Archive for Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let’s keep cool

August 4, 2011

If you were lucky enough to be living in the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s, you will remember what it was like to not have any air conditioning in your house.

As kids we would spread a mat on the floor and try to be as close to an open window as possible, just waiting for a gust of fresh air that was usually few and far between. Some of us would head to the screened-in back or front porch, or even find a place in the back yard.

I can remember our own home after we moved in on East Lois Street. We would put a mattress by an open screened door. Then we installed a big exhaust fan in the basement that pulled the air through the windows in the whole house. That was a big help, but we still had the humidity.

Thank goodness those days are gone forever. We lived with the heat until I finally brought home a window air conditioner in the late ’50s — now that was excitement for the whole family.

Central air was such a blessing when it came along. The older homes like ours had to go through many changes to just get one installed. At the same time we combined the air with a new furnace in the basement. That was over 40 years ago and of course, that means maintenance. We noticed ours a few days ago was vibrating and seemed to be struggling. After a good look I took off the top and we cleaned the big fan blades and flushed out the sides that had collected debris from grass cuttings and dust. It did make a difference in the amount of time it would run and it was quieter.

Another thing that I did a few years ago is to save the water from the evaporator in the house to a large container. When it gets to a certain height, I pump it outside to a large container. It is amazing how much water can be removed from a house. We have gotten as much as 20 or 30 gallons of water in a day’s time. This is the water we use to take care of our outdoor plants all summer.

This is the time to clean the outside condenser and also check filters. We need to do all we can to save on maintenance fees and the electric bill.

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