No Air Conditioning: In Which I Remember How Much I Love Alaska

Posted By on June 3, 2011

I’ll be honest. I’m a wimp when it comes to the heat. I grew up in Alaska where the spiders are skinny and anemic little guys, snakes do not exist and the summers are beautifully reasonable and worth the wait of the long winter. Sigh. I sure miss that place.  Now that we live in the Lower 48 I still have not gotten used to big meaty spiders, the existence of snakes in my back yard or hot, humid summers. After our central air conditioner broke at the begining of summer last year I got the perfect opportunity to make my peace with the heat. I can’t say I ever quite got to that point, but it looks like I’ll be getting another chance this year!

Here are a few tips that have helped us:

  • Window fans. These are fans specifically made to set into a window. We didn’t have these last year, but my husband just put them in the upstairs windows and they have made a HUGE difference so far. We run them at night and in the morning and they pull in the cool air and give the whole upstairs a nice, fresh cool feeling. I’m sure there will be those nights where it stays hot and humid outside and they won’t be quite as effective, but I’ve been pleasantly impressed so far.
  • Yummy cold drinks and treats in the afternoon. Last year our Kroger ran a sale on Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade through much of the summer, with the sale price getting even better by the end of the season. (My sister even snagged several bottles for $1.00!) I kept this on hand as much as possible and though our grocery bill might have gone up it was still cheaper than air conditioning and a flight to Alaska. When the heat would feel overwhelming we’d have a glass with LOTS of ice (which makes it go farther too). We also enjoy the Coghlan’s homemade frappuccinos (made with creamy raw milk!) and this wonderful Orange Julius recipe from Cultivating Home. I tweak each of these a little to our own taste, but they are delicious, cooling and the simple ingredients stretch a long way since they both call for lots of ice. I would also freeze lemonade or Stonyfield blueberry yogurt in little cups  to be eaten with a spoon. Homemade popsicles are a hit too.
  • If you have a basement, make use of it. We have a pleasant, semi-finished basement and I plan to turn one of the rooms down there into a playroom for the summer.
  • Consider having a creek installed in your backyard. Just kidding. Kinda.

At the end of the summer it was a great feeling to have made it through and to have saved all that money on air conditioning.

Here are a two other posts chock full of excellent ideas for keeping cool(er):

On Living Without Air Conditioning

10 Ways to Keep Your Cool

About The Author

Jennifer McBride is the blessed wife to Steve and the mother of 8 children, ages 13-2. She is also the editor of the book "Queen of the Home" - currently being revised and updated. In her sparest of spare moments she operates www.noblewomanhood.com, a website dedicated to proclaiming the honor, nobility and power of Biblical womanhood.

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