It is the middle of August. That means that if you live anywhere in the continental United States, it is probably a lot hotter outside than you would like. With temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s across much of America, staying cool becomes a very serious pursuit. Staying cool without breaking the bank becomes even more of a focus.
Our home has central air conditioning. It actually has two AC units, one for the master bedroom and one for the rest of the house. I have no idea why the original owner (from whom we purchased the house) included two AC units in the house but it makes little difference to me. We just won’t use it unless someone runs a summer fever and needs to be in a cooler room.
My kids like to tell me that I am a freak because I do not feel the heat. I just don’t mind it. I would much rather be in a hot climate than a cold one and I certainly don’t want to pay a premium in order to chill my house enough to justify putting on a sweater (which seems to be the goal of my elder son). That said, there are a lot of ways that people can stay cool without having or paying for air conditioning.
Draw your Shades or Shutters: If you draw your shades or shutters, especially on the dark side of the house, you will find that your home is much cooler. Growing up in Massachusetts during the energy crisis – in a home without air conditioning – our house was always cool because it was always dark during the summer. Keep the sun out and you will keep the heat down and manageable.
Turn off the Lights and other Appliances: Light bulbs generate heat. The more lights you leave on in your house, the more heat you will generate. The same is true for televisions and other large appliances. Keep them off whenever possible and you will find that your house cools off as well. Also, do not put any heat sources near your thermostats. That will cause your AC unit to think that it is hotter in the room than it really is.
Use Fans: We have ceiling fans in every room of our house and they do wonders to keep us cool. You may not have ceiling fans, and you may not need them if you live in an area that is not warm year round, but any kind of fan will be sufficient. The fans will generate a small amount of heat because they do have motors, and they won’t actually cool down the temperature in your room, but they will make you feel cooler the way a breeze will cool you down outside.
Feed the Family without Turning on the Oven: Use smaller appliances like toaster ovens and crock pots. Better yet, take your cooking outside and use your grill if you have one. Just don’t turn on your oven and have it heating your kitchen to 400 degrees when it is already hot enough. Make sandwiches or toss a salad with some tuna.
Take Advantage of Swimming Opportunities: Swimming pools are very expensive. Chances are good, however, that you can take advantage of a swimming pool that you do not have to maintain. If your community or subdivision offers a pool, try to cool off whenever you can by taking a swim. If a local gym has a swimming pool, the pool alone may be enough to justify a membership!
How are you staying cool this summer?