Tips For Keeping Cool in an Uninsulated House During the Summer

A few years ago, my husband and I, along with our two young daughters spent some time living in Africa and Latin America. Both countries were hot, hot, hot in the summer time. Not only was it hot, but it was humid as well.

I remember one night in Africa we were sleeping (or should I say, trying to sleep) in an upstairs motel room. There was no cross ventilation, and I dare say the temperature was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was humid as well. By some miracle, the girls went to sleep fine. My husband and I on the other hand were desperately tossing and turning in sheer sweaty exhaustion. We couldn’t sleep for anything, we were so freaking hot!

Finally, our desperation bred a plan. We got a pair of socks and soaked them dripping wet in the sink. We then proceeded to put those sopping wet socks on our feet. Amazingly, our bodies cooled down considerably and we were able to sleep for a couple hours–until the socks were dry. We got up, wet them again, and repeated the process the rest of the night. Our desperation had certainly turned into a mother of invention.

We now live back in the good ole’ US of A. However, we don’t have one of those nice comfortable new air-conditioned houses. Ours is an old farmhouse with just enough insulation to keep the mice happy in the walls. So how do we keep cool here? Let me share some of our tips. Maybe it’ll save you some horrible hot sleepless nights.

1. We have trees shading our house. Now I know that’s kind-of a long-term solution, but planting a tree is a whole lot cheaper than tearing out walls and re-insulating.

2. We open the windows AFTER dark and put box fans in them blowing the cool air into the house all night long. In the morning, right when we get up, we remove the fans and close the windows up tight to keep the hot air out.

3. We keep the windows covered. It’s amazing how much heat a window can let in. We keep dark curtains pulled over the windows that let in most of the sun–even during the day.

4. We put window air conditioner units in the bedrooms. It’s too expensive for us to air condition the entire house, but we do find running a couple units at night is affordable and makes sleep much more comfortable.

5. We move most of our activities during the day to the coolest part of the house. Our master bedroom happens to be on the east side and is therefore not heated up by the hot afternoon sun as much. We moved the TV and even my office into the master bedroom and find ourselves spending a lot of time in there. If it gets too hot, we shut the bedroom door and turn on the window A/C unit for a little while to cool it down.…

Outdoor Kitchen Summer Plans

An outdoor kitchen is often referred to as a summer kitchen because they are built outside of the home. Having one is a great place to entertain, especially since you do not have to spend time running from the main kitchen in the house to the entertainment area outside. The layout of your summer outdoor kitchen needs to be done correctly so you can stay with your guests while cooking. One thing that works well is to have a U-shaped or L-shaped countertop. Either works well in an outdoor kitchen. The area should also be divided into two parts with one used for prep and cooking and the other part for entertaining and enjoying the meal. In your plans make sure the smoke from the grill does not blow in the direction of your guests in the dining area. To mix drinks, prepare food, and cook easier the refrigerator, grill, and sink should be placed close together.

The sink for washing, countertop, and gas grill should be made from natural material like travertine, slate, or stone cladding. The grill can be an electric grill or one that uses charcoal. To have more storage spaces install cupboards or drawers under the countertop. You can use this area to store essential kitchen supplies like extra cups and paper plates, dish soap, spices, silverware, and more. If you are not building your outdoor kitchen on an existing patio make sure that the flooring you use is made of tiles, natural stone, or concrete.

In your dining and entertaining area you should have a sturdy kitchen table and comfortable chairs to sit in. The furniture can be made of unpolished and unfinished wooden benches and tables to give the area a rustic look. You can also choose wrought iron tables and chairs with a big umbrella to protect the guests if you do not have a roof over your outdoor kitchen. On the corners of the entertaining area you could put a couple of potted plants. The outdoor kitchen can be built by the house or it can be further into the yard. Just remember that if you need to use electricity that you have a professional connect the electricity from the home to the outdoor kitchen so it is done correctly and up to code.

Most entertain at night also so you want to make sure that you have some type of lighting such as Tiki torches in the different corners of the area. You could also install poles at the end of each corner of the outdoor kitchen and affix lights that can be turned on when it starts to get dark. You should also put up some bug lights to keep the bugs away.

Source Article