Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hot days

Today the temperature is forecast to reach 40 degrees Celsius.  Most people I know, nearly all of them, would complain about the heat and not do much because of it. Sure, it's not nice to be warmer than you like and not being about to escape it, but most people I know also sit in air-conditioned homes, cars, offices, shops, cinemas, etc.    Fact is, it's only going to get hotter, and instead of relying on stuffy, sickly air-conditioning to keep you happy, learning to deal with the heat will be more valuable in the long run, and less power intensive.

I think this is a good opportunity to take a moment to consider how you might be able to make the situation better.  Review your surroudings. Could you reduce the heat gain in your building?  Major steps could be to increase insulation, add eaves over windows, replace single glazing with double glazing, paint the roof white.
Some minor steps could be increase shading to windows, heavier curtains, external blinds, umbrellas.  Close blinds and curtains before the sun gets too high.  Try to cut out glare reflecting off outside surfaces.  Close rooms off that aren't going to be used.

When the sun has dropped, open up the house.  It may be still 25 degrees outside, but if its 30 inside some cross ventilation will be helpful.  Open up windows and doors fully and try to get any breeze to cross through the rooms.  Windows higher up will let out hot air that has risen.  A fan may assist blowing out the hot air.

Think about ways to keep cool before turning on the air-conditioner.   Fans to move air about make you feel cooler. Wet towels to cool the face, hands and feet.  Lighter clothing, lots of water and moving less.

Personally I follow what the animals do. I prefer to be outside, in an open and shady spot where I have fresh air and can feel a breeze, even doing something to distract me from the heat.  Inside with or without air-conditioning is too stuffy and makes me lethargic, and then nothing gets done.

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