Our bodies are amazing. Our ability to adapt always surprises me, and I’ve found that moments of adaptation are the building blocks of growth.
Recently Yev and I received a very expensive electricity bill, almost three times what it should be in the summer. And we were shocked. We had done our best to be responsible with our air conditioning, lights, etc, but I guess it wasn’t enough. So I called our electrical company and asked what the heck was going on.
The man basically told me that keeping our air conditioning at 75 degrees during the day and turning it off at night was not the way to save money. This was my first summer as a stay at home mom, and I think it’s made a huge difference being home most of the time. The man on the phone also recommended keeping our thermostat at 78 and above. My first question, “Is that safe for my children?” He replied, “Absolutely, ma’am.”
I don’t know about you guys, but my family and I run HOT. We get overheated and dehydrated very quickly, and I was really concerned about keeping my AC on 78 degrees. I was struggling at 75! The first day I tried the new routine was rough. The fans my mom bought helped, but all morning I would walk past the AC box and check how hot it was now. I’d watch the numbers creep up and up. Every degree above 74 felt like death.
By the time my air conditioning kicked on, it was 11am, and I was sweating. Glistening, glowing, whatever you want to call. I was uncomfortable, hot, and sticky. I felt like I was going to faint, and I was angry. I felt like it was a completely unacceptable temperature to expect people to survive in on a daily basis. I felt like I was being unfairly treated because my daily usage had to compete with people who weren’t home all day, and that simply wasn’t possible. Oh boy, was that a spoiled perspective 🤦♀️.
Well after a few days of keeping the house at 78, my projected bill reduced by about one third, as the man on the phone predicted, but it was still going to be an outrageous sum. I decided to stop using my AC all together as an experiment to see how it would impact my bill. I noticed that my house naturally rested somewhere between 80-83 degrees, and when you’re already hot and sweaty, what’s a few more degrees? I opened all of the doors and windows, put the ceiling fans and standing fans on high, and waited. I watched the girls for fatigue, rosy cheeks, and labored breathing. As much as I was willing to experiment, I wasn’t willing to risk their health.
Let me tell you, I was shocked by the outcome. My projected bill is actually starting to go down. Three days in, I’m sitting here writing while it’s 82 degrees in my house, and I don’t even notice. I’m not sweating or angry or miserable. I’m not cool, but I’m not hot. I’ve found I even get colder faster now, and what once was a comfortable temperature for my body has changed. Not to mention we’ve spent most of our time outside in the kiddie pool, where there is a nice breeze. It’s been really refreshing to spend time in our backyard, and walk in and out of an open house without having to shut all doors and windows to keep the cool air in.
If you’re dying in the heat too, consider these tips for staying cool. 1) Take an extra shower mid day or before bed. 2) Do not exert as much physical activity. Just sit on your butt and watch the kids. Do not attempt to do any crazy cleaning. 3) Fans are your best friend. I cannot believe how well they work. Spend the money and get the expensive one. It makes a difference. 4) Drink lots of cold water and eat cold food, like sandwiches and salad. Cooking and eating hot food makes you hotter. 5) Embrace the heat and give your body time to adjust. 6) And when that doesn’t work, leave the house and spend time in air conditioned places like the gym or an indoor play yard.
I hope your summer is going ok and that you are able to enjoy your AC; however, if you are worried about the rising cost of your electrical bill, try some of the tips I recommended and keep your thermostat at 78 or above. Our bodies are amazing, and they adapt even in situations we thought impossible. I know now that air conditioning is actually pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things. There are far more important struggles, but we all have to start somewhere. Changing my perspective of the AC has changed my perspective of the impossible. I never thought I would ever compromise on air conditioning. Maybe there are many more aspects of our life we can change that we never even considered. Maybe the impossible can become a reality after all.