Sunday, May 26, 2013

5/26/13 The Memorial Day Colorado AC Cusp

Here in Colorado at Memorial Day weekend, we're on that cusp of warm weather that's going to stick around. It becomes a bit of a very tricky balancing act, between leaving the windows open and shutting the place up so you can turn on the AC. You have to watch the weather carefully to know whether an afternoon is going to be so warm that you'll be sweating at 5:00 in the loft, because you can't just close the place down by the time you realize you are getting uncomfortable and expect it to work. The AC just isn't that powerful up here. The one I had in Navasota was about  four times the size of my current Colorado unit and could crank down the temp inside pretty handily, especially since it was a one story house. This little puppy, who doesn't get called on to work but a few months out of the year and sporadically at that, just can't handle cooling three stories in a few hours. 

The basement stays cool, and when you turn the air on, it can become a meat locker if you haven't gotten all the vents closed down there. The first story, with its stone floors and sliding back door that can pull the air through from the front windows also keeps it from getting too miserable. But the upstairs, where I am all the time, is the kicker. It can be 15° hotter one flight up, meaning instead of 75° it's inching towards 90°. Not good, especially when I tend to work with a computer in my lap in the evenings. I did finally invest in a cooling pad for the laptop this year, which should help. 

5:00 is typically the zenith of the warmth and then it ever so slowly begins to cool back down. If we haven't turned the air on before noon, it's too late to get the loft cool enough for to avoid that 5:00 sauna. Add to that an inoperable ceiling fan that we just discovered, after a long winter of not running it, and last night was the first of the season in which I remembered that I did actually have an AC and I really should start playing the weather watching game tout de suite. Luckily, the ceiling fan is a Hunter, which, I need to go on record as saying, is about the best fan company around. A part went out on one of these a couple of years ago and, contacting them, they sent a replacement part and instructions out free of charge. This time, the part that went out (they were installed with the house fifteen years ago) wasn't available separately. If we'd had the receipt, they would have sent us an entire replacement fan with the light fixture for free. Since we didn't? $65. Go price these at a store and you'll see why I'm impressed. So the new fan just arrived and, after last night's discomfort, it's going up TODAY.

But here's the part that plays with your head. You go to sleep with the windows wide open and the ceiling fan in the bedroom (still working) on high, wondering if you'll be able to get to sleep because you're so warm, and within a few hours, you wake up cold, needing blankets and you have to turn off the fan. By morning, you're in a sweatshirt, wondering what all the fuss was about. 

And speaking of sweatshirts, Sam and I hit up Goodwill this weekend and, lo and behold, what was in the racks for me, but THIS:


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