Sunday, June 29, 2008

Kill Your Air Conditioner

Oregon Is melting! One hot day and you would think it is the end of the world. Oregon had its first (and probably only) triple-digit-day yesterday. The TV newscasters are making much of the “heat wave,” issuing “Heat Advisories” and telling people how to survive. Hard to imagine that 100 years ago people lived happily without air conditioning. The hardy pioneers that settled this state endured some pretty sweaty days crossing the Midwestern prairies in the summer heat. And without showers!! The media are advising people to watch out for the old folks, but actually, old people know how to stay cool as they probably grew up, as I did, without air-conditioning.

At this point in time, when we are thinking green and worrying about the energy crisis, it seems prudent to take a second look at just what temperature constitutes a “comfort zone.” Some people and businesses seem to want their houses or offices colder in the summer than in the winter. Where should the thermostat be set? 68°? 70°? 72°? 75°? OFF?

The current gas crisis has pointed up how unwilling many people are to make the slightest sacrifice for conservation. But sacrifice is going to be essential to save this country from the egregious energy usage currently in existence. A little sweat seems a small sacrifice.

In case you don’t know, here’s what you do. Get up early and get your chores done before the sun rises. Water early. Hang out your wash. Run errands as soon as the stores open. Close up the house and pull the drapes and shades. Turn on the ceiling fans and other fans strategically placed to circulate the air through the house. Have lots of cool beverages on hand. And a good book. Cook in the crockpot or the microwave. Or eat salads. Take it easy. Try a siesta in the early afternoon. And a long walk just before dark. KILL YOUR AIR CONDITIONER!


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