LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Even if you have an air conditioner, reducing your need for it will save both energy and money. Here are five ways to keep cool without the A/C from Good Housekeeping.
1. Close your windows - It may seem counter-intuitive, but on hot summer days, opening the windows will often make your home warmer, not cooler. Also, put houseplants in front of sunny windows to absorb some of the sun's energy.
2. Use fans strategically - Make sure your ceiling fan is running in the right direction. In the summer, you should feel the breeze from your fan blowing down. And remember, ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, so turn it off when you leave the room.
3. Eat cold meals - Eating cold food helps keep your internal temperature lower on a hot day. Try a simple watermelon salad, for instance, or a cold soup. If you do cook, use the grill or the microwave, your oven and stove will only make your kitchen hotter.
4. Shut off the lights - Incandescent light bulbs can produce as much heat as they do light. Consider unplugging any electronic device that isn't needed. Even in standby mode, many electronics remain hot.
5. Install attic insulation - It can by keeping cooler air in your home from escaping through the ceiling. If you have central air, be sure to seal ducts - especially at vents and registers. If you don't, you could lose up to 20-percent of your cooled air.