Cool without Air Conditioning
It's a hot one out there and our
air conditioners are working overtime. If you've ever wanted to lower
the summer electricity bill and save energy by shutting down the cold air
machine then consider these ways of beating the heat.
Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day to block the heat
and direct sunlight and close windows once the outside air is warmer than
indoors. At night, once the mercury drops, purge the accumulated hot air by
opening windows and doors.
halogen lights, dishwashers,
cooking appliances and dryers all produce heat. Avoid using them during the
hottest part of the day. Improvise an evaporative cooler by drying a load of
washing in front of a fan. Sun exposure, especially when it's intense, gradually
fades colored fabric, so this is a
great way to dry colored loads.
Heat rises so if you have a two-story house, stay downstairs and
plan to sleep there, too.
Stay cool from the inside out. For
cooling snacks, make yogurt, juice or pureed fruit. Try iced tea instead
of hot tea or coffee. Electric fans create cooling air movement using minimal
electricity. For extra cooling, keep a spray bottle handy and regularly mist
yourself with water.
Also remember a fan only works when
it is blowing on you. If you're not in the room, switch it off. Avoid
excessive activity or switch to exercising very early in the day or very late in
the evening, when it is cooler. If you've got children, submerge some plastic
toys in an ice-cream
container filled with water and freeze it. If you have to venture outdoors,
protect yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays by covering up with light, loose
clothing, a hat and sunscreen.
Use reflective sunshades in the car. Open windows to purge the hot
air when you first get in, before turning on cooling. Escape the heat at
air-conditioned cinemas, art galleries, libraries and other public
Put up exterior shade sails or
grow deciduous vines over a pergola, particularly on the western side of your
house. The most energy efficient way to stay cool is to live in a well-designed
home. If you're building or renovating, aim for a house that keeps cool
without air-conditioning. --
Volume IV, Issue 10
The passion for being green
goes well beyond the for-profit world in Wichita.
second year the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita will host
EcoFest. The family friendly celebration is set for Oct. 3 and will showcase
eco-stewardship and eco-innovation. The event theme this year is "It's Easy
Being Green" and offers activities and products designed to inspire and empower
people to live green.
church, located at 7202 E. 21st St. N., will offer food, music, demonstrations,
children's sustainable activities, locally-sourced organic foods, upcycled and
recycled crafts, vintage antiques, furniture and home décor, clothing, arts and
Ellsworthsays exhibitors and vendors are welcome to join the
event. She is looking for those who provide products or services that contribute
directly to environmental sustainability.
EcoFest will be held
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 3 and admission is $1 with 11-year-olds and
younger admitted for free. Ellsworth says to contact her directly for booth
space, contact her at (316) 688-5352.
Ellsworth says First Unitarian Universalist Church is committed to the
environment and is built on sustainability, literally. From the
parking lot to the bathrooms, green features were incorporated into the church
building including recycled lights, Low E on all exterior windows, north and
east windows was minimized to help reduce energy consumption and the HVAC system
includes economizers that will reduce energy consumption when the building is
not in use.
Ductwork in the church fellowship hall was placed on the inside of the
room instead of under the roof as a way to increase energy efficiency by
minimizing radiant heat and cooling losses. In addition, the water heater is an
on-demand tankless gas heater. The carpet is manufactured by Mohawk, an industry
leader in recycling materials and the current church carpet will be recycled by
Mohawk once its useful life is completed. First Unitarian Universalist Church
purchased wood for kitchen cabinetry locally and therefore reduced consumption
of fuels otherwise used for delivery. Buffalo grass and native plants were used
in the landscaping and a vegetable garden was planted this year. Next up,
Ellsworth says is a wind generator and rain barrels for this
environmentally-friendly church. --