Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heating Reflections

I've been thinking lately about ways to beat this blanket of heat...wonder why?

This is Old House's take on the subject. There are some frugal tips out there, as well, like this list and this one. Some of the ideas are basic, like wearing less clothing and going to a store or library (so you enjoy someone else's air conditioning.) One list announces, "Air conditioning is a dumb mechanical response to a design problem." It may have a point.

Mid-Colorado generally has a very even climate. Even our worst blizzards tend to clear up and melt off within a few days. Husband and I have thought about a swamp cooler...but why do it, when your hot periods usually last for just a few weeks?

That's small comfort right now, though, when every surface in the house seems sticky, dusty and cluttered, no matter how hard I clean. (Actually, this heatwave has had me cleaning more because of it -- a small blessing to Husband, I'd guess!) A few small things have helped:

*hosing down the front (brick) and back (concrete) porch and deck. Keeps them tidy, and makes a real if short-lived difference in the air temps.
*a fan by the front screen door. Pulls in cooler air, and circulates it toward the rest of the house.
*ceiling fans. I only wish we'd installed these right away, rather than gradually, one room at a time.
*hanging damp laundry inside the house to dry, rather than outside. If I do this in the morning, clothes, sheets, etc. are dry by nightfall.
*let your clothes dry -- on you. Wearing from-the-washer sundresses was one of the few ways I could cool down when pregnant. (And I had two August babies.) Don't do it with underwear, though -- too much of a (ahem) surprise!
*open windows at dusk -- close them in the morning.
*a quick snooze under the fan. Occasional naps can help keep you productive. (That's why dogs and cats do it, right?)
*fruit smoothies and iced coffee. We keep leftover coffee in a quart jar in the refrigerator -- saves $$ and refreshing.
            Smoothies:  5-7 ice cubes, a handful of fresh or frozen fruit, tablespoon sugar, 2 cups milk (add more if needed). Optional, but good: a small flavored yogurt, or a black-spotted banana. Blenderize and swill, occasionally putting icy glass to forehead.
            Iced coffee: 5 ice cubes (give a few extra to the dog), teaspoon sugar. Fill the glass halfway with strong coffee, top off with milk. (Plus a spritz of whipped cream, if you've got it.) Sip and reflect.



Back to work. Hope yours is going ok, too.

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