If you’re like most people who live anywhere other than Alaska or San Francisco, you spend 20% of your utility bill on air conditioning.  You can shave quite a bit off that bill by installing a whole house fan.

According to Consumer Reports, installing a whole house fan is particularly effective in dry climates that are hot during the day and cool off at night.  Whole house fans are pretty simple–they draw in cool air and force out hot air. If used in conjunction with air conditioning, the A/C won’t have to work nearly as hard to keep the house cool.

Larger fans run more quietly especially if installed with rubber or felt gaskets.  And be sure to also install an airtight cover over the opening so that you don’t have heat loss in the winter.

Many utilities offer rebates for whole house fans so check into that before buying.  For more ways to cope with summer heat without destroying the planet, check out the EPA’s list of low-cost and no-cost tips.

–Erica Etelson

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.