Air conditioners are a popular option that can be found in a variety of settings including homes, business places, and various types of vehicles. But are they the best options for cooling your personal space? The truth is that there are several disadvantages of AC units that might prompt you to switch.
There are several safe air conditioner alternatives to use in your home. In this article, you’ll find information about how AC units can affect your daily life and what you can use instead.
Best portable cooling devices
The Negative Side of ACs for Health
Before we get into the air conditioner alternatives, let’s look into how not using ACs is better for health. Then we will look into the best alternatives among non-central air conditioning units that are just as effective and come at a fraction of the cost.
- Aggravation of respiratory problems and asthma. Without regular cleaning and maintenance, your AC unit will have a buildup of pollen, dust, and also bacteria within its air filters. Having these in a filter can cause a significant threatening factor for asthma and other infections that affect the respiratory tract.
- Sinus congestion. The build-up of pollen, bacteria, and dust can also affect the sinus cavities and cause congestion and even drainage. If you notice yourself becoming congested shortly after entering a room that has an AC running, the AC may be the culprit of the problem.
- Frequent colds. These are caused by viruses that thrive when the temperature drops. You might also find that your immune system is affected by the sharp drops in temperature between the outside heat and inside cold caused by the AC. In addition to that, the blood vessels in your nose and throat constrict when the temperature drops. This causes the reduction of white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting a virus, which, in turn, makes you more susceptible to getting a cold.
- Heat intolerance. Spending long periods of time with an AC unit switched on can cause heat intolerance when you go outside. It has different symptoms, from the feeling of being overheated to heavy sweating.
- Dry air. Spending a long time in an air-conditioned room can dry out your skin and make it sensitive. This AC side effect can also dry out your mucus membranes and make breathing uncomfortable. Dehydration caused by this can lead to a feeling of fatigue for many people.
- Noise pollution. Its constant humming leads to increased noise pollution and a worse night’s sleep. This is especially true of older AC units, window AC, and portable units.
- Possible risks of refrigerant leaks. When AC units are not properly maintained, this can lead to leaking of refrigerant. The issue with that is that refrigerants don’t have a smell, and you won’t know if you’re getting poisoning.
- Sick Building Syndrome. This term is used to describe acute health symptoms that people experience while living in the same building. The symptoms are only experienced while persons are in the building, and no specific illness can be identified/diagnosed. The most commonly cited cause of sick building syndrome is poor ventilation.
In addition to all of the above, the constant use of air conditioning at home or work can also lead to headaches and fevers. A traditional AC unit is not the healthiest option for cooling your environment, especially in periods when respiratory problems are spreading rampantly.
What do you do when you want to effectively cool your space but want to do it in the safest possible way? Let’s dive right into healthy air conditioner alternatives for rooms you can use instead.
What to Use Instead of a Cooler: Healthier Air Cooling Options for Home
Fans are very popular, and they have been around longer than any other kind of cooling unit. However, fans don’t effectively decrease the temperature in a space. What they do is move the air around and thereby create a breeze. Nevertheless, they are healthy AC units.
You will find several different types of fans available. These include box fans, desktop fans, pedestal fans, stand fans, and tower fans. You can even find smaller personal options that work on batteries or can be connected to your phone, though user reviews rarely show a positive response.
Benefits of electric fans
- Cheap. They can be easily sourced, as they come at really cheap prices. You can practically pick one up without any pre-planning or budgeting necessary on your part.
- Safer than AC units. Due to the fact that these do not use refrigerant gas, there is no risk of leaks. They do not cool the air, so there is no drastic drop in temperature to lead to respiratory tract infections.
- Compact. Most fan designs allow for space-saving capabilities so they can easily be added to almost any room. They tend to be made small so they won’t take up too much real estate and can be moved around easily.
Drawbacks of electric fans
- They don’t cool the air. Fans do not cool the air around you. Instead, they simply move the air around. As such, they are not very helpful in really hot temperatures.
- Dry out the air and your body. Fans are similar to AC units by the way they dry out the air and your body. This, in turn, wreaks havoc on your skin and mucus membranes.
- Require frequent cleaning. To keep your fan in the cleanest possible state, you have to clean it frequently. This will ensure that it is free of dust and debris that can irritate the respiratory system.
- They are noisy. Fans can be very noisy during operation. As such, they are not conducive to relaxing or sleeping.
Read also: What’s the Best Fan for Sleeping?
Swamp coolers cool the air by evaporating water. Air is drawn through wet pads before being released into the surroundings to cool down the temperature. By way of how they work, they humidify the surrounding air.
You can find swamp coolers of different sizes, from those that are smaller personal coolers to those that can cool a space up to 400 square feet in size.
Benefits of swamp coolers
- They are effective. These types of units are very effective in reducing the temperature safely. They use water evaporation along with artificially made wind as an effective way of cooling down the air.
- Safe. A swamp cooler doesn't use any potentially dangerous substances to cool the air like their AC unit counterparts.
- Easy to clean. Not a lot of moving parts, so not much cleaning and maintenance is necessary.
- Quiet. These coolers operate very quietly and won’t disturb your night’s sleep.
- Affordable. These are a lot more affordable than AC units while having the ability to effectively cool your space better than a fan.
- They humidify the air. This is great for those who not only are fighting the heat but who also have to combat dry air.
- Not for humid climates. Not the best option for highly humid places since these coolers add moisture to the air.
