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Jul 25

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Keeping Cool

Last summer, while I was pregnant I kept our house set at a chill 60 degrees. I couldn’t stand it any warmer! Everyone else was freezing and I was still too warm. In my crazy state of pregnancy hormones, I was able to justify our electrical bill doubling just for some relief. This year however, I can’t stomach thinking of that high bill. Thankfully, we were able to leave our air off and be comfortable a lot longer than I thought we would. Until this week hit. Holy humidity. We went from beautiful 75 degree days with no humidity and lots of glorious sunshine to 90+ degrees and humidity at 80%+. AHH! Suddenly, I understood why last summer I was able to justify spending so much to stay cool. For most families (ours included!) it’s not realistic to think of running the air non-stop. Here are some great tips to help combat the heat without sinking your budget!

  • Make sure your AC unit is working properly. Make sure there are no bushes too close to your unit, no leaks in the duct work, no dirty filters or coils, and plenty of coolant. If you have done all of this and still feel like your unit isn’t working to its full capacity, you may want to have it serviced. It’s much better to catch a problem when it’s small at the onset than wait for it to breakdown completely!
  • Take advantage of your programmable thermostat. Set the house to be warmer when you aren’t home and cooler when you are to prevent wasting the cold air and energy when no one is home. (You should not have anything heat-producing such as a lamp or TV by your thermostat!)
  • Use fans! Use ceiling, floor, and table fans to help circulate air and evaporate sweat!
  • Use your blinds! Shut the blinds (or invest in thermal drapes) to help block out the sun. Especially during the day if you aren’t home, shut the blinds to prevent extra heat from coming in.
  • Use appliances in the early morning or night. Run your dish washer, stove, and dryer in the morning/night instead of the daytime. These appliances heat up the house which makes your AC work harder to keep the temperature comfortable.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, leave your windows shut during the day. Once the heat subsides in the evening,  open your windows and leave them open all night. In the morning, shut the house back up before it’s too hot.
  • In the summer, close the air vents downstairs and leave them open upstairs. In the winter, they should be opposite: open downstairs and closed upstairs.
  • If you get really hot, run cold water over your wrists or hold an ice-cube on your wrist for a few minutes to help cool your body back down.

What do you do to keep your family cool? What has the summer weather been like for you so far?

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