8 Ways to Cool Your Office Naturally This Summer
Summer is right around the corner with the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere starting on June 21st. June Solstice means longer days and more sunshine! As temperatures continue to rise we can still stay “green” and cool. Passive cooling is a term used to describe non-mechanical methods to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Since we spend a great amount of time in our office, it’s particularly important to explore options that are easy to do and beneficial to you.
The findings indicate that people actually prefer being in places where the temperature fluctuates, as long as they have some control over it. So if you have the ability to open or close a window, turn a fan on or off, change the blinds, modify your clothing—it just becomes a natural part of your day-to-day living. We not only accept—we actually prefer—a wider range of conditions that float with the natural rhythms of the outdoor climate.
Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat in your office naturally this summer:
1. Keep Your Blinds Closed.
As simple as this tip may seem, 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save you up to 7 percent on bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. In other words, closing the blinds essentially prevents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse, which is especially the case with south- and west-facing windows.
2. Invest in Blackout Curtains.
Blackout curtains block sunlight, naturally insulating the rooms in which they’re installed. Consumer Reports recommends neutral-colored curtains with white plastic backings to reduce heat gain by up to 33 percent.
3. Be Smart About Your Doors.
Closing off unused rooms will prevent cool air from permeating these areas during the hottest part of the day. You’ll want to capitalize on the cooler night hours, too, letting air flow naturally through your home.
4. Hack a Fan Instead of Turning on the A.C.
Not even an air conditioner can give off a faux sea breeze, but this simple trick can. Fill a mixing bowl with ice (or something equally cold, like an ice pack), and position it at an angle in front of a large fan so the air whips off the ice in an extra-chilled, extra-misty state. Trust us: It’s magic.
6. Set Your Ceiling Fans to Rotate Counter-Clockwise.
You may not realize that your ceiling fan needs to be adjusted seasonally. Set to run counter-clockwise in the summer at a higher speed, the fan’s airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect that will make you and your guests feel cooler.
7. Focus on the Temperature in Your Body, Not the Office.
If your ancestors survived without air conditioning, so can you. From sipping tasty iced drinks to applying a cold cloth to strong-pulsed areas like your neck and wrists, cooling yourself from the inside out is not a bad idea. Other tricks include being smart about your clothing choices and telling your partner you won’t be cuddling until the leaves start changing color. Also try keeping a bowl of cool water by your bed and dipping your feet if you feel warm in the middle of the night.
8. Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs.
If you ever needed motivation to make the switch to CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, this is it. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bills.
By decreasing, better yet, eliminating, cooling systems and following these “green” tips you’ll be on your way to not only saving on energy costs but also doing the planet a huge favor in the process!