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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

152: Minimizing AC Use During Hot Weather

Updated: May 29

Howdy! I live in College Station Texas and today we have a heat advisory warning of felt-temperatures maxing out at 111 °F locally. My home is blessed with a great air conditioning system. Our central air sounds like a jet when it comes on and rapidly cools the house. Unfortunately, it's not great for the system, or more importantly, my wallet, to run it all day. And, at the current outside temperature, to maintain the usual interior temperature, somewhere between 72-75 °F, it wouldn't be able to take any breaks. Energy bill aside, the last thing I need is for my AC to give out in the middle of the Texas summer.

Here's how I minimize AC use while staying cool:

  • Set the AC at the highest temperature you can handle without it negatively impacting your ability to function. For me, that's 78 °F. If it still isn't taking breaks, during periods of rest, I'll turn that temperature up or turn it off altogether.

  • Keep the fans on.

  • Maintain shade. My every window has blinds and they are closed, keeping the sun out.

  • Keep the doors closed. I'm limiting how often I let the dogs out, for how long, and I bring a treat to the door when letting them in so they're in a rush to get inside. The door can't stay open.

  • Compartmentalize cool air by sealing off rooms that, for whatever reason, are hotter. Stay out of the hot rooms. If you can close the vents to those rooms where the AC is less effective, the AC will skip them altogether, requiring less energy to cool the remaining rooms.

  • Stay hydrated. I have two pitchers of filtered water in the fridges, plus a variety of other chilled beverages ready.

  • Use ice. They're great for cooling drinks, your forehead, wrists, and neck.

  • Wear minimal, loose, breathable, clothing. Avoid spandex or similar tight stretchy fabrics.

  • Aim to be more active during cooler hours, meaning the early morning and after dark, and to rest in the afternoon. This isn't feasible for folks working during the day, especially from home, but perhaps is do-able on the weekends.

Ultimately, safety is paramount. Better to spend the money than to bake yourself and your loved ones. Don't let the interior become hotter than you can handle. And, if the AC does go out, I'd suggest considering a hotel stay, reaching out to friends/family about crashing there, or spending daylight hours in chilled public spaces until it's repaired. Obviously that's a privileged take. Not everyone can afford a hotel stay, has a community, and if you have pets like me, there aren't many cool public spaces available to them. Unless matters became very dire, I'd try and stick it out at home, for the sake of my dogs, as most of my community is a 27hour drive north east. Blog Post 107 has tips for staying cool during summer power outages, however most of which are already listed above.

Thanks for stopping by! I drop new blog post every Monday. Stay cool!


Howdy! This past week I made a bunch of mockups for future woodburnings. The plan is to make a mushroom series. Right now, I have two done, one from this past week, that took extra long because I ended up repainting the entire background after I though it was done. The newest piece already sold!

blue pink gill mushroom painted on wood with fireflies in the background
Blue Pinkgill Mushroom

I've also continued scrapbooking. With my last, and only other scrapbook, I could tell early on that the pages were thicker than the binder originally meant to hold it all together, and I had to jury rig a wider cover. That in mind, I'm keeping track of how thick the pages are and I intend to conclude this book once they meet the binder width. If I have more ideas for future scrapbook pages afterwards, I can just make another scrapbook. While the early pages were mostly magazine collages, with some photos mixed in, I'm leaning into more actual scraps as I go, so the most recent page has a fabric square in the background, and seed packs I just planted from, for instance.

Page of Sonmi is a cone of shame dress while making a funny face, page of both dogs watercolored on a canvas, and a page of Sonmi as a red habanero because she's spicy
Scrapbooking Pages

If I could turn scrapbooking into a chargeable service, I would. Not sure how I'd price it though? By the page? I don't know. I've seen scrapbooks pre-made on Etsy, where the buyer just has to shove their pictures in the open slots. The thing is, I am making each page for each picture, taking inspiration from the photo, so that wouldn't work for me. Still, if I made an entire scrapbook album with one set theme, that should be sellable. Could be a future project.

I didn't write this week. Nor did I edit. I did come up with an interesting idea for a new painting, but it would be oils, and involve nudity, and there isn't a place I could show that here, let alone sell it. So, I suppose that's another for the concept folder, to be revisited when I move to a bigger city, or open my own gallery, somewhere down the line.

I didn't read this past week. I expect my next read to be the sequel to Soulmates: A Metaphysical Love Story, which is Fated Tides, by Sarah Faeth Sanders. I have it on my Kindle. I just don't know yet if I'm feeling a romance novel this week.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I drop a new newsletter every Monday. Toodles!

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