Sunday, June 18, 2006

Spring to Summer, Overnight

We've gone from a cool, wet spring to a hot, dry summer - overnight. Yesterday morning it was cloudy and warm but a breeze kept us cool. By yesterday afternoon the wind had died, the sun had come out, and the temperature started climbing.

It's a blistering day here at Sparrow Haven. At the time of this writing it is 33C. Even the birds have decided to stay in the shade and try to keep cool. The garden is showing some signs of wilting under the sun but the meteorologists are predicting rain tonight. Of course, they are also predicting a low of only 19C tonight. Summer is truly here.

With an older home like Sparrow Haven we have an advantage over many of the newer homes being built. The walls of the house are 10 inches thick, and the house has a 6ft deep crawl space that stays 15C year round. Besides acting as a great cool storage cellar, the cool air radiates up through the floors of the first level. With the 9ft ceilings on the first floor the temperature downstairs stays 23C as long as we keep the windows closed and the blinds drawn.

Upstairs is a slightly different story. The upstairs' ceiling is barely 7ft so all the heat from down stairs rises up and heats the small space. We keep one or two windows on the shady side of the house open to allow the hot air to escape as much as possible. The roof is galvanized tin which also helps to prevent heat build up. Still, the temperature in the second story is 25C. Once the sun goes down we will open all the upstairs windows to flush the heat out and draw more cool air from the cellar, before we go to bed.

Even with all the advantages our older home offers us, I suspect we will have the air conditioner in the window by the 2nd week of July. But if luck and weather holds out we will only use it until the end of August, when the temperatures start dropping at night allowing us to use our natural cooling system once again.

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