by Roberta Murphy—Carlsbad, CA
San Diego is famous for its balmy weather and we all brag from time to time how air conditioning just isn’t needed….except for a few hours days weeks a year.
But what if your San Diego home lacks air conditioning? What are some alternative means of cooling your abode?
According to Harvey Sachs of the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the movement of air over the skin’s surface is what keeps the body cool. Air conditioning probably accomplishes this best, but here are some green and cooling solutions for those uncomfortably hot days:
Fans and Ceiling Fans:
One ceiling fan can make a room feel six or seven degrees cooler. Fans use very little energy, and when air is circulating, the room will feel much cooler. Ceiling fans generally move more air, but a good portable fan can work almost as well. It’s amazing, but even a breeze at one mph can make a room feel three or four degrees cooler.
Our mothers always chided that the best way to keep a home cool is to keep the heat out (and vice versa). One very simple and cooling solution is the installation of white window shades, drapes or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Just remember to close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep the sun’s heat out and help the fans cool more efficiently.
Turn off all heat-generating appliances when not in use. This includes lights, stoves–and even washers, dryers, televisions, computers and the like. Try doing laundry or cooking in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
San Diego is heaven for gardening and deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides will keep your house cooler in the summer and allow the sunlight to warm the house during our mild winter months. It’s been said–and most of us know–that daytime air temperatures can be between three to six degrees cooler in tree-shaded yards and neighborhoods
Quick Cool Down:
Want to cool off in a hurry? Wet your wrists and other pulse points with cold water, and then keep those spots cool by holding an ice cube wrapped in a face cloth against them. The relief is almost immediate, and this method will cool down the entire body by as much as three degrees. It may also be beneficial to wear short-sleeved shirts and keep the sleeves wet with cold water. Keeping the pant legs of long pants wet is also a good way to keep your legs cool–and my grandmother said they used to keep cool at night by covering themselves with a wet sheet before falling asleep.
And our grandparents also knew that it is wise to let cool air in at night and then darken the home during the day to preserve as much cool air as possible.
Do you have any suggestions for cooling non-air conditioned homes?
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