Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life Lessons Of How to Live With Your Environment

I have recently been in discussions
about how to handle the heat.
This in part to the rising cost of cooling,
"green" thinking, and in part to loss
of air conditioning due to need for repairs.
My Dad had been an AC engineer
at the local college in the town I grew up in.
We did not have AC at home.
My mom would always say
'we are like the plumber's family
that has to call a plumber.'
I just made sure I had a fan in my
bedroom at night. Of course in earlier years,
houses were made to exist without air conditioning.
Windows were situated for cross ventilation.
There were attic fans to pull the heat up and out of the house.
There were vents to pull heat from the house.

Looking at the pictures of my dad and his family here,
you can tell, they knew heat. They farmed,
would help harvest crops for friends, and lived in old farm houses.
When I would talk with my dad
in later years about air conditioning he would tell me.
"Always keep the thermostat 2 degrees above where
you want the temperature and it will always cut off there."
Then he would admonish me saying keep it as high as you can if you are working outside,
because you will need to sweat for natural cooling.
If you are in too much air conditioning or too cool of air conditioning, it impairs your ability to sweat.
This became evident to my daughter when we were working in the garden. She says, "Hey, mom, it is cool out here today." I said, "You just haven't been inside yet."
(She had driven over early in the morning.) We continued working
and finally went inside at lunch. After lunch, she opened the door
and said, "oh my, it is hot outside."
Houses today are not built with screens so you can open the windows. Neither do they have attic fans to cool the attic and pull out top heat...heat rises. We have ceiling fans, but, as most southerners who have gone through electricity loss in storms, without the ability to open windows and doors, the heat inside is just stirred around. Plan your home and life so
that a sudden change will not be overwhelming. I love living with open doors and windows. The air conditioning is best for sleeping.
Any one agree?