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Welcome To Our “AC-Free” Zone

I don’t judge how anyone tries to keep cool. Just don’t close the freezer door on his head…


(Image credit: PXHere)

 

Welcome To Our “AC-Free” Zone. As I’m fanning myself, I’m beginning to question the combination of frugality and spite that led us to this place…

Last August I opened a power bill for a galactic $423.74. Yes. One month’s worth of air conditioning. To put it nicely, sweetly, as gently as I can, Utah is a life-sucking dust bowl of death during the summer. May is often even chilly and maybe June suckers you into thinking, “Hey, maybe this summer won’t be so bad…” Then, July rolls around and the heat hits you like a cricket bat to the back of the head. The temperature gleefully climbs to triple digits and squats there like a malevolent wasp over your picnic blanket. It doesn’t take long before everyone’s hovering by their thermostat, wondering why it isn’t cooler yet!

But, please. A $423.74 power bill?

So, here we go- a solemn vow between my spouse and me that we would go “AC-Free” for the entire summer. This was not met with enthusiasm when we announced it to our offspring. But my mother, who grew up in a tiny Southern Utah town, was all in. While I notice her air conditioner is buzzing along industriously when I stop by her house, she has a huge list of suggestions of how people actually survived when there was no such thing as central air.

We’ve implemented the ideas below, and I’ll keep adding new ones to this post as the broiling H-E-double hockey sticks of this month continues.

Welcome To Our “AC-Free” Zone

  • This one seems obvious: a cold shower. I prefer baths, but complete submersion in ice-cold water seemed ill-advised. I can keep moving under a frigid spray. This worked. It cooled my skin enough to fall asleep, even though the bedroom was at 89 degrees. BTW: try a rainshower shower head to pretend you really are under some heavenly waterfall in Hawaii and not your stinking hot apartment- find some easy attachments here.
  • Lucky enough to have a breeze going? Hang a wet sheet from your open window and use the evaporative cooling of the wind to bring the temperature down. This worked. There was enough of a comfortable chill that we slept like babies.
  • Turn off those damn lights!! Gee, I can hear my dad’s words come out of my mouth as I holler at my offspring. It’s a small but obvious point that lightbulbs – even the high-efficiency ones – give off their own heat, adding to your misery. Since it stays lighter longer this time of the year, take advantage of it to keep the lights off. Kind of worked? We’re still pondering this one, but after a week of keeping the lights off until around 9 pm, it seems a little cooler. BTW: there are some low-heat lightbulbs that still manage to be affordable and energy-efficient, have a look here.
  • Drinking one or more cold glasses of water before bed. Replace fluids lost from sweating so dehydration doesn’t interfere with sleep. So stupid. Unless getting up repeatedly through the night because of said glasses of water was part of the plan and then trying to go back to sleep, this was a giant failure.

 


(Image credit: Pixabay)

 

  • Meet your new best friend: Mr. Ceiling Fan. When we moved into this house, we wondered if the previous owner owned a ceiling fan franchise. Just about every room had one… which as it turns out, has been our become our best ally. Just remember to adjust the settings on the fan so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of simply spinning it around the room. No ceiling fan? Put a box fan in your window, turned to pull hot air out of the room and blowing it outside where it belongs. This worked. Our fans run constantly for a fraction of the electrical demand of the air conditioner. BTW: there’s some high-tech, low price ceiling fans here.
  • The most memorable line from my Zachie’s favorite movie, George of the Jungle is this: “Who wears 90 pounds of black leather in the jungle? Cotton! Cotton breathes!” This worked. The villain was correct- Egyptian cotton sheets treat your poor, hot skin more kindly than satin or a grim polyester blend. The lightweight cotton wicks away sweat and allow for a more “breathable” sleep. BTW: I found some surprisingly affordable thread counts on Amazon here.

 

So, this is where we are, a third of the way through July. More ideas next week – what worked and what didn’t. If we live that long. But our power bill will be a tiny, diminished version of its robust former self! Take that, power company!

What keeps you cool during the blow-torch hot months in your neck of the woods? Share! Spill! We’re giving away a $50 Amazon.com gift card for one of your clever ideas on August 1, 2109.

 

These links go to our affiliate/influencer page on Amazon.com, where we may receive a tiny commission if you purchase something we recommend.

(Cover image credit: Pedro Sandrini)

(shower image credit Pixabay)

Shows

Why Storming Area 51 Is A Super Bad Idea – 7.15.19

Why Storming Area 51 Is A Super Bad Idea. There’s a social media push to gather all the Area 51 fans together and sort of “gang-storm” the base. Their motto: “They can’t stop all of us!” Why this is a bad idea explained on the show today.

 

Starbuck’s new Tie-Dye Frappuccino is this summer’s sold-out Unicorn Frappuccino – which we never tasted. Zoe and I found the Last Tie-Dye Frappuccino in the state. Taste test!

 

Our “No AC” Challenge continues and you’ve all given us such great suggestions! Have some to add? We’re giving away a $50 Amazon.com gift card for one of your clever ideas on August first. If we live that long – head here to leave a comment.

 

With New Orleans flooding AGAIN (those poor people!) the Cajun Navy is gearing up as another tropical storm is about to hit the coast. This amazing group made up of “Guys with Boats” is so inspiring… Also today- chess-master cheaters, Tell Me Something Good and subversive vegetables.

 

(Cover image credit: NotEvenAThing)

In Japan, They’re Using Rental Cars Cars For Everything BUT Driving – 7.12.19

(image credit: Pixabay)

In Japan, They’re Using Rental Cars Cars For Everything BUT Driving. Car rental companies in Japan were getting confused because consumers were renting the cars and returning them without any miles on them. You’ll never believe what they were doing instead of… you know… driving.

 

(Image credit: Thomas Froese)

Prince Charles just opened up his summer castle- the Castle of Mey in Scotland as a bed and breakfast! You know you want to stay there.  The reason? I mean, it’s not like he needs the money. But the region did- and he wanted to bring it to life again. Here’s the website.

Two mysteries answered…

Why you can’t drink a Polygamy Porter beer in North Carolina, and why Canadians are so courteous they’re actually lethal.

 

Plus! Creamy cucumber salad today. The recipe is so easy! BTW: have you tried our rather glorious Warm German Potato Salad yet? I think it’s the best of our Summer Salad Series. Find the recipe here.