Saturday, July 13, 2002

Extreme heat calls for extreme measures. It's been around 100 here the last several days. The first night, the house cooled well, as night time temperatures outside fell substantially. However, the last two evenings, it has clouded up, allowing much less night time cooling. We have no air conditioning -- my husband is even now searching the web for solutions. I'm not sure adding a machine to the house is the answer. If global warming continues, we may yet wish to. Neither of us sleeps well in the heat.

So what can we do without an air conditioner? If night time temperatures fall sufficiently, opening windows at night, and closing them during the day works quite well. For best results, set a box fan in a window blowing out -- air is more like a rope than a wheelbarrow, it's easier to pull than push. We've tried blowing air in across our steaming bodies -- the movement feels good, but the house does not cool effectively. It's a clear case of trading momentary relief for long term discomfort. Far better to aim the fan out.

Two days ago, we scheduled a massage at a local spa so they would let us use the pool.

This morning, I rose at dawn and started the sprinklers. I also sprayed water into the air near our bedroom windows. It helped.

Later, I plan to hang wet laundry all around the patio. Our patio is underneath a balcony, so with a sufficient quantity of laundry adding evaporative cooling to the shade, I expect the patio to be quite comfortable.

And finally, both the local library and my husband's work place do have air conditioning. Worst comes to worst, seek a public place with cooling.

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