Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Staying Cool and not breaking the bank

I love air conditioning, but I also love how low our bills have been the past couple of months without our heat or AC on. We are really trying to delay turning on our AC as long as possible and thankful for that the hot summer weather has yet to make it's appearance in Kansas yet, but it's coming.

We have plenty of experience of living without the luxury of air conditioning and yes it is a luxury. There are plenty of ways to keep cool even without turning on your AC

1. One of the easiest ways to stay cool is to minimize your heat sources in your home. During the day try to use natural light rather than reaching for the light switch. Try to spend time in rooms where the sun is not shining into. Keep these curtains closed until the sun has moved elsewhere. Sure the sun is lovely but it will heat up your room very quickly.

2. Utilize fans and outside temperatures. It goes without saying that if it is cool outside you'll want to draw this air into your home, if it is hot then you don't. If you have an attic fan these are beautiful ways to keep cool. Flip those on at night and you'll be reaching for a blanket before you know it. If you don't have an attic fan utilize your fans, you'll want all types osculating, ceiling and box fans. Place a box fan in your window to draw the air inside. When it warms up in the afternoon, why no try to close your windows. I know it may seem odd, but I promise you it works. Open your windows after it cools off a bit at dusk. In the mean time circulate the air you have to the best of your abilities.

3. Try to minimize the use of your oven and stove top. Utilize these beautiful inventions, crock pot, rice cooker (also great for steaming veggies), and a bread maker. Rather than heat up your whole house with your oven try making various crockpot meals and why not make a loaf of bread to go with it using your bread machine. (I borrowed my mom's for the summer and am very excited to still have bread this summer.) Lastly steam a pot of veggies in your rice cooker. You've got a complete meal without every having to turn your oven on. A friend of mine actually takes her crock pot to the garage so that it won't heat up her house. I just cleared a space in my laundry room and hope to follow this concept too. Whoever thought such smells would be coming from the garage or laundry room.


4. Utilize your oven before you go to bed. Since it is coolest during the night your house will have plenty of time to cool off. When we lived overseas I would often cook my meals at night and then place them in the fridge for the next day. Try making several things in one swoop and freeze them, this way you'll only need to heat the oven up once.

5. Hydrate and rehydrate. Keep a cold glass of water handy and sip your day away. These are the best days to bring out that blender and make you a nice cold smoothie, or other icy drink.
6. Dress appropriately. Obviously jeans and long sleeves are going to make you hot. It's time to bring out your shorts an summer skirts out of storage and enjoy lounging in your coolest attire.
7. When it is time to turn the AC on try turning it up a few degrees. I think the lowest we had it set last summer was 75 degrees. But utilizing some of these same tips you can keep your AC from running constantly. Utilize your programable thermostat, programing it to the lowest temperature around 2:00-5:00 in the afternoon.
There are plenty of other ways to stay cool. What's your favorite? Mine's a nice lemon snow cone! For more great tips check out WFMW's home over at We Are That Family.

6 comments:

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  2. Great tips and I may try putting my crock pot in the garage this summer too! I also have a toaster/ convection oven (countertop size) that I use to "bake" in all summer. Maybe it will go the garage this summer too! :)

    thanks!

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  4. I need to get a new rice cooker. My old one was too big, it's smallest amount made enough for 8! So I gave it away. I need to get a smaller one.

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  5. These are some very good ideas about staying cool. My kitchen is the warmest room in the house in the late afternoons even with the AC running so I'm going to do most of my cooking in the mornings and use my crockpot more often.

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  6. great tips we are putting off using the ac for as long as we can as well

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