KEEPING COOL….Michael O’Hare provides some advice for cooling off without running the air conditioner:

Keep the sun out! Windows facing south to west need shading. Exterior awnings, a wonderful old technology that comes in cheerful striped colors, are the best thing for this.

….Dump the hot air out of your house in the evening! This is done with a window fan installed in the top (preferably) of a window, in a room where you will mind the noise least, usually a guest room or the kitchen, running to blow out.

….Finally, put in compact fluorescent light bulbs wherever you can use them.

Marian and I did the flourescent bulb thing a couple of weeks ago and it makes a small but noticeable difference. The fact that they draw less power and save lots of money is an added bonus.

On the fan front, however, I can report that every store within five miles of my house is completely sold out. We already have plenty of box fans for the evening, but I’m too cheap to run the AC during the day and wanted to get a little table fan to blow a breeze in my face while I’m sitting here blogging. No luck, though. I guess some other part of the country must have gotten all our fan shipments by mistake.