Ah summertime ... outdoor activities, sunshine ... and temperatures that sometimes become stifling. It's tempting, as the temperature rises, to make ourselves comfortable by turning on the air conditioner. But wait ... don't touch that dial. Well, at least until you've considered some alternatives.
Where we live, the mornings are usually cool. So we take advantage of the refreshing air by opening all the windows. Within just a few minutes, the temperature of our apartment goes down. We have ceiling fans and they help move the cool air throughout our home. If you don't have ceiling fans, inexpensive oscillating fans work just as well.
As the sun moves around the house, we close the windows and adjust the blinds to block out as much sunlight and heat as possible. Once the sun goes down (along with the temperature), we again open the windows and the cool, night air comes in.
This method has kept our home comfortable without using air conditioning. When the temperatures got close to 90 recently, our apartment stayed nice and cool ... around 77 degrees.
We are also conscious of those sneaky little heat producers ... have you ever touched the top of your computer monitor? And how about light bulbs ... they produce a lot of heat. So, turn off any heat producers when they aren't in use.
For those of you who leave the house early and don't return until late afternoon or evening, these methods still work. Opening the windows in the morning, even for a few minutes will lower the temperature in your house. Leaving the curtains or blinds closed all day will block out a lot of heat. And here's another tip: if you find that your house is still too warm when you get home, put a box fan, or an oscillating fan, next to the window, pointing out. That's right ... turn it so that it blows the hot air from your house, outside. This works amazingly well.
Air conditioning units, even the most efficient ones, use a lot of energy ... much more than ceiling fans or a few, well placed oscillating fans. And my personal belief is that breathing "conditioned" air isn't real healthy ... have you ever noticed how there's a tendency to get congested when the A/C is on?
If, after giving these methods a try, you're still too warm and want to use the A/C, set the thermostat as high as possible ... 78 degrees or warmer.
I hope you'll try these ideas ... and ... "Be Cool, Dude".
As always, I would love to hear your ideas for reducing, reusing and recycling. Just click on the comments link, located at the bottom of each post, and let me know what you think and how you conserve. Maybe you'll see your ideas in an upcoming post.