Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Play It Cool!

No, this entry has nothing to do with the 1962 film starring Billy Fury, also called Play It Cool! Pity, really, as Billy was one of the few really good British pop singers at the time, far better than the overrated Cliff Richard and there were few other contenders, to be perfectly honest.

Instead, a few words about keeping cool in this part of the world at this time of the year. The thing is, we've been enjoying very high temperatures for a good few weeks. 30ºC in the shade is a daily occurrence and the temperature doesn't drop much at night, either. Because of this, a lot of people, especially those from the north, complain about not being able to keep cool, not being able to sleep, and so on.


Fact: this part of Spain is hot, very hot.

Fact: it's summer.

Fact: new houses are (or should be) equipped with air-conditioning (and older properties can be fitted, of course).

The problem is that many northerners seem to have no idea how to manage temperature. Instead of adjusting to Spanish norms, they maintain their northern ideas (so what's new? I hear you ask): front door open, windows open, blinds up. That might work when the temperature outside is 20ºC in the shade (if your lucky), but in this part of the world it only serves to heat up the inside of the house.

The simple guidelines: keep doors and windows closed to keep the heat of the day out (only keep them open very early in the morning); keep the blinds closed to keep the sunlight off the windows (if your house has a shady side, you can open the blinds there to allow light in, but keep the windows closed); keep your airco on during the day, set to 25ºC or 26ºC; turn the airco off when you are ready to go to sleep.

We keep just one airco unit running all day. It's in the living-room, so it is always comfortable there. About a half an hour to an hour before going to bed, we put the unit in the bedroom on. By the time we've finished reading, the room is comfortably cool; the unit can be switched off and we can sleep with no difficulty.

Running aircos is not cheap, but in the not-too-longrun, your airco costs will be less if you spend a bit more at first and buy aircos fitted with inverters.

Do not think that ceiling fans offer an alternative to air-conditioning units. Ceiling fans do not lower the temperature of a room. Quite an interesting article about ceiling fans can be read here.

Really, if you learn about and practice temperature management, you will have no cause to complain about the heat here.

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