My family learned that if we kicked that thermostat up to 76 during the hottest part of the day and 74 at night when the a/c unit wouldn't have to work quite so hard, we could indeed bear it. In fact, we got used to the temperature change fairly quickly, in a week or two, so that we didn't feel hot or icky at all when the house was 76 degrees!
Then one of our two air conditioner units went kaput! Uh oh! Not in June, just when the summer is really gearing up and the humidity is through the roof!
Well we quickly learned that by closing off the part of the house that has air conditioning during the day, we could limit ourselves to that part of the house for the most part and still stay cool. All it took was a curtain rod hung over a doorway and pretty red curtain hanging from it. In the early evening, we pull back the curtain and open the bedroom doors to allow more air flow. Ceiling fans in the bedrooms help pull the air so that by bedtime our rooms are about 78 degrees. Though it's a bit warmer than we were used to, again it only took us about a week to acclimate ourselves to the new temperature.
|image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net|
Then the power bill arrived. We are using half the energy we were using this time last year! And we are perfectly comfortable!
There are several lessons we've learned here and will carry with us into the future:
- Our bodies can be comfortable at temperatures above 72 degrees.
- Air conditioning accounts for a HUGE percentage of a home's energy usage.
- A small amount of effort can net a large amount of savings on your power bill.
- Ceiling fans are wonderful things and don't use nearly as much energy as air conditioners.
- Curtains are cute in a doorway!
(Note: Don't fill all 8 of those light bulb spots on a ceiling fan! Who needs 8 lightbulbs in one room? Besides, lightbulbs create heat! Use energy saving bulbs and fill every 2nd or 3rd spot.)
Have you ever discovered a greener way of living by accident?