One of our neighbours, during the worst of the heat wave, strung up white sheets on tight lines outside her house as a kind of reflector of the sun. That did not work, of course, but it likely did deflect some of the sun’s direct in-the-window rays. She may have kept the heat down a degree….
Because we have swallows nesting on a gable end right smack-dab on the hottest part of the house, I usually water down that side of the house a few times a day and also wet the decks. The swallows seem to be doing OK.
I also have an air conditioner. I bought it two or three years ago. It is a cheap Danby portable and it blows out air at 17 degrees C. The problem is that it blows out 17-degree cool air kind of weakly into a 26+ degree room and it had no real effect. Still, by the end of the day, the room was still 26C and the immediate outside was 33C. It must have helped some.
We live OTG. All electricity used has to be first ‘made’ by our panels and then ‘managed’ by our equipment. Basically, we can only handle about 30 amps of draw at a time – and only 20 amps on any one circuit. The AC took 15+ and, of course, we have all sorts of other minor draws that add up and so, if we used the chop saw or, way worse, washed clothes (water pump and washing machine), we’d threaten to pop a breaker not to mention suck down the batteries. In the worst of the heat, I was thinking of getting another few ACs. But the math just doesn’t work.
OTG’ers have to be mindful of their power use and, of course, we are. If you are not, you go dark and that serves as a stark reminder in real time. We are good power brokers, so to speak. But, but, but…..when the sun is high in the sky and beating down mercilessly, that makes for gobs of power. With surplus power at the ready, you can use it to…..(wait for it)…run an AC! One would think that an AC is one of the top verboten appliances living OTG but, because of when it is needed there is also gobs of power to run it, so it works out just fine.
But not two of them. I am gonna have to think on this challenge a bit more. One untested plan is to string up a line of misters around the house and over the roof. The water is pumped (big draw but somewhat intermittent) up through the pipes and it then ‘rains’ on the house all day long. That might be effective to some extent….better than white sheets on tight lines, not as good as 3 or 4 ACs.
During the hottest days, we pretty much stopped working but, of course, as soon as the temperature became normal we got back at it. You’ll never guess what our then-current chore was….? Yeah, you guessed right…firewood! Those piles of logs we pulled up and I blogged about some time back are now reduced to half what they were. Our wood shed is full! We have more to do but the pressure is off. We have enough in the shed for a whole winter.
This blog on the elements wouldn’t be complete without a water report. And, as you likely guessed (God, you know me so well) the water stopped flowing again. We weren’t really surprised. Heat waves do that kind of thing. But our source is pretty reliable so Sal went off to climb the stream and see. Walking along to her boat, she heard a heavy gushing sound…one of the pipes had broken. She stuck it back together and we are now fully water-backed.
Living OTG is all about the simple things. Keep the water running, keep the place warm in the winter and cool in the summer and keeping the larder full. Keeping all machines operating perfectly is virtually impossible so ‘live with it’ but learn to fix everything. And the icing on the cake? It takes an amber-coloured liquid form from Scotland or a similar purple form from a variety of grapes and places. Anything more complicated is not really welcome.