Some tips to save yourself an airconditioned life.


At first sight the airco (or the reversed heat pump) is a great thing. How nice and cool on the hot days! But realize, it starts to take over your life. You get a bit addictive in the first place; your definition of a hot day inflates bit by bit. It is also a bit less healthy then experiencing the daily variation of temperature. And, it hurts the wallet. You quickly use many kilowatthours a day.

And, you can keep your house pretty cool without an airco.

Here are some tips, mostly from the local people here in Latin America. Now when writing this, it is 35 degrees Celsius and it is pleasantly cool. So here some tips straight from the experts.

Insulated house? Keep the air cool

Is your house well insulated, then the heat will hardly go through the walls. So:

  • Open your windows a bit in the night, to let the cool air come in. Make sure you open a window as low and as high as possible in the house. Thus you create a chimney-effect and the warm air will quickly be replaced by the coolest early morning air.
  • In the morning you shut all doors and windows, like you do in the winter time, and no hot air comes into your house.
The original house in the tropics has only one wall and the insulation is nothing. But the coverage against the sun is great: roofs with large overhangs, and a lot of trees and plants. there are hatches before the windows if one can pay it.

Cover from the sun

  • Most important is to cover the windows. The summer sun can deliver 1 kW per every square meter of (double/triple) glass. Preferably cover the outside, but if you don’t have that, close the curtains. Thus, you stop the sunrays heating up the house.
  • Do as the tropical people do and plant a tree. It is long term, cheap service delivered by nature. the higher latitudes the better it works, because the sun angle is lower.
  • Or if you prefer to spend more money, then install sun covers over your windows.

Minimize concrete, maximize vegetation.

Concrete terraces heat up and stay heated. Vegetation on the other hand, regulates the heat, by a smart way of using the water in and on it, and by taking some energy from the sun to grow.  You create a cooler local climate around your house. So:

  • Lift tiles and plant trees and plants in the earth.
  • Put pots to the outside walls  and put plants in it.

Use a fan

Just the movement of the air along your skin, has a cooling impact.

With no wind, also outside on the fan works great

There are fans from 1 watt to 300 watt. The first is silent and great to put close to your head when you sit in a chair or behind a desk.  The latter can blow your wig from your head. Such a thing is enough to put in a big room or on a terrace or porch and move all the air there.


  • Buy yourself a fan, small or large, just the one that suits you for your purposes.
  • Still to hot? Put a bunch of ice cubes, or cool, icy water before the fan. Even a wet cloth can help, especially when the air inside is dry.
The difference between your place and mine is that so now and then a monkey comes nosing around and checks if everything is cool here ;-).