i grew up in a home without air-conditioning. summer conjures up memories of sleeping with the windows open to cricket song and the cool breeze magnified by a big sucking window fan my dad rigged into the porch door at the top of the stairs. it was a bit of a struggle to fall asleep in my sticky upstairs room, but it was pure summer.
now, i love to have the windows open for as long as possible each summer morning. i want to feel summer! the ceiling fan allows us to delay turning on the air-conditioning just a little longer…and leave the temperature on the thermostat higher when we do turn it on. it is possible to get a little sweaty inside our house on a hot summer day, but i relish wearing a cool, sleeveless linen dress with bare feet. i like seeing farmer's market sunflowers on the table and adding ice, lemon and mint to my tea.
i love sleeping under the cool breeze of a fan…or under a weighty duvet depending on the season. at night we let the temperature get a bit more extreme in either direction- not unbearable. i want us to feel the seasons. i love the excitement that comes from getting out the duvets each autumn... and the pleasure in feeling the added weight of that welcome warmth when my skin starts to feel the nip of the first frosty air. i also love the excitement that comes from washing those same duvets and rolling them up into the space that holds the fans the rest of the year.
when the temperatures outside dip, we happily snuggle into squishy sweaters, leggings and warm socks. it is possible that we might like to add a blanket, scarf or even a cute beanie (probably not all of the above) to our ensembles. a warm cup of tea or apple cider and the spicy glow of a lit candle feels just right.
i love the seasons, and inside my home is as good a place as any to experience them.
the goal is not discomfort, but we are not keeping a constant temperature inside throughout the year. why should we? it makes no sense to me that i should be wearing jeans on a 95 degree day, or that i would wear a sleeveless dress without a sweater in the middle of winter. by dressing for the season and being willing to feel them, i'm ready to nudge my thermostat into leaving a little more money in my bank account. (this is actually quite a noticeable amount of money!)…and it's good for the earth!
in case i wasn't exactly clear, the money saving tip is: keep the air-conditioning and heat off as much as possible. keep the thermostat temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter. nudge it higher or lower still at night and when you leave the house for a period of time. program your thermostat by season and according to your time at home. enhance your ability to do that by using fans, more blankets, and appropriate clothing.