Friday, July 9, 2010

Keeping Cool Without Air Conditioning

We live in a 1950's mountain bungalow. Like most older homes in our area, ours does not have air conditioning. Heck not even the Biltmore House is air conditioned. And I should have known that after the extrememly cold and snowy winter we just had, that a record breaking hot and dry summer would follow. Has it ever!
Here are some things I have learned about staying cool:
  • Open windows at night and close them in the daytime (You may think you need the air, but you are just letting in heat and humidity)
  • Use fans to circulate air
  • During the day, keep curtains closed; cover windows, especially west facing ones with white, which reflects heat
  • Keep lights off
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing in natural fabrics
  • Drink copious amounts of water
  • Using cold water on your forehead, neck, and wrists helps cool you
  • Wear a wet wash cloth around your neck
  • Don't turn on your stove, much less your oven
  • Eat cold food such as Gazpacho

Living without air conditioning can save a ton of money and go very far in reducing your carbon footprint and that is always cool.

(slightly adapted from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook)
4 cups cold tomato juice
2 cups freshly diced tomatoes
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 diced cucumber
1 bunch chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 - 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. honey
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tsp. basil
dash of ground cumin
dash of tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours. May be pureed if desired. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. This time I pureed about half of it and it really did make the texture very nice.


  1. The Gazpacho sounds awesome just about right now. It's a really warm summer!
    Here's another tip: eat small meals. Larger meals produce more heat in the body. I learned that recently!

  2. Your gazpacho looks lovely. Last time I made some, I drizzled some reduced balsamic vinegar over top. Delicious.

    Stay cool!

  3. Great tips on keeping cool, and the cooling soup is perfect for the hot lazy daze of summer!

    Bon appetit!

  4. Air conditioning is very affordable now a days, you can buy it anywhere in the malls. It is fine for the food to not having an aircon. The important use of this machine is to cool our room especially during hot summer.