We eagerly look forward to that time of year when the air cools enough to throw open our windows. Monday, September 10, 2012, marked the first time since spring that we have just opened our windows and gone with the outside air temperature for more than a few hours.
Making the most of the cool outside air requires some intelligent opening and closing of windows during the day. However, it is a task that I enjoy. Depending on the day, we might have our windows open from eighteen to twenty-four hours.
When I first opened our windows on Monday afternoon, our home was at 78F downstairs and 79F upstairs. The outside air temperature was not much different, but it cooled rapidly. By the time I went upstairs to work later that evening, the temperature had already dropped to 72F. It was cool enough downstairs that we closed a couple of windows before we went to bed.
In the morning when I walked to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, the downstairs thermostat was showing an interior temperature of 69F. Outside it was just over sixty degrees.
The first day of our break from the heat we managed to keep the windows open until around 4 PM. As the temperature outside approached 80F, we closed the windows and let the air conditioning run until about 7 PM when we turned it off and went back to open windows.
That night we opened more windows and left them open all night. In fact our windows were open for the next sixty-four hours. I closed them around 11 AM on Friday morning as the humidity and heat started to build. The heat pumps still haven't come on as noon has passed, but they will as the afternoon heats up.
The rhythm of the warming and cooling of the house is a pleasant change from the abnormal world of living with a heat pump where the temperature never changes.
Living in a house that can be cool or warm takes me back to my childhood days. I was nine or ten years old before we got a single room air conditioner when I was growing up in Lewisville, NC in the fifties. Before the air conditioner we had awnings over the screen-covered windows. Beyond that and some electric fans, you lived with some heat.
I can remember only a couple of nights when I sneaked into our living room which had the air conditioner. Escaping the heat wasn't really much of an option in the fifties. Mostly you just went about your business.
I am also reminded of our years in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the eighties. Neither our car or home there had air conditioning. I can only remember one time when it got hot enough to matter in Halifax. Of course Halifax always cooled off at night because of the water surrounding the town.
Airing out the house when the temperature is right always makes me feel better. There is nothing like fresh air riding a cool breeze from the water. I'm looking forward to weather which will let us keep our windows open even longer.
While having your windows open is one of my favorite things, the Crystal Coast also has outside weather that is easy to love and an out of doors with places wild enough to offer remarkable peace to those willing to look beyond the beaten track.