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8 Ways To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/13/10 09:32 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:00 PM ET

From The Daily Green's Senior Editor Dan Shapley:

With much of the U.S. experiencing a summer heat wave, everyone's thinking about cooling off. While the modern office, and 84% of U.S. homes use air conditioners, we can all save money by using them less; after all, the typical U.S. home spends 17% of its annual energy bill on cooling - about $375.

We can all save energy, too, which on the hottest summer days can have an immediate payoff: avoiding an electricity blackout caused by an overloaded power grid. Here are eight trustworthy tips for cooling your home (and yourself) without the use of the air conditioner - or at least without as much use of the air conditioner.

See The Daily Green's 8 Ways to Keep Cool Without AC as a single page.

1. Close your windows
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It may seem counterintuitive, but opening the windows will often make your home warmer, not cooler. Open your windows at night if the air outside is cooler than inside, and close them – along with blinds and shades – before the sun hits your house in the morning. This will allow cool night air to circulate, and prevent a good deal of the sun's heat from reaching indoors. You may also put houseplants – particularly larger potted trees – in front of sunny windows to absorb some of the sun's energy.

Check out the smartest (and strangest) green homes.
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Republished with permission of Hearst Communications.