Today is our first real hot, humid day of the summer...the kind where you're sweating before breakfast is over.
Our cottage is very challenging to keep cool. I've tried with just fans alone, but it isn't enough. The small house, many humans, west facing picture window and west facing dark, low pitched roofline and the set up of the house distinctly lacking in a cross breeze all add up to one HOT HOUSE!
So, cooling it inexpensively isn't really on the consideration list. It's just keeping it cool!
Each of the two bedrooms has an AC unit in the window. In the doorways of said rooms are fans that blow the cool air into the rest of the house. This works, but, really, during a long heat wave, we pretty much live in the bedrooms and dining room.
The basement tends to stay cool, so we'll hang out down there, too, if need be.
I try to do my cooking outside because even just one burner turned on the stove makes the whole kitchen unbearable.
I don't cool the bathroom. I keep the door shut and the window open. It's on the "cool" side of the house and since we don't actually LIVE in there, only using it on occasion for special business purposes, we don't need to waste energy cooling it.
We installed a retractable awning over the picture window and that helps keep the living room much cooler.
Our daughter's room can really cook, though. I'd like to get outdoor canvas and sew shades for the outside of her windows. She has thick curtains on the inside, but once the sun hits glass, it radiates heat into the room, so I need to prevent the sun from hitting the glass. If it gets to be a long heat wave, we just shut up her room and have her sleep in the boys' room or in the living room until the heat wave passes. I'd love an AC in her room, but her windows don't allow for one.
Last year was a pretty hot summer here and we only had to shut up her room and have her sleep elsewhere for two nights.
To save money, I try to make do as long into the day as possible, but sometimes if I don't get ahead of the game, it just doesn't cool down enough in the house. I have to take Mr. Scott into consideration, since he works outside all day long. He NEEDS a cool house to come home to.
Since most of the family is under the weather today (allergies, and a stomach bug), I decided to get those AC's cranking. It's just going to have to be a restful indoors day.
As for the animals, the pig has a nice, well shaded pen and has made his own wallow, which I filled with cold water this morning. The rabbits are moved out of the shed (which can get really hot) and their cages placed in an area of the yard that has constant shade a access to a breeze (if there is one). I place a muslin cover over part of the mother/baby cage for added protection and shelter, while leaving the other half open to breezes. All animals' water is checked 3-4 times per day and animals are checked on to make sure they aren't overheating.