Keepin’ Cool

With a high of 34 and a current humidex of 37 (as of 10:45am), today is shaping up to be one of those hide-in-the-basement-with-a-spray-bottle-and-fan kind of days. And although that is a very eco-friendly way to keep cool, sometimes we don’t quite feel like going to extremes.

Although it might be tempting to crank the air conditioner down to fall-like temperatures of 21 degrees, keep in mind that each degree below 25 will use an additional 3-5% more energy to cool your space. Also, running the A/C at 25 means it will still feel like a pleasant summer day, so you can wear that cute sundress and not have to put a sweater on over it. When you go outside, the shock is less, as the temperature isn’t as insanely different. The nice thing about the A/C is that it removes the humidity from the room, so that it actually *feels* cooler without having to *be* cooler.

Most A/C units have “automatic” or “eco” settings where the unit will detect and switch between cooling and fan modes, as well as adjust fan speed depending on temperature and humidity. Running in fan mode consumes far less energy, and once the room is cool, sometimes all you need is the feel of a cool breeze.

Of course, no piece on keeping cool in the summer can forget to include the essentials: drink lots of cool water, dress appropriately, have a cold dinner (sushi and salad anyone?), stay in the shade, make friends with people with pools, and wear lots of crazy wide-brimmed hats!