Read also: Swamp Cooler Guide: Buying Tips and Examples
Window Air Conditioners
Compared to an indoor central air conditioner, window AC alternatives cool a single room space only. However, problems appear if you decide to cool several rooms. Then, you’ll automatically need several window air conditioners.
At the same time, if you have a small room, the advantages of this space cooler will serve you well.
Benefits of window air conditioners
- Fast cooling. AC window units are non-central air hubs, cooling a particular room space instead.
- Affordable. Window air conditioners are affordable and can be found in places like Home Depot.
- Popular. There are numerous cost-effective options to choose from.
- Portable. A window unit won’t occupy the floor space.
- Energy-efficient, compared to portable air conditioners.
- Needs proper installation. They should be able to release exhaust outside. Otherwise, they won’t cool properly. Also, a window air conditioner should fit the window size in your room, not being either too small or too large.
- Unattractive. They don’t look cool on the walls of the buildings. In addition, an air conditioner occupies some view and natural light coming from your window.
Whole House Attic Fans
As a simplified version of a swamp cooler, attic fans make the air cooler in the entire apartment, not a single room. Even though a central air conditioning solution will still be more powerful, the main power of this healthier option is constant cooling in almost any space condition.
If installed properly, the attic fan on the house’s roof is powerful to decrease the temperature in your house by several degrees. In this regard, the cooling option is extremely effective in pushing out hot air from your house.
Benefits of attic fans
- Affordable. Investing in attic fans is the cheapest way to cool your room.
- Stand humidity. These alternatives to window AC units can provide a constant breeze in any weather conditions.
- Easy to install. Installing an attic fan doesn’t require specific knowledge or skills. Also, you can simply put it inside the house. It will still work well.
- Work well when it’s not too hot. Attic fans reveal their best in rather cool spaces. This cooling system won't work when the temperature is above 80 degrees.
- May need other cooling solutions alongside to work better.
Geothermal Heat Pump (or Geothermal Heating and Cooling)
Within the wide range of energy-efficient alternatives, geothermal heating and cooling systems are the best ones to take advantage of any weather conditions. They exchange the heat from the house to the ground when it's hot. When it’s cold, they use the ground to do the opposite thing.
Benefits of geothermal heating and cooling
- Energy savings. A geothermal heat pump is the most energy-efficient non-HVAC air conditioning system by now.
- Effective cooling and heating. You constantly get effective house cooling in any season and weather conditions.
- Complex installation. The advantages of usage come at the price of additional installation work.
- Not a popular option. It’s hard to find a geothermal heating and cooling system because it’s extremely rare.
- Expensive. On average, buying this healthiest air conditioner will cost you $3,000-12,000.
What Sets the Evapolar Personal Evaporative Cooler Apart?
The Evapolar compact swamp cooler is a safe alternative to an AC unit and also is a better alternative to a fan. There are a number of reasons why Evapolar is a great choice.
The Evapolar swamp cooler is the best alternative to window AC. It has the ability to effectively cool your personal space. It will lower the temperature by 7-10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Evapolar is a versatile cooler. It cools the air while also acting as a humidifier and purifier. While it has the ability to perform as a humidifier and purifier, it does not perform these tasks to the extent that it can be used to replace devices that are solely for the purposes of humidifying or purifying. However, unlike an AC that makes the air dry, Evapolar will do the opposite. The air remains clean and fresh, like a breeze, without any additives.
It’s eco-friendly and safe.
These coolers are very safe both to humans and to the environment, being an alternative to window air conditioner. They don’t use refrigerants like such AC unit counterparts, which have several associated downsides and risks. The filters in the Evapolar are made from inorganic fibers, evaBreeze, that prevent them from holding on to bacteria and mold.
Unlike aircon units, the Evapolar mini split alternative will not cause an increase in the cost of electricity in your monthly bills. That, along with an affordable initial investment, makes them great air conditioner alternatives.
What is the Best Alternative to Air Conditioning: Wrap Up
Air conditioning units are one of the most popular units people use to cool air in homes, at work, and in vehicles. They can be found almost everywhere, as people hugely rely on them to maintain a level of comfort. They are, however, not the best option for cooling air, as they come with several disadvantages. They can be bad for your health and have been known to take a toll on Mother Nature as well.
The good news is that there is something better, safer, and healthier — a swamp cooler. These coolers are the best option when looking for safe air conditioner alternatives for your room.
1. Is central air conditioning dangerous for health?
If you don't use an AC unit properly, it may lead to respiratory problems like asthma, sinus congestion, heat intolerance, and Sick Building Syndrome due to poor ventilation. That's why we recommend choosing safer air conditioning alternatives.
2. What are the safest air conditioning alternatives?
There are several options available on the market. Choose among electric fans, swamp coolers, window air conditioners, whole house attic fans, and geothermal heating and cooling. Read our overview to see the benefits and drawbacks of each AC type.
3. Which Evapolar devices cool small rooms safely?
You can pick among several Evapolar compact swamp cooler models for this aim. Pay your attention to evaCHILL, evaLIGHTplus, and evaSMART. They are effective, eco-friendly, safe, healthy, and energy-efficient.
4. Can I cool down my room naturally?
Opening windows is generally better than using AC units, given the health-related problems these devices may potentially cause. However, many safe air conditioning alternatives will be more effective for cooling yet healthy. In this regard, you can check Evapolar swamp coolers.