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This is our third summer living without Air Conditioning. Anyone else live without A/C?<br><br>
We live in the Pacific Northwest, where it doesn't really get too hot except a few days of the year. We just moved into a new house at the end of last summer where all windows face North-South (we are the middle unit of a triplex), so no worries about direct sunlight coming in. We live in a 2 story house.<br><br>
What we do:<br><br>
Open all windows, keeping doors to rooms open and have window fans blowing for cross-ventilation. I want to get a roll-up sunshade for the porch so I can drop it during the day. Use of the stove is verboten--now what am I to do for bread? We are a gluten free family and I bake all our bread. Meals are mostly salads or grilled stuff. If it is really bad, we leave the house, even if it is to sit on the porch or go to the park. On the worst days, I buy huge bags of ice and put them in bowls in front of the fans. Wear light clothing. We are considering a window unit for the bedroom and bringing the kids into our room if the indoor temperature is above 75-80 degrees.
 

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we just use window fans and ceiling fans. i lik having $20 electric bills in the summer<br><span style="font-size:xx-small;"><i>Posted via Mobile Device</i></span>
 

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I've never lived in a house with A/C, however, like most homes in the areas, we do have a swap cooler--works sort of like your bowl of ice in front of the fan idea (I'm in southern AZ). Works well except in humidity, which we only have about 6-10 weeks of, depending on the monsoon season. Our current house is shoddy 80s housing boom construction, and not built with any tenets of desert construction. It's a hot box in the summer. We get by using floor fans in the summer, we use the grill for everything from meat to veggies. We have one ceiling fan in the living room, and we really should install them in the bedrooms because they make a huge difference in comfort.<br><br>
Our house often ranges in the 80s in the summer. When the outside temp is over 100 degrees, the 80s feel like bliss. 75 degrees is pure heaven-our house will maybe get that cool during the nights.<br><br>
Have you thought about constructing a solar oven? I don't know if you even get enough sunlight in the PNW??? Here, solar ovenscan cook just about anything you'd put in a regular oven.
 

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We don't have a/c. The summers here tend to be very hot and humid but I find that it's uncomfortable only for about 4-6 weeks, usually later in the summer. We have an old stone house and if we keep the windows open all night and then close the shutters mid-morning we can get the indoor temperature at least 5 degrees Celsius lower than the temp outside. We also have a couple of ceiling fans and a few standing fans. I used to love those fans you can put in window frames but they don't have them here as almost all windows are casements.<br><br>
The oven is mostly off-limits and I try to cut down on stove top cooking as well, so we eat lots of salads and fruit, and I do a lot of grilling.<br><br>
ETA: Forgot to address the bread issue. Would baking it early in the morning help at all? If I need to bake in the summer time, that's what I do. It will be hotter in the house if I do that, just not as bad. I also don't bake anything that takes a long time, instead I'll do a batch of muffins or biscuits. We've just had to adjust to the idea that all the food we eat (not just fruit and veg) is seasonal and there are some things we can't have during the summer. Sorry I don't have more helpful advice!
 

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Last summer was NOT our usual. We spent our days sleeping until it was too hot and then we ate popsicles and lots of summer noodle dishes like clear rice noodles with diced veggies and soy sauce and vinegar. We also spent time at Juanita Beach after about 4 pm everyday. If I had to bake, I did it right before we were about to leave so the heat could dissipate a little. Lots of outdoor time in the shade and playing with water.<br>
I prefer that to a/c. But when we were really overheated we took cool showers or got in the car and cranked the a/c on the way to an air conditioned store.
 

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We've never had A/C here... you just get used to the heat & humidity at some point. People have lived w/o it for ever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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I'm in Massachusetts so my air-conditioning-free life is not nearly as impressive as desertgirl's. On the other hand, hot dry air is much nicer than hot humid air, and the entire East Coast is a muggy bowl of humidity in the summer.<br><br>
I travelled to Utah and Arizona one summer and was very impressed by the difference dry air makes in terms of comfort.<br><br>
Still, Southern AZ has got to be hot.<br><br>
My little tip - we have window fans for upstairs. We do NOT use them in the day - that would just pump in hot air. But at night, when it's cooler outside, we put them on and it feels like air conditioning (so much so that almost every night, we have to shut it off after a few hours because it's cool enough!). So, basically we try to cool the house at night.<br><br>
I also travelled to Tanzania once, it's quite near the equator. No air conditioning there unless you're filthy rich. A nice hotel might have a ceiling fan. I think it's just mental, we kind of feel entitled to air conditioning or something, but when you just don't have it, it's not the end of the world. (But try telling my mother that, she HATES hot, always has, and now she lives in FLORIDA).
 

