A Competition

With myself, that is.

This summer, since I'm in an apartment, and therefore paying for all my utilities myself, I decided to see how long I can go without turning on the air conditioning.  Where I grew up, this would be no problem - we used it maybe three times a summer, and that was usually only because we were having houseguests.  Here, though, in Tennessee, it's already been over 90 several days, and it's still May.  So this could be challenging.  I won't be totally without air conditioning, as I spend my mornings working in conditioned spaces.  But I'm not turning it on at home.

It's not as bad as it sounds though.  Our bedrooms and the living room have ceiling fans, which move the air around, making it feel cooler even though they don't actually cool anything.  We have a big box fan, which we haven't needed to use yet.  And there are all sorts of cooling tips: don't run the oven much - and if you must bake, do everything in one day.  Keep the blinds or curtains (preferably both) closed when the sun is hot.  (I suspect an insulated curtain would be fantastic, but I haven't got one.)  Drink lots of cool - but not ice - water, all day, every day.  And monitor the temperature; if it drops in the evening, wait until outside is the same temperature or cooler than inside, and then open up all those windows and let the cool air in.  Just make sure you are awake early enough in the morning to close them all again before it gets hot!

It also helps to wear natural-fibre clothing - cotton and linen especially - not tight-fitting.  And this may be a personal preference but I tend to eat lots of cool things in the summer - fruit, smoothies, salads, sandwiches.  Anything that doesn't involve heat to prepare, and is cool on your insides when you eat it.

Well, this turned into less a mention of my own private A/C competition, and more a list of tips to beat the heat... but perhaps it will be useful.  I will keep you updated and let you know how long I last!  I am aiming to make it through June at least, but I don't know if that will happen.  We'll see!

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