alternatives to central air

10 Best Alternatives to Central Air Conditioning

Is there a viable alternative to central air conditioning to keep your home cool during the hottest days? From window units to ductless AC systems, these alternatives to central air conditioning provide homeowners with options that can help save money and effectivity.

Quick Summary

  Explore the Top 10 Alternatives to Central Air Conditioning

1. Evaporative Coolers – Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, deliver an eco-friendly and cost effective option for cooling. Water is added to the system to enhance the cooling process. Homeowners typically enjoy a 15-30% savings in energy costs over air conditioners. This is ideal for arid climates where the air is mostly dry and there is little humidity.

2. Portable Air Conditioners – Portable air conditioners are a great alternative for those without central air. They are usually equipped with casters, allowing you to wheel the unit from room to room as needed. They are also energy efficient, making them more economical to run than full-sized window units.

3. Ductless Mini-Split Systems – Ductless mini-split systems are a great option for homes without ductwork. These systems are easy to install and provide targeted cooling to certain areas of your home. They are both efficient and cost effective.

4. Fans – Fans are the most cost effective way to cool a room or entire home. Ceiling fans are great for circulating the air and can help reduce energy costs. Portable fans such as box fans and floor fans are also effective for cooling small areas.

5. Window Air Conditioners – Window air conditioners are a popular and relatively inexpensive option for cooling. They are easy to install and can be moved from room to room as needed. Keep in mind that these units use a significant amount of energy.

6. Geothermal Systems – Geothermal systems use the ground’s natural temperature to cool and heat your home. This is an excellent option if you have a large lot, as the lines must be buried in the ground. Geothermal systems are more expensive to install, but can significantly reduce energy costs.

7. Room Air Conditioners – Room air conditioners are a great option for cooling a single room. These units can be installed in a window, and provide quiet and efficient cooling. Consider replacing your old units with newer, energy efficient models.

8. Ceiling Insulation – Adding insulation to your ceiling can help cut costs by reducing the amount of heat that enters your home. This is an inexpensive and efficient solution that, when combined with ceilings fans, can help keep your home cool during the summer.

9. Exhaust Fans – Exhaust fans are a great way to keep your home cool by allowing hot air to be drawn out of the house. These fans can be easily installed on windows, and help create a steady flow of fresh air into your home.

10. Programmable Thermostats – Programmable thermostats allow you to set a schedule for your air conditioner in order to save energy. This feature helps regulate temperature and provides more consistent cooling, which can help reduce energy bills.

Explore the Top 10 Alternatives to Central Air Conditioning

Are you looking for alternatives to central air conditioning? From energy-efficient window AC units to DIY cooling systems, there are many ways to keep your home cool and comfortable. We’ve rounded up the top 10 most popular alternatives to central air conditioning, so you can decide which one is right for your budget, lifestyle, and needs.

1. Window Air Conditioner Units

Window air conditioner units are a popular and energy-efficient option for cooling a single room or small area. They are relatively easy to install and can be removed during the colder months. Window air conditioners also come in a variety of sizes, styles, and prices.

2. Split Air Conditioning Systems

Split air conditioning systems use two separate components, an outdoor air compressor and an indoor air handler. These systems are quieter and moreefficient than window units, and they can cool several rooms at once. They are also one of the more expensive alternatives to central air conditioning.

3. Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are similar to split air conditioning systems, but they do not require ductwork and can be installed by a qualified technician. They are ideal for cooling or heating small living spaces and are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency.

4. Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners are a good option if you need cooling in a single room and do not want to install a window unit. They are portable and come in a variety of sizes and designs. Portable air conditioners should be vented to the outdoors and require a hose to exhaust the hot air from the room.

5. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans provide a cooling breeze and can help reduce energy costs in the summer months. They also come in a variety of designs and sizes and can be used to enhance any style of home décor.

6. Whole House Air Circulators

Whole House Air Circulators are an affordable and energy-efficient alternative to central air conditioning. These systems are designed to be installed in existing or new ductwork, and they use a special fan and air filter to circulate air throughout your home.

7. Geothermal Heat Pump

Geothermal heat pumps use the earth’s natural heat to create a comfortable and efficient indoor climate. These systems are very energy efficient and can be used to heat and cool your home. Geothermal heat pumps are more expensive than other alternatives, but they can save you money in the long run.

8. Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative coolers are a great alternative to central air conditioning, especially if you live in a dry climate. These systems cool the air by passing it over water-saturated pads, and they can lower the temperature in your home by up to 20 degrees.

9. Insulation and Sealing

Adding insulation to your home can help reduce heat gain in the summer and minimize heat loss in the winter. Sealing any air leaks and installing a heavy-duty weatherstripping to doors and windows can also help to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.

10. Using Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation is a great way to keep your home cool without the need for air conditioning. You can open windows and use fans to draw in cooler air throughout the day or invest in a ventilation system that automatically adjusts the air pressure in your home.