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Haven't had AC since I left Cali 10+ years ago. I think its just portions of the US that feel you *have* to have AC, most places pay a lot more for electricity and so it's a waste.<br><br>
German houses are mostly cement walls, and it keeps the house nice and cool in the summer. Cold, almost. Although in the winter, it's not that great lol.
 

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Grew up in the Northeast, completely climate controlled. Experienced a little of no A/C in NYC after college, which I must admit was not pleasant, but doable.<br><br>
We moved to Lima, Peru 5 years ago and most people don´t have it. Homes are just not built with the duct work or even the windows that normally support those units.<br><br>
Although A/C is becoming slightly more popular, we still only have a couple fans...and I have to say, I am used to it now. I find when I go back to the States and am exposed to central air and forced heat, it really bothers me. I kind of like just becoming accustomed to the natural environment (with fans and oil space heaters for particularly cold nights - Lima has a pretty even climate, but does have a very humid and chilly winter).
 

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I grew up in the south with central air, then a few years ago we moved to the PNW. I had never even thought about the fact that the houses might not have AC!<br><br>
Our house also faces north/south so we don't get much direct sunlight, except for the window in DDs' room that faces east. Opening the windows and using fans for ventilation does help keep things manageable. We live in a split level, so the basement (where the family room is) stays fairly comfortable even in the heat of the summer. (OK, when it got up to 105 for a few days last summer it was miserable.) The main level where the living room & kitchen are can get really uncomfortable. We have two very skinny windows in the master bedroom so we bought two small window AC units to go in there. When it starts to get hot I'll turn those on and it keeps our bedroom really cool and the rest of the upstairs more comfortable. So the basement and upper level stay comfortable, but the middle level is pretty miserable.<br><br>
We weren't baking our own bread last summer, so I'm not sure how we're going to handle that yet this summer. DH does more of the baking (his bread turns out much better than mine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> ) and right now baking time is usually in the afternoon, I'm sure that will change this summer.
 

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For the cooking, what about running a crockpot and/or a bread machine in the garage or on the back porch?<br><br>
I'll admit I'm intrigued by this idea of no a/c. We live in TX and it gets mighty hot in the summer. Today was 90. When we were having some work done on the house last July, the guys working in the attic said it 140F in the attic. This tends to make the rest of the house heat up considerably and takes a long time to dissipate at night. I'm o.k. with having a/c. We hope to get an attic fan soon.<br><br>
What about those of you with small animals? I've heard ferrets and guinea pigs aren't able to handle inside air temps in the 80s.
 

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I've never had air conditioning. Days as high as 30 are rare and it usually cools off at night. We don't have fans either. If it's really bad we go sleep in the basement and/or keep the windows open.
 

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We live in the deep south (north Florida) and have not yet made it through a summer without turning on our A/C, although we do try to hold out as long as possible. It gets rough, though, when the nights stop cooling down (usually by June) and it gets up to 100 during the day, with 90% humidity!<br><br>
When we don't have the A/C on, we do use fans and we try to take a very cold shower before bed.
 

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We have a window unit that we haven't taken out of storage for several years. We run our whole-house fan in the evenings to pull cool air through the house. We run our ceiling fans, and we improved the insulation last year which helps a lot.<br>
For bread, I'd run a bread machine at night or first thing in the morning.<br><br>
On really hot days I'd either retreat to the basement, sit with feet in cool water, or go find a body of water to hang out near. Our local parks are really hopping on the hottest days of the year with people who don't have a/c.
 

