Keeping it Cool the Eco Way

It is hot.  Not warm.  Not balmy.  Not sunny, temperate or toasty.  It is hot.  The warm days in March should have been a hint, but I feel like the heat just snuck up and gave me a wedgie.  Ouch! [Fist shake.]

I shouldn’t complain.  I do like the sunshine, and I am having a lot of fun in my mini herb garden.  But there’s something unpleasant about becoming sweaty just by standing outside.  A desert girl I am not.

So the Dreamboat and I have tweaked our house to stay comfortable throughout the day.  This involves cunning strategy, of course, as we do not have central air conditioning.  We are trying to keep it green while keeping it cool.  While it would be nice to flip a switch and be enveloped in cold air, it is not that difficult to live without a/c.

The easiest way to keep the heat out at our place is to pull the curtains closed when the sun is beating down.  When we moved into our house last year, I bought curtains that are made to keep the heat out in the summer (and keep in the heat in the winter).  They are amazing.

The next thing we do is open our windows overnight or when it is raining, and close them early in the morning.  This allows us to get fresh air when it is cool instead of when it is hot out.  If I accidentally leave a screen open throughout the day, I feel it immediately.

It brings to mind what my friend said about living in Ghana during the hot season: “The breezes don’t even refresh you.  It is as if someone has pointed a hair dryer at you and set it to hot.”  Not fun.

The third thing we do to keep our house cooler without air conditioning is to avoid leaving unnecessary lights on.  Lights generate heat, even if it’s only a little bit.  It is also wasteful to leave lights on when they aren’t needed.  We are not living in the dark like creepy vampires, but we are getting by without overhead lights when they aren’t necessary (funny how that sun thing works to light things up instead).

Lastly, we try to avoid using appliances that generate heat during hot days.  Now that the Dreamboat has installed a clothesline in the backyard, I can finally give the dryer the boot during the spring/summer.  On top of the dryer we try to avoid using the oven in the heat.  Besides, everything tastes better on the barbecue.

Other than that we run fans a bit to cool things down when our other tactics don’t work as well.  Little Man’s new favourite game is to run up to the fan in his room when it is on, put his face directly in the stream of air blowing out (which makes him gasp) and then turn around, smile, and run back to me giggling.  I will try to record that on the Dreamboat’s phone one of these days.  It is priceless to witness.

What do you do to stay comfortable when it is hot out?  I would love to hear any of your tricks.  As for me, I will keep pretending I am back up north in the Arctic.  Chilly, snowy days.  Chilly, snowy days.  Chilly, snowy…


7 thoughts on “Keeping it Cool the Eco Way

    • Oooooh yes! Our basement has been such a great retreat on those really hot days. My great aunt also made a good suggestion for keeping cool at night. She said that she would keep a bowl of cool water and a cloth on the nightstand to wipe her neck and face during the night. I think that sounds like something to try for sure. Thanks for your comment!

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