Saturday, April 28

Keeping cool in summer

No Impact Man was asking for advice about washing laundry and keeping his NYC apartment cool without using power. I commented that hanging the laundry to dry inside the apartment might act as a swamp cooler. I don't know if that will work in NYC... you need to get both a breeze and a humidity that's less than 100. But I unwittingly performed this experiment today. One of my roommates is fond of loose embroidered shirts which she washes and then hang dries. She hung four of them in the doorway to my office today and as long as the shirts were damp to the touch, my office was noticeably cooler.

I may need to start hang-drying my laundry...


monkey said...

i would think it wouldnt work in nyc just because of the humidity (it's so damned stifling in the summer)
the moisture seems to make the hot air thicker.

the below is what i know about humid areas, although i imagine they'd work in dry too.

at night sleeping on a cold wet towel (if you have the proper mat beneath it) is good. or for those who still employ their freezers, a cold gel knee pack (or the rice sock i was telling you about earlier) will do ya good too :)

shade, paper fan in the hand, keep your feet cool, and you feel what you eat are the general lines for a no power situation :)

a simple vanilla icecream (or some lovely watermelon) can make all the difference when ya roast :)

Anne said...

I'm guessing you're suggesting that NYC is like Baltimore, yes? Or do you have experience in NYC? No impact man is going without electricity at all and so the freezer is out of the question...

The thing I keep coming back to is that humans haven't gone through a major evolutionary change in the last 100 years... we *used* to live without AC... and do it in most of the places people live now (including apartment buildings in NYC).

How did we do that?

monkey said...

hide in the shadows and drink plenty o water :)

i'm guessing that nyc and baltimore are similar.
although not totally cause baltimore is ex swamp land.

i've been in nyc in the summer, but not for extended periods so i couldnt truly say. (i'll have to ask savoy :) )

was thinking the hangin the laundry thing you suggested would do wonders for keeping the light out, which is where most of the heat comes from.
i'm just not sure about their air and how muggy it can get.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.