Off the Grid Tuesday: No, You Don’t NEED Air Conditioning

I forgot that we “pulled” this plug, because it was never really plugged in!

Rob and I both grew up without much in the AC department (even though our parents both got central air after we moved out!). I had a pool, and he had a river. So it was all good.

We have owned AC machines at both of our houses, but we haven’t used them much. The sound of those kilowatts running all day is a bit disturbing, especially in a poorly-insulated house. And we’ve not huge fans of staying inside on sunny days. So we pulled the plug.

Now, I used to be a big wimp about summer, until I worked at a day camp for 5 years. We were outside. All day. With little-to-no shade. And I didn’t die. Nobody went to the hospital. In fact, we had a great time.

So, here’s how we do it:

1. Stay hydrated. There was a water fountain going all day at the camp. You’ve got to drink hydrating beverages. That means no excessive caffeine, and not a ton of alcohol. Water, iced green tea, etc. are great. We pretty much have a glass with us all day. For long boating trips, I make a gallon and a half of iced tea. And then, on hot days, we drink water after that.

2. Get your hair off your neck. This is the second biggest one for me. Rob has short hair, and Beanie’s hair is pretty short and thin still. But if you have long hair–and especially really thick, long hair like me–you have to tie it up. I feel a hundred times better once it’s off my neck.

3. Dress for the weather. Yeah, you don’t want to run around naked. But, it is all right to wear a tasteful tank top and shorts, or a sun dress. And forget socks; they add a LOT of heat! I go barefoot, unless we’re entering a business (not one in a marina–they don’t care whether I wear shoes or not!). Then it’s sandals.

4. Turn off the lights, pull the shades–but open the windows. This keeps our house pretty comfortable. Just beware of the second story, if you have a two-story house like we do. It might be a good night to camp out in the living room!

5. Use that basement! It’s magic, if you have one. Instant central air. Set up a little game area. When I was a kid, we all slept downstairs, on the floor, in the summer!

6. Get some box fans. Family Dollar sells them. They’re great. And cheaper than AC, by far! In our boat, we put one in the front hatch, and we’re good. At home, we put one in a window on the main floor and in our bedroom window. They help a LOT!

7. If all else fails, get wet! At day camp, we would just start spraying each other with the hose, or have a water balloon fight. At home, we get out the sprinkler, kiddie pool, or make a trip to the public beach. On the boat, well, there’s water everywhere! If you have nothing else, jump into the shower, but keep it cool. I did this with Beanie a few times, when she was a baby. Get your hair good and wet, and you’ll be fine for a few hours.

So, enjoy the summer, stay cool, and don’t use any extra energy in the process!

MOONRAKER UPDATE: The insurance adjuster is supposed to be coming today, and it’s scheduled (once again!) to be pulled. We’ll know later in the day or tomorrow.

One thought on “Off the Grid Tuesday: No, You Don’t NEED Air Conditioning

  1. Pingback: Beating the Heat | Journey to Ithaca

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