Monday, July 31, 2006

how to stay cool without an air conditioner

The AC went bust Saturday afternoon, Texas, July. Hot weather.
Here's some steps we took to stay cool in the rising heat.

1. Turn on the fans. Circulating air makes you feel cooler than you really are. Plus, you can use the push and pull of fans in different parts of the house to move warmer air out of the room you're in.

2. Get naked. Why insulate?

3. Create heat sinks. Fill a tub with water, dump ice in it. If you can, do this in spare bathroom and kitchen sinks too. This pulls heat out of adjacent surfaces and air. Empty the tub or sink when water gets warm. Repeat.

4. Make a make-shift air conditioner. I froze water in a big plastic mixing bowl, then propped a box fan up in front of it on a towel. The fan pulls air across the ice, then blows the slightly cooler air out across your room. Have another bowl freezing so that you can switch them out when the first melts.

5. Keep it dark. I taped sheets of white paper on our windows to reflect the sunlight (aluminum foil would have worked better, I think), then closed the blinds. Light = more heat!

6. Don't move around much. Lay still and drink something cool while you read or watch Deadwood.

7. Don't open your doors much. If you need to go outside, coordinate it with others in your house so you can all go out and come in together, thereby reducing the amount of time the door is open and the amount of warm air that comes in.

8. Use ice if you've got ice, and make as much ice as you can. You're freezer will become your only source of cold when your AC is out!

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Note: I thought it would be a good idea to fill plastic bags with water -- the kind you get in the produce department for your veggies -- and pop them in the freezer to make more ice. This ain't a good idea. When the water crystalizes, it can pierce the thin plastic and the unfrozen water'll leak all over your freezer.

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Watching: The World's Fastest Indian
Listening: 16 Horsepower
Weather: Yeah. Weather.