There are many alternatives to central air conditioning available to keep your home cool and comfortable. From window air conditioners to geothermal heat pumps, the choice is ultimately up to your budget, lifestyle, and needs. No matter which option you choose, you can be sure that your home will be cooled in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way.

Personal Experience

What can you use instead of central air?

Living in hot climates can be unbearable during the summer months without some form of air conditioning. Central air conditioning systems can cool entire homes, but they can be costly and require professional installation. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to central air available.

Fans can be used to circulate air and make a home more comfortable. A pedestal fan used strategically can help cool down a room. Wall fans and ceiling fans can help keep air moving in a home. Portable and window style air conditioners are an affordable way to cool one or two rooms. Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, use water to cool air. This is an energy efficient way to cool a home.

Another way to cool a home is by installing insulated window coverings. Shutters and Blinds help reduce the amount of sunlight entering a home, therefore reducing the amount of heat. Window Film provides an extra layer of insulation on windows, trapping cool air inside and blocking the hot air from coming in.

Whether you have central air or use alternatives, fans and air conditioners make homes comfortable during hot summer days. And with the wide variety of energy efficient alternatives to central air available, it is easy to find the right solution for cooling a home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use instead of central air?

Using a combination of swamp coolers, geothermal heating and cooling, and air source heat pumps are a great alternatives to using central air conditioning. Swamp coolers work by evaporating water to cool a room. Geothermal systems use the natural temperature of the ground to maintain a steady indoor temperature, and air source heat pumps can be used for both cooling and heating. These methods are all energy-efficient, long-term solutions that can provide effective cooling for your whole house.

How can I cool my house without central air?

The best way to cool your house without central air is to keep blinds and curtains closed during the hottest part of the day, increase air circulation by using fans, limit heat sources with appliances and electronics, use climate-appropriate plants for shading, and install an energy-efficient roof. By doing these simple things, you can effectively cool your house without relying on central air.

What are 3 methods of cooling a home?

Three methods of cooling a home are using air conditioning, evaporative coolers, and fans. Air conditioning is the most common form of cooling a home and works by using refrigerant to cool the inside air. Evaporative coolers work by drawing outside air through a moistened pad, cooling the air through evaporation. Lastly, fans also help cool a home by circulating the air.

What questions should I ask the AC?

When considering an AC installation, you should ask the contractor questions about the size and capacity of the system needed to cool your home, the type and quality of air filters used, the run time and energy efficiency rating of the system, if any existing ductwork can be used, the type of remote control readouts available, and the level of maintenance needed. Additionally, inquire about safety features such as the type of overload protection the AC offers and ask for a list of certifications and warranties offered.

What are the 3 types of cooling system?

The three types of cooling systems are the once-through cooling system, the closed recirculating system/dry cooling tower, and the cooling tower water quality. The once-through cooling system uses water and is suitable for applications that generate large amounts of heat. The closed recirculating system is more efficient than the once-through system and it works by passing air through a cooling tower to absorb and dissipate heat. The cooling tower water quality system maintains the water quality of the cooling tower and helps protect the system components.

What are the three methods of cooling in air systems?

The three methods of cooling air systems are through the use of evaporative cooling, air conditioning, and refrigeration. Evaporative cooling works by using evaporation of water to cool air while air conditioning uses Freon-cooled air to reduce air temperature. Refrigeration cycles refrigerant through an evaporator, compressor, and condenser to create a cooling effect. All three methods provide an efficient and effective way to cool air.

What are the different types of cooling systems in homes?

The different types of cooling systems in homes include central air conditioning systems, heat pumps and ductless mini-split air conditioning systems. Central air conditioning systems are designed to cool all areas of the home, providing continuous cool air throughout the house. Heat pumps provide efficient heating and cooling for any space, while ductless mini-split air conditioning systems are ideal for small spaces. All of these systems offer a variety of energy efficiency and cost savings options, making them excellent solutions for cooling a home.

How can I cool my house without AC and no windows?

One way to cool your house without AC and no windows is to shade the area around your home and reduce the amount of direct sunlight coming in. To reduce the indoor temperature, limit the use of warm weather appliances and keep lights and electronics off. Additionally, turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen to draw heat and humidity away from the house.

What is best alternative to air conditioner?

The best alternative to an air conditioner is a ductless or mini split system. This type of system offers convenient, energy-efficient cooling while being easy to install and maintain. Additionally, window units and portable air conditioners are other cost-effective and practical alternatives to traditional air conditioning.

How do you AC a room with no windows?

A room with no windows can be air conditioned by installing an air conditioner. The AC should be installed in a location that allows for proper airflow. Additionally, ensure that the unit is properly sized for the room to ensure maximum cooling efficiency.

Final Thoughts

Central air conditioning can be incredibly expensive and involve a lot of installation. However, there are a lot of viable alternatives that can act as great alternatives and still provide better air quality while being much more energy efficient and eco-friendly. The 10 best alternatives that were provided addressed different methods and technologies, giving everyone an array of choices to fit their individual preferences. With this list, all you need is to find the best fit for you and make sure you’re getting the highest quality of air flow.