keeping your home cool - the LOW-TECH way

our living room at about noon in July

I have been meaning to write this blog for ages... mostly because I think I am the SUPREME COMMANDER of keeping my house cool, WITHOUT A/C! My family used to think I was nuts when I would go through the house and pull down the shades in certain rooms as the sun makes its way through our house throughout the day. I clip up curtains (very snazzy ones, they are cotton beach blankets really.. ) on windows that don't have anything and pull shades that do - then open them later in the day as the shade moves and the air is cooler coming in... I don't open windows where there is hot sun, only where there is shade. I swear... shade is SO UNDER-rated!

stripe beach blanket on the far window

The idea came to me when I used to live in Italy and my friends had this giant OLD stone house, Gunn had blankets and sheets hung in various places but that home was NEvER hot, and considering the hot Italian summers, that was pretty amazing!

Take a good look at your home and see where you can place a tree or plant to give you some good shade, you won't believe the difference. If you take note and place it in the right place, taking into account the movement of the sun in the summer and winter (you want sun in your home in the winter and shaded in the summer), you will be MUCh cooler and happier! (and save you tons of money on your A/C-heat bills). We only use our A/C once or twice a year... and we are NOT uncomfortable. My husband and I also work from home so we are home all day and we work in perfect comfort.

I love this photo.. notice all of the awnings that the Flatiron Bldg used to have - what happened to them!? a cheap and sensible way to keep cool!

I also have a fan system that moves the cool through the house pretty well, again, it means figuring out the rooms which are cool and moving the air in those rooms into the warm ones... every home is different but you can certainly figure it out. I use one fan and move it where it's necessary. Good luck and have fun with it... see what works for your home!

a great idea from Treehugger.com - outside kitchen!

Treehugger recently had a similar post on their website with some fantastic additional tips. I am particularly fond of the idea of an outside kitchen, I need to work on that one... But there are some other ideas that I had not even heard of, you can visit this link and find out more!

link to Treehugger post here