Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hot days in the little city

Yep, it's June in Oklahoma, and we're spending serious time every day in the 90s (Fahrenheit). With my new determination to keep the air conditioning as minimal as possible, I keep the top-of-the-stairs thermostat set at 85F during the day. That means downstairs it's, well, somewhat cooler.

I am very, very thankful for our finished concrete floors, so wonderful to my bare feet. If we had cool nights, we would open the house up to release the heat and enjoy the lower temperature of the cool air. But no. Our nighttime air is not very cool (upper 60s) and IS rather humid. So we use the air conditioner a bit more at night and as little as possible during the day.

Some results of this approach:

I try to keep the computer off from late morning until late evening, when we turn the temp down somewhat so the kids can go to sleep more easily (nighttime minimum setting at 11 pm: 78F upstairs). That's a big change from leaving it on most of the day except when I/we leave the house.

I stay downstairs in the cooler part of the house. An easy goal if my office computer is off limits.

No indoor cooking! Well, I'm planning to cook some pasta first thing tomorrow morning for our dinner of cold pasta salad, before I move the thermostat to the daytime setting. Today at 7:30 am I ran the dishwasher and baked a coffeecake in the oven. When both were done, I set the a/c to the daytime 85F. Worked okay, I guess, but I prefer to cook pasta in the late evening, run the dishwasher in the middle of the night (with air-dry), and not use the oven at all...

Coming home from Son2's 2-2:35 pm swim lesson, totally hot and bothered after 40 minutes on the pool deck, the most humid place in town... the house feels wonderfully cool-not-cold, but I'm completely wiped out for the afternoon. Laying on the sofa is about all I want to deal with. So I grab a book and think "siesta" rather than look around and think "what to do next, and next, and next..."

Some changes to my routine: I'm trying to switch my morning coffee-and-reading to this late afternoon "siesta" time. I plan to use the computer in early morning and late evening, and make phone calls in the late morning or early afternoon.

The funny thing is, after swim lessons this afternoon I was SOOOOO hot and tired and NOT looking forward to being outdoors this late afternoon/evening at the boys' baseball practice and game -- but when we did head outside, it was much more comfortable! The light breeze, the dry air -- it was much more okay than I expected. One thought: time to move the air-drying of laundry entirely into the sunroom and possibly get that clotheslines idea into reality. Less indoor moisture = more comfort, I'm sure.

Are you wondering about my main motivation in this? My number one motivating factor for lowering our a/c use is that I really, really want to create more buffer between our lives and the rising costs of our utility bills.


Emily said...

Money spent on utilities=money you can't spend on yarn.

It's a serious problem.

(tongue firmly set in cheek)

Barbara said...

You know my inner heart! :)