I work in a very nice office. I’ve got a desk and chair, a large LCD monitor, a file cabinet and a soft, cushy easy chair that I never seem to find time to sit in. It’s upstairs in the front of the house, though, so I keep my windows closed during the day to eliminate the street noises — passing cars, kids on bikes, what seems like hundreds of landscaping companies and their leaf blowers. It’s usually not a problem. I can open them up at night, and the lack of distraction means I get more done. Not today, though.
Not sure where you are, but I’m in New York. It’s hot here. Summer hot. Lazy day in August hot. It was 81 degrees at noon. My electric thermostat says it’s 76 degrees. Yep, my office is mighty warm. I’m sitting here dreaming of my central air conditioning unit. I’d love to flip the switch and turn it on. But then I remembered how I grew up in a house where we didn’t get air conditioning until I was in my late teens and I realized how selfish that would be.
Running a big central air conditioning unit like the one I have takes a lot of energy. How much? Well, my electricity bills go up about 50 to 100 percent during the summer months, depending on how hot it is. So I decided to figure out other ways to stay cool.
First I had to change my clothing. Instead of my usual pants and shirt I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. And no shoes. Then I had to get hydrated. I filled my reusable water bottle with ice — lots of ice — and water. I’ve been taking slugs all day. My lights are off, of course, and I turned off my printer. The blinds are drawn to keep the sunlight from warming up the room even more. My door is also open for a change to encourage the breeze from our open bedroom window to make a visit in here as well. It’s definitely helping, but I may look into getting one of those little fans for my desktop. And I’m definitely open to suggestions, too. Have any?
How are you keeping cool? How do you decide when to turn on the air conditioning? Do you have any get-cool-quick ideas? I’d like to know.