That’s a loaded question, so my loaded answer is: It depends. There are lots of factors to consider including your room/house size, efficiency of equipment, your heat tolerance, your priorities, and more.
A fan uses less energy, but it might not always provide the same cooling result as central air. If you truly want to go the greenest route, here are a few things to try:
- Cool your room to the desired temp, then use a fan with the windows shut to see if you can maintain comfort.
- If a fan doesn’t quite do the trick, try an energy-efficient window AC unit to cool the rooms where you sleep and/or spend the most time.
- Be sure to keep blinds closed to prevent the sun from raising the ambient temperature.
- Consider installing an Indiana-made solar attic fan (if it makes sense for the size and style of your home).
- Don’t use your oven on extremely hot days.
For me, I choose windows open with ceiling fans until I simply can’t stand it anymore. It helps to have well-placed awnings and trees, a love of hot weather, and a die-hard commitment to being green. That said, come August, you may hear the whir of the AC fan.
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