fans can aid in both heat transfer and evaporative cooling. They’re effective in both dry and humid settings and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from personal desk fans to massive 24-ft (7.3-m) overhead fans for manufacturing and distribution facilities. Plus, they cost just pennies-per-hour to operate.
Window Units: OK, so this isn’t exactly an alternative to air conditioning, but decentralized cooling can be a solution for smaller spaces. These units will run at a small fraction of the cost of a central AC system.
Natural Ventilation: Along with ceiling fans, opening windows and dock doors can allow for passive breezes to pass through your building. It’s free and effective, but this only works in mild climates.
Plants: Yes, you read that right. Our earthy allies will absorb heat and release moisture to keep spaces cooler. Plus, there’s just something about a ficus that makes an office feel more inviting.
Insulation: While adding insulation to a building isn’t typically a quick or inexpensive solution, it can keep heat out in the summer (and in during the winter). This can certainly pay for itself over time, too.
The best alternative cooling solution for your business will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, comfort requirements, climate and size of space. Talk to an energy analyst or your friendly ENA Solution representative and get started with some AC enhancers ASAP!