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Alternatives to Central AC

During a scorching summer, central air conditioning is a luxury.  It wasn’t until the 1970s that air conditioning found its way into most American homes.  Yet some of the historical and older homes built in southern California were constructed before a ductwork system was even a thought.  Efficient ventilation wasn’t the first thought when it came to constructing some homes. Installing a new central air system, depending on the architectural makeup of your home, can have a varying price.  If spending money is overwhelming you for an air conditioning system, you don’t have to sweat. There are perfectly efficient alternatives available for southern California homeowners who want to stay cool.   

Central air is basically a systematic way to cool an entire home or building by use of a compressor and distribution.  A central air system cools air at one specific location before it is actively sent to different rooms and locations through a system of ductwork and fans.  The compressor is the main gem for a central air system. Here are alternatives to central air:

Portable Air Conditioners 

The carry-on for cool comfort when August and September are burning at their worst.  Portable air conditioners are simple to use and can easily be transported from room to room.  They are easy to install and can work for properties, apartments or condos that need to cool off smaller areas.  These ac units will plug right into your electrical sockets, but you do need to have a window nearby. A tube is utilized and must be able to vent out the warm air and moisture produced by the unit so the cool air can circulate inside.  Not a bad option for if you want to boost your comfort in the bedroom, cool off an office, or a distant relative is staying in the less desired bedroom.

Window Unit Air Conditioner

 This alternative is more of a permanent solution.  The window air conditioner is usually installed in a more central location of smaller living spaces in a main window.  The best part about these units is that they don’t take up floor space. A window AC unit is easy on your wallet and saves you a ton of energy when it comes to paying your monthly power bill. Some of the models can be noisy, but if you don’t mind a consistent rumble or a little ambient noise in the background, you shouldn’t be too distracted.  While a window AC unit is convenient, it will not cool down your entire home, so if you have a bigger property you may need more than one. 

Mini Split Ductless Systems

 A mini-split ductless system is science being modest.  This unit operates with an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handler while controlled with a thermostat.  The system is small in size and very energy-efficient. This is an excellent option for an individual room, studio apartment or a solution to that room that just won’t get cool in the corner of an old house.  

Air Fans 

 Fans are fun and underrated.  A fan in the right area can be a complete game-changer when it comes to cooling your home.  Fans are inexpensive, unless you like custom shaped blades or art-decorated air circulation at which point you could just spend the money to purchase central air.  With fans, you can buy multiple types in different sizes depending on your needs. Fans are known to lower room temperature anywhere from 4 to 5 degrees. Air fans can also be installed in outdoor settings such as patios or pool areas to enhance air circulation.  Remember it’s extremely important to consistently clean your fan blades to avoid debris and dirt buildup. 

Whether you use an oscillating fan in the bedroom, a ceiling fan in the kitchen, or a stable fan in a smaller room, fans will only get you so far depending on the temperature.  While they do help, if the heat is too overbearing you are basically just swirling around hot air. The best part about fans is that they can be combined with any of the other alternatives listed above to increase the effectiveness of the other component.  A fan is like caffeine for cooling a room… it speeds up the process.  

Natural Air Circulation

You probably don’t want to hear about this one.  It almost seems too obvious, but there is always ingenuity and innovation using what you have.  If your property or home has windows on both sides with a hallway or wider area between, you can always open opposite windows of your home.  This will basically create a jet stream that will allow air to flow through one window and push air out through another. If the outside air cools in the evening, this is a great way to get the temperature down before the long night ahead. 

There’s no need for suffering without central air conditioning. We all know Los Angeles County and Orange County can bring on a sweltering roundhouse kick of heat during the summer months.  You can still get a good night’s sleep and stay fresh without having to pay those power bills running central air conditioning. 

And if you determine that you need some form of a permanent solution to get you through hot summer months and SoCal fall heat waves, we have multiple ac options (not just central air) and Whole-House fans that might be a fit for you.  Call us to schedule your consult or just to have your questions answered.