Saturday, June 14, 2008

Surviving Heat

Today is much cooler than Thursday and so much cooler than the predictions made it sound like it would be that I know that I am blessed. The air was still smoky last night from all the fires burning in various parts of California and that is scary. My heart goes out to those whose lives are disrupted and especially those who have lost their homes.

Now that it is cooler I need to assess what else I can do to keep the heat at bay when it returns, as it will. The windows are all covered with drapes or blinds but they are not quite sufficient for the job. White black-out cloth has been tacked on one window and it works quite well. More to come.

A piece of white foam core board originally purchased as a backing board for taking pictures, served well during the winter as a draft-stopper and is now serving as an insulator against the heat. More to come.

Fans run constantly in the house during heat waves. (I have no air-conditioning.) They are old though, so I need to buy at least one new one to have a back-up. That is on the list.

I did not need to use the ice in the freezer this time,so there is plenty of ice. Two years ago when we had a record breaking, historic heat wave that seemed to go on forever I found that the old ice cap, filled with ice helped quite a bit when I placed it on my head.

For a number of years I have worn a small towel wrung out in cool water around my neck in really hot weather. A personal and cheap cooling system that is messy but does work.

To use my computers, air-conditioning would definitely be necessary. This week I learned of something that I had never heard of before--through the wall air conditioners. That or a portable installed through the wall in the office might make it possible to continue to use a computer on a hot day.

Years ago friends had a thing on the roof that sucked the hot air out of the house allowing the cooler night air to displace more hot air and the house was significantly cooler. I want one. So I need to contact them and ask what the thing was called then get estimates from contractors to see if it is in budget. (Not much is at the moment.)

Full air would be the least hassle but the most costly solution to all these problems. For one person in the whole house? Maybe in a few years.

I have tried to be contented with the make shift measures that are inexpensive, not only because of income and budget concerns, but also because these are things that require less energy and less dependence on "the grid" and therefore on the outside world and large corporations.

At heart, I guess I am at least in part, a survivalist, skeptical of solutions to everyday needs that make me more dependent on an increasingly fragile multi-national big company economy.

Oh and a little salt on a hot day would not be a bad idea to counteract all the water.

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