Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keep Yer Cool Challenge

I signed up for the Keep Yer Cool challenge because it is a lifestyle change we made awhile ago. We have a programmable thermostat that is OFF during the daytime and occasionally ON in the evening, if the temperature warrants it. The funny thing about my house is that it heats up later in the day - we usually hover around 80 degrees from about 6pm onward. But right now, during the "hottest part of the day," my thermostat is holding steady at 77 degrees.

Three years ago there is NO WAY I would have challenged myself to shut off the a/c during the summer months. Our old house was like an oven in the summer. Even with the blinds closed, the heat was so stifling we kept the a/c set at 72 from May until September.

But this house is better. For starters, it's a smaller footprint - one story with a basement instead of two like the old house - and it has big windows that are perfectly positioned to maximize cross breezes. Plus, mature trees in our front and side yards provide plenty of shade for us even though our house faces west. Old house? New development with saplings that were only good for dressing up the otherwise dull landscape. That house faced east but was much, much hotter even with ceiling fans in the major living areas.

And, the basement in this house is great. Now, I get why so many people love them. This is the first house we have owned with a basement and it is now on my must-have list for any other future houses. Our basement stays at least 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, which makes it the perfect place for escaping those oven-like late afternoon temperatures. It's so nice down there that Madhubby and I are contemplating moving our room downstairs.

Now, it's as if the weather gods knew I'd signed up for this challenge. Yesterday was sunny, but today has been overcast and breezy. Lovely weather, if you ask me! So, what about you? Think you can live without your a/c for a few months? Are you up for a challenge? If so, you know where to click.


sorel top said...

too humid here. everything feels wet without a/c. we do keep it set pretty high (78-80) and try to open the house up at night. we also have a 2nd story. fans help a lot.

LawSchoolMom said...

I'm a native southerner (Alabama), so I understand completely about humidity. Not only does everything feel wet, but the air is so HEAVY without a/c, too. If I lived in a humid place, then I wouldn't be too keen on this challenge.