The hot summer months can be almost unbearable for many people, especially those suffering from illnesses or health concerns like asthma. In most older apartment buildings, central air conditioning was never installed and some tenants take to using either window AC units or portable ones. There are ways to make your air conditioner more effective while being cost efficient. These are just a few examples of things you can try.
Stagger Your Use
The hottest and peak times for using your air conditioning unit is during the daytime hours while the sun is beating down outside. While it might be impossible to completely shut off your AC during the daytime, you can stagger its use during that period. For example, don't turn it on in the early morning hours and leave it running the whole day. Instead, leave it off in the morning and only use fans, then when it's noon and the sun is at its peak, turn it on. After a few hours, so late afternoon, turn the temp up a bit to a more warm temperature and then completely shut it off at night and open the windows. This will help keep the apartment cooler during the day and save you money when a cool, evening breeze is blowing.
Use the Dehumidifier
If you have a portable air conditioning unit it most likely has three settings, one for the actual air conditioning, one for a fan and one for the dehumidifier Instead of running your cooling unit the whole day, use the dehumidifier function to take the moisture out of the air to help cool off your apartment. You can set up additional fans to help keep the air moving and you will notice a considerable difference in the temperature over time.
If you want to add a little help to your dehumidifier unit, then place a bowl of ice in front of or behind one or more of your fans to send cool air into your home thus helping to not only cool the air, but it will also help to dry it out.
Change Your Furniture Around
In an apartment that doesn't have central air conditioning, or even if it does, arranging your furniture to ensure good air flow will help keep the temperature cool in your home without having to run your unit on high the whole day. This means if you have a TV stand or couch that sits right in front of your window unit or furniture that is set up in such a way that doesn't promote a viable way for the air to move freely then re-arrange it for the time being.