A Fan of Fans

When a new baby enters the household, parents use twenty-five percent more energy than before. They keep houses warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer–“for the baby.” But it’s possible to keep you and your little one cool without turning your house into a refrigerator. First, read Joy’s article on passive cooling here. Then become a fan of fans.

Regular old box fans and ceiling fans can keep you cool by creating a nice breeze. According to PGE’s website, you can use fans along with your air conditioner and turn your thermostat up ten degrees without feeling too hot. You can also use a window fan in a north-facing windows to draw cool air in and another fan in a south-facing window to push the hot air out.
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Keeping Baby Cool in the Hot Sun

While environmental concerns are important, you also don’t want to be forcing your baby to suffer in the name of green living.  Can you keep your little one cool without resorting to canned air? None of my baby cool-down ideas will win any prizes for originality, but sometimes it’s good to remember the low-energy, low-cost alternatives to sitting around in an air-conditioned room:

Popsicles and other frozen treats. Even babies as young as six months old enjoy frozen confections every now and then. Make your own and they’re practically free. Here is my recipe for a strawberry spinach concoction.

Shade.  Spread out a blanket, sip an iced tea, and read baby books to your little one.
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Simple Steps to Fight Summer Heat and Limit Air Conditioning

If you live in a steamy region where the humidity matches the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, please stop reading this post immediately and start making your baby an ice bath.  My humble advice only works for areas where the air is light enough to move. 

In Eugene, Oregon, where I live, the temperature occasionally gets above ninety degrees and the humidity is almost always manageable.  Still, I am a self-professed heat wimp so I do all I can to keep our home cool.  We don’t have air conditioning, but with a little extra effort we mostly stay very comfortable through the warm summer months. Even if we did have air, I think I’d keep up the steps below to lower our power bill and our emissions with just a few minutes of effort.

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