I’m not jumping on that bandwagon, but apparently there is one blogger who thought it would be a neat challenge to see if survival through the summer with an A.C. is possible. Not so secretly, I have my answer.
I do know, however, that I am willing to hold out longer than most. Until my teen years, we did not have central air conditioning in our family’s home. There were wall A.C.s that my mother despised turning on because they were inefficient and expensive. Instead, she opted for the box fans in the windows (a cooling method that still can put me fast asleep on a lazy summer afternoon) and later ceiling fans.
Undoubtedly, there are ways to keep cool — rather, cooler — if you forgo air conditioning. That makes me wonder: Is the A.C. a luxury or a necessity?
Block The Sun
Pull the curtains together and close the blinds to protect the room for the scorching summer sun. That doesn’t cost you a dime.
Turn on the Ceiling Fan
Of course, the fan will drop the temperature faster — and keep it there — fairly quickly. It’s a lot cheaper than dialing down the thermostat.
Wear Cool Clothes
If it’s hot in the house, throw on a tank top and shorts instead of sitting around in blue jeans and a warm shirt. Just thinking of being over-dressed in an already warm house makes me hot.
Turn Off the Stove
Does anything heat up a house faster than baking a chicken or making lasagna in the oven in the middle of the day? In addition to eating lighter foods, cook during cooler parts of the day.
Take Cool Showers
No one is suggesting you turn off the water heater (something my mother does daily until 15 minutes before it’s time to use hot water). But, you’ll feel better with a slightly cooler shower.
Eat Ice Cream
Here’s your excuse (if you needed one) to eat ice cream, popsicles and frozen yogurt.
Read A Book
This is one borrowed from the Frugal For Life blog. It makes perfect sense to me. Staying cool is about the temperature, but it’s also a state of mind. Thinking cool thoughts and learning to just chill out will help you relax and not get your body heat worked up.
Turn Off the Lights
In my house, at least, light bulbs generate heat. I’ve replaced some bulbs with energy efficient ones and they don’t seem to have the heating effect that regular bulbs do.
Enhance the Breeze
I could never figure out whether it was cooler or hotter with the door open. We grew up with a screen door and sometimes it let in a cool breeze. Other times it just allowed more hot air to blow in. If the A.C. is off, let cool air come in through open windows. But, if it’s too hot outside, you might be better off keeping the heat where it belongs.
Join The Crowd
If you wish, join the Frugal For Life followers in the no A.C. challenge. As for me, I’ll do all of the important things to save money on my bill, but I’m unlikely to through the summer without turning on the air conditioner.