What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

28 May 2011

Sweat is Good for You

I hope.

It was only a matter of time before this came up, so let's get it out of the way since we're at what most consider to be the beginning of summer (in the northern hemisphere, that is; those of you in the southern hemisphere should probably do the opposite of what I'm suggesting). What temperature do you have your house thermostat set to?

As you all no doubt know, it will save energy and save you money to set your thermostat as high as you can stand it. Here in the Cheeky house, we set it to 80 when we are awake and at home, and 85 when we aren't. (And actually, if I'm at home and Chad isn't, I'll put it up to 85. I like it warmer than he does.) Of course, in Austin, this still means that our air conditioner runs more than we'd like, but it runs less than if we went for the recommended 78 degrees.

I'm just going to pretend that my
windows are this awesome. Source.
Do take advantage of cooler times of day-- if I'm on top of things enough to get up while it's still cool outside, I'll open the windows. And sometimes the doors. Also, fans will do wonders for using less air conditioning. And while I'm on the subject, I'd like to dispel the old myth that your air conditioner will work harder if you raise the temp during the day, then lower it at night. What's the difference between the AC coming on and off for a few minutes here and there all day long, and the AC being off all day and then running for 15 minutes once you get home? Here's the answer: There isn't one. Actually, if there is a difference, it may be in your AC running less efficiently with all the stopping and starting if you leave the thermostat at the same temperature all the time. I wasted a lot of breath trying to convince people of this when I first started college; I wonder if any of them have since come round. And more importantly, will my intrepid readers see this logic and go with it instead of thinking of their AC as being run by tired gerbils?

Anyway, rant over. What do you do to save the AC or the heat in your home from sucking up too much energy?


Jenny said...

My Gran grew up in the depression era, in a tiny town in northeast GA way out in the country. When she and my grandfather did well in business, they moved out to west GA and built the house we all live in today. (long story, irrelevant, but if you are curious, ask me about it sometime)

My Gran doesn't understand "energy efficiency". If it's hot outside, she turns the AC all the way down to get it colder "faster". Then when it finally drops, she gets chilly, so she turns it up. It's up and down like a yo yo all day long. And then she freaks out at the bill.

Me, I've learned to leave that thing alone. If I'm hot, I change into shorts and a tank top and possibly turn on a fan. But I will NOT mess with the thermostat! LOL

....Petty Witter said...

Not much of a problem here in the north east of England.

Its a standing joke that not many of us Geordies possess a coat - preferring summer attire come sun or snow.

Anonymous said...

We don't use the AC much. Last summer it was on maybe ten times all summer. We open windows and pretty much live outside as much as possible. When it gets really steamy we set the AC for about 73 degrees farenheit and leave it there. If the AC is on we close up the house and pull the curtains shut and try to avoid using heat producing appliances (works well for me cause I hate to cook).

Laura said...

Lol! We don't have that problem at all. No air conditioning here. Our house was built in the '50's and all new duct work would have to be run to install air conditioning, so we do without. We have lots of trees so the house only gets hot after several days of high temps. Then we use our attic fan at night to cool things off.
Hoping to someday have some warm temps here in Michigan. Mother Nature keeps teasing us, but...

Su said...

@Jenny: Oh, dear. My grandma does the opposite: She sets it really high and only turns it down if she's about to pass out. Of course, she lives in Indiana so she can get away with that a little better than someone in Georgia.

@Petty: Hee! I remember how I hated wearing my coat during the summer in Scotland when it would get wet & cold.

@mybabyjohn: Oh, yeah. The oven doesn't get turned on in our house between May & September!

@Laura: My parents' house doesn't have AC, either, but again, Indiana-- it's not an absolute necessity of life. It's already in the 90s here at noon-- I think I'd trade a few degrees with you!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My God, I would die!!! It's way too humid to do that here. We set it to 75 during the day and 71 at night, because neither of us can sleep when it's warm.

JEFritz said...

First of all: I could never live in Texas. The thought that you need AC to get it to 80 EVER makes me break out in a sweat. 80-85 is afternoon a hot July day around here!

Up here on the east coast, I don't use AC. It's a bit hot at times but there's usually only three or four days a year when it gets sweltering. And I must have a higher heat tolerance because most of my neighbors have already put in their AC units!

Liz said...

Ceiling fans. Need more ceiling fans in my house, but the one we do have does really help.

AC at night? 'Round these parts, the AC gets turned off about the time the sun goes down. There's only about a week where it's still unbearable at night, and that won't happen until late July if not August.

Although, last summer was very mild. I'm hoping for another mild summer. That would be nice.

Su said...

@Diane: Technically, it's too humid to do that here, too, but we hate paying the electric bill! :(

@JE: There are trade-offs, I suppose. After 18 years in Indiana, I was ready for a hotter climate. And I'm still sticking to the heat, even though that means I'm also sticking to everything else. :/

@Liz: Unfortunately, we still need the AC at night! Tonight, the temp isn't forecast to go below 80 until 2 AM or some such nonsense! I love ceiling fans, though-- pity we only have one in our current apt. :(

CherylAnne Ham said...

I live in New England and it's hot & humid in the summer, but I like it that way. We don't use AC at all.

I can't say we have many 80 degree nights though. That might be a little too intense, even for me. :)

anthony stemke said...

We turn the AC on to 73F, my spouse gets hot easily. Also have to have two fans on to cool her.

And of course, in the winter, she likes the heat at 78F; go figure.

But I'm a good spouse, just shut up about it.

Su said...

@CherylAnne: The hot nights were my hardest adjustment to make when I moved down here, because I'd always kept my windows open at night. Not anymore!

@Anthony: LOL! I guess those are hew two favourite temps? We keep it pretty cool in the winter, so that I'm wearing three layers and my cool-loving husband is still wearing shorts.