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Well, we will be A/C free this year. I haven't had it on yet, and we are building a house with no ductwork. I designed it to keep as cool as possible, so I can't wait to see how it works!<br><br>
It is one-story, but has a cupola in the middle of the house with windows up high to exhaust hot air. The floor is concrete, which should feel cool and act as a "cool sink" in summer, slowing down how quickly the house heats up. It will be well insulated, and have a reflective white metal roof. Most of the windows face North or South, and have 2' overhangs to keep them shaded. There are no windows on the west except those shaded by porches, and we'll plant shade trees on the west first. We'll have three smaller east-facing windows. If they become an issue, I'll put a hurricane shutter on the exterior to block the direct light in summer. We plan to have fans in the living room and bedrooms. Finally, we'll keep indoor cooking to a minimum in summer and won't have a clothes dryer (I'll use a clothesline or one in the garage if I "need" to).<br><br>
Here in NC, it is pretty humid, so that might be more difficult than the actual temp. We'll see. The other difficulty will be those nights when it only cools down to 80! But 80 after a cool shower with a fan on should be okay. Right?!?<br><br>
I'm really excited about this, but nervous. I grew up in Texas, where we never even opened a window - A/C all the way, baby! (For good reason!) I expect we'll be uncomfortable for a few weeks per year. I read an interesting thing once that went something like: for<br>
90% comfort, you pay x<br>
95% comfort, you pay 2x<br>
98% comfort, you pay 3x<br><br>
We decided it would be greener and better for our pocketbook to be comfortable 90% of the time!
 

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I lived in Fl without A/C for a few years. You become acclimated to it I guess, even with high humidity and long summers. The ocean kept it from getting into the 100's ever, at least. Any time I'd have privacy I'd take off most of my clothes to cool down. Open windows, ceiling fans on high. Lots of ice water to drink. Showers in the evening to really cool down and remove the sweat before bed (now I have them in the mornings). Our house was cement stucco so it was probably slow to heat up, but then the nights didn't cool off much so I don't know. I hope the attic vents we got this year help us keep this house cool, we use A/C now to keep it under 75 and lower the humidity but it cost like $40 a month last year to run it in summer. We're building a house in a few years and I hope to not need much as far as climate control goes if we get the ventilation, direct sunlight control, insulation and thermal mass right...not sure we can manage without any A/C at all here, I'll have to ask around to see just what is possible without it.
 

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I live on the VA coast (but not on the water) and the only AC we have are two window units, one upstairs and one downstairs. This will be our third summer in this house. It's not bad at all. It's an older house, built in the '40s (before AC) and faces northwest/southeast and there is a nice screen of trees on the southwestern side of the house that shades it and cuts down on a lot of the heat from the sun. Also the previous owners took out a lot of interior walls and the openness of the floor plan makes it really easy to cool and heat with minimal resources. The downstairs is really quite nice in the summer without much assistance at all from the AC; I usually turn it off when it's just me at home, even in the middle of summer. (Then my husband turns it on full blast and leaves. I'm trying to train him...)
 

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we're in central TX and don't use our a/c for most of the summer months. Come late July and August however we sometimes need to turn it on for little spurts. Part of the problem here is that we are in a condo with only two windows and two sliding doors. I think if we had better ventilation we might be able to make it through the entire summer with just our screens and ceiling fans. I'm pretty proud that we are able to cut back as much as this in a climate known for several months of triple digit temps with high humidity.
 

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We live in San Diego, where the weather is near perfect year-round. We don't have A/C and we didn't even have a working heat source this past "winter". We survived just fine. Our bodies acclimate to natural temperatures. Our hottest months are August, September, and October and it would be nice to have A/C during those three months! We do what others have mentioned to keep cool. On the hottest day one year (107 degrees), we were actually at a free fire safety festival (oh the irony!) where those volunteers and workers really had their work cut out for them convincing people to change their ways. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We headed indoors after the festival to begin our refrigerator research. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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The last couple weeks (we're in the south) the temp inside was 83, and surprisingly I was pretty comfortable. It's amazing how the body adapts. Today the inside temp was 87, and I was noticeably warmer but still not so hot that I couldn't stand it. Now I have the windows open and the fans pulling in the night air, and I'm actually getting a bit chilled.<br><br>
I am hoping this summer we can really go A/C free the entire time...that would be blissful.
 
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