Keeping Your Cool
Posted July 29, 2009on:
I don’t know about where you live, but where I live it’s hot as blazes. While this is normal for the summer months, the heat hit triple digits early this year, so everyone is good and wilty right about now. My plants are struggling to stay alive. The thyme actually burned up during a particularly hot spell, even with daily waterings.
While I chose being too hot over being too cold, I have also had just about enough. Regardless of how anyone feels, however, we are still in for at least a month of the heat. Then it’s just mildly uncomfortable til about Halloween–I’m barely kidding. Anyway, given that it’s almost August I’ve had some time to think about some ways to keep cool at home without moving into your refrigerator or running up at astronomical electric bill.
- Close off rooms/vents to rooms that aren’t occupied. If no one is guesting in the guest room, it doesn’t need to be graced with air conditioning. Our house is cooled by two window units (yes, window units in central TX are mildly ridiculous), one in the bedroom, that also cools the attached office, and one in the living room that cools it, the dining nook, and the kitchen. The bedroom and office are out of direct sunlight in the morning, so I work in the office and do chores in that part of the house then, keeping the bedroom door closed and the living room AC off. When those two rooms heat up in the afternoon I set the bedroom AC at about 84, move to the front of the house, and turn the living room AC on. (About dinner time the bedroom AC gets turned down so it isn’t a complete sauna when we go to sleep.)
- Run errands and do active chores in the morning. I take care of my plants and do any cleaning and hanging out of the laundry first thing in the morning. Then I run any errands. Bonus: the grocery store is pleasantly uncrowded in the mornings. Afternoons are a good time to take care of more sedate things like paying bills, folding clothes, and reading through your RSS feeds.
- Use your crockpot and bread machine. Dust off these counter space-consuming appliances and put them to work. They use less energy than your stove and oven, plus you get the good-food-is-cooking smell without heating up your kitchen.
- Drink up. If it’s summer you’re going to sweat and drift more toward dehydration than normal, so drink lots of water. When that gets old, try sparkling water. When that gets old, I switch to diet Coke or iced coffee–there are worse vices.
- Take cool showers before bed. Take advantage of the fact that you don’t need to turn on the hot water anyway. A cooler showernwill help you stay comfortable temperature-wise while falling asleep.
If all else fails, eat a popsicle and google pictures of the North Pole. Summer can’t last forever.