Friday, July 6, 2012

Staying Cool

This past week with my central air unit out of commission, I’ve given a lot of thought to what people did before air conditioning was invented. A LOT of thought! No, really, A LOT!
So, after all of this thought and the subsequent research, I decided to share my finding with any of you coolness-deprived people out there. Among the less interesting and more obvious advice I encountered was don’t use, or use as infrequently as possible, any electronic devices that produce heat, e.g. computers, ovens, clothes dryers, the dry setting on your dishwasher, etc. OK, done! I can go without those for the most part. There are old-fashioned methods to handle the lack of most of these appliances. (I figure I can cut down on my computer time at home. When I finish writing this, it’s getting turned off, so don’t expect much communication from me tonight.)
But that’s not enough. It’s still too hot. The next piece of advice I came across was to “think cool.” Ok, I can do that. Now, let’s see, I’m sitting in the shade by a large cool pond just relaxing and fishing. (Hmm, nothing yet) I have a tall cool glass of ice water beside me and I’m eating chocolate ice cream. (Nope, still hot) Suddenly, I feel a tug on my fishing line, and I reel it in through the hole in the ice covering the lake. In the distance, I hear the bark of sled dogs as they race through the snow-covered Alaskan hills that surround me. Ok, this isn’t working. Next!
Some of the other advice I found seemed worth trying. Let me know how these work if you end up giving any of them a go.
·         Put your bed sheets in the refrigerator and your pillow in the freezer an hour or two before you go to bed. (Just don’t forget to cover your pillow with plastic, so it doesn’t get coated in ice.)
·         If it’s cooler outside or if there’s a breeze, you can hang a damp sheet in your widows. Or better yet, hang your wet laundry there. That way, you don’t have to use your dryer. You know, two birds.
·         Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard. These will reflect heat back outside. (I just copied this one from the website. It was too good to mess with. J )
·         Put a metal bowl of ice in front of a fan, and aim the fan so that the air is blowing over the ice.
·         Breathe through your nose to avoid water escaping through the mouth. It will help to keep your body hydrated longer. (This one is for all of you mouth-breathers out there. J )
·         Open selective windows so that cooler air is blowing in throughout the evening and night. This works best if you have a strategically placed fan running as well.
·         And my personal favorite: Spritz yourself. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt.

Stay cool everyone!


  1. Ok, so first of all, I appreciate your correct use of "a lot." Nicely done! I'm sorry you haven't had air. Blech. It's even been hot in Chicago, with temps around 100° most days. We decided this is a good summer for all of our outdoor activities to involve water. ;)

  2. Wow! I never realized there were so many ways to keep cool. Good to have options when air goes down!!!
    No kidding---really, really good writing!

  3. Thanks Ladies, and smart move Melissa. :)
    Let me just say, I thank God for hardworking air conditioning repairmen who aren't afraid to work in the rain and get a little wet. Thanks, Hometown Comfort. My air is back up and running. I guess I can take down my wet laundry now. :)

  4. Great tips, but whaddaya do if you don't have a working freezer to get your sheets cold? : ) I don't know how people survived without air conditioning. I'd have been a very poor pioneer. If it was up to me to colonize the American West, we'd all still be on the East Coast.

  5. Well, if you don't have a freezer, you could always put them in a watertight bag, and hang them down in a cool well during the day. :)
    I don't know how well I would be able to adapt to the pioneer days either. It's a good thing I was born in the 20th century.

  6. I lived in the country for a lot of years,where there was a river and creek,that is what cooled us down.Some night were bad during the heat wave we soaked our clothes in water..interesting blog.

    1. Thanks. It's interesting how creative people can get when they need to in order to stay cool. We used to have a creek as well. The water was always refreshing.

  7. Annnnnnnd Dad says, "When all else fails, call your Dad."