One of the best investments anyone can make for using their AC less and cool the house down is an Indoor/Outdoor thermometer. Our goal this year is to see how long we can go in the Colorado heat without using our air conditioner. The worst days are during July and August, but my hope is that we can make it through the entire summer without flipping the switch.

I check everyday for:

  • How to bundle up when taking my dog for a walk
  • Seeing if the heat in the house is my imagination or not
  • Rooms that might be hotter than they should be
A wireless version, indoor/outdoor thermometer has save a bundle. In the picture; the bottom temp is the outdoor temp  and the top one is the indoor temp. When it is cooler outside than inside, the windows go up and I let the air inside. But when the outside temperature rises above my inside temperature then I close up and shutter the blinds to keep it cool in the house.

For me, comfortable is around 72 degrees during the day, but at night I prefer it cooler, so with the wireless version I make sure the bedroom is always cooler than the rest of the house. I keep shades pulled (even if the window is cracked) and I keep the door closed to keep the cool air in.

Already this spring, I hear others’ AC running strong, I am happy in the knowledge that I am getting “free AC” and a natural fan blowing through my windows, while breaking no sweat at all.

Happy Summer to you all!


  1. The Grouch // Friday, April 30, 2010 7:30:00 AM  

    Think whole house fans during that time of year when the nights cool down. Saves a ton on air-conditioning. When the air conditioner does need to run, I keep it on 78 and use ceiling fans.

  2. Jill // Friday, April 30, 2010 8:59:00 AM  

    That's great! I've been wanting to get one of those thermometers but none have shown up at a thrift store yet. I'm sure one will soon.

    I haven't used AC in almost a decade and I've lived. I live in North Idaho where it always cools down at night (thank god). I have fans blowing out one end of my trailer all night in the summer. The end I put them on depends on which way the wind is blowing...always work WITH the wind. Then I get up before the sun and close the place up and draw all the curtains. At the height of summer I put old car windshield reflectors in the south windows. That sounds like a lot of effort but it takes about 3 minutes morning and evening. Even when I come home after work at 5pm in 100degree heat the house is rarely above 75 degrees inside.

  3. April // Saturday, May 01, 2010 9:26:00 AM  

    We went all last summer without turning on the AC once. (Central Ohio, humid, hot.) Used the curtains (open/shut depending on the sun), an overhead fan in the kitchen that we kept running much of the day/evening, and judicious use of box fans, especially in the bedroom about an hour or two before bedtime. Cold showers helped too! We're all revved up to do it again this year.

  4. Alex McNair // Saturday, May 01, 2010 9:37:00 AM  

    Here in South Texas, we use the cat thermometer method. When the cat rolls on its back on the kitchen floor under a ceiling fan and looks close to death, we know it's time for the AC...which was yesterday. Low 90s along the coast and sticky. On a positive note, I can count the number of times we use the heater on one hand each 'winter.' Ahhh, the season of swamp ass is upon us.

  5. Dawn // Saturday, May 01, 2010 9:50:00 AM  

    I only have a ceiling fan in the bedroom and it really does help if the curtains are closed and the door is closed to keep it a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house.

    I agree, it seems like it would be an effort, but it becomes very standard like brushing teeth or sipping the milk out of the bottom of the cereal bowl. ;)

    Those box fans are the best and they are very cheap as well.

    LMAO! Swamp ass is never a nice site to see. Thankfully here in Colorado with the "dry" heat, we just wither up like prunes.
    I also love your cat-meter.. I have a dog and the length of tongue hanging out is my indicator.

  6. blueperls // Wednesday, June 02, 2010 11:44:00 AM  

    First tip is:
    If you have a skylight, make a blind that's lined with insulation fabric and hang it from each of the corners of the skylight. It really makes a big, big difference and the darker the decorator fabric you use, the better.
    I found a product called Gila Film -- -- that attaches to windows by the use of static electricity. No mess to clean up. It really works and it keeps out heat in the summer and cold in the winter. It's a fairly inexpensive product, too. However, I don't stop there. I keep my venetian blinds turned up (not down) to keep as much light out as possible. I also use a dark curtain over the window with insulting liner. I make mine, but you can buy them.
    Emma (Northern NJ)