Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Keeping Our Cool

June 25:

Yesterday was HOT. We 3 C's are doing our best not to use air conditioning. 1st, with as much outside/inside work that we do, it isn't the best on our bodies to go through that kind of dramatic change. Second, we try to reduce our carbon footprint and this is one humble way that we try to do it. Third, I just don't like air conditioning. It just doesn't feel right. Never mind, the hum of the motor drones out bird sounds and just about everything else.

I remember that Mother had some tricks to keep the house cool. In the early years when I was growing up, the brick home of my childhood was like an oven. Trees helped shelter the house over the years and it became a lot more comfortable. As an adult, I took some trips to Egypt and was fascinated by how cool structures could be.

We don't have trees around the house here. Yet. Richard and I may not be the ones to fully enjoy them, but that's ok. People plant trees for the "future".

We have done a few things to tidy up the insulation. We will do more. We also have put in new windows. That has surely helped. And the window treatments (venetian blinds) have helped too. Hugely.

We close up any side of the house where heat is coming in. I just put my hand near the screen and do a little test. If the air coming through is warmer than the inside air, I'll quickly close windows. The Venetian Blinds know the routine. Down they come. For sure, the east side of the house is closed in the morning and the west side is closed in the evening. South side closes up by about mid day. North side can stay open unless it is too hot outside. As we move toward evening, the blinds go up and the windows open once welcoming the cooler air on the outside.

The little house gets a little darker inside. But it becomes a "sanctuary" from the heat. And that feels ever so good.
A little note: That "string" hanging" down in shadow form is actually twine in front of the window to keep the birds from flying into the winds. It has greatly reduced the number of birds flying into the window. It may look unsightly for the tidy sort, but it's a great sacrifice for our friends the birds.

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