It's summer time here in Italy, a warm summer (not necessarily climate change fault, I mean, it's often warm this time of the year), and most of us are still working from home. If you are like me, you are a bit desperate about not being able to find refuge in a cool library or in the office.
This said, I have learnt some tips and tricks that may help you, if, like me you are without air conditioning (or decide you don't want to use it)
Before continuing with some easy to follow and green ideas let me tell you about a great thing that I found out about house temperature: there are laws! At least, in Italy there is a law that came out in 2013 (and I encourage everybody to search for similar laws in their countries). In winter you should not have the house set at more than 20°C and in summer it should not be below 26°C. There are similar laws for offices. And you could be fined. Of course, I doubt that anybody would come knocking on the door checking, but it makes you think that everybody should collaborate in the fight of climate change and reducing emissions (while still being comfortable, but thinking of the greater good).
Air conditioning is pretty terrible for the climate, and while I encourage you to read this 'Guardian long read' I will repost some pieces here for you:
'The global dominance of air conditioning was not inevitable. As recently as 1990, there were only about 400m air conditioning units in the world, mostly in the US. Originally built for industrial use, air conditioning eventually came to be seen as essential, a symbol of modernity and comfort. Then air conditioning went global.'
' air conditioning will use about 13% of all electricity worldwide, and produce 2bn tonnes of CO2 a year – about the same amount as India, the world’s third-largest emitter, produces today.'
And well, because the climate is changing and there are fears of more heatwaves, people are preparing by adding air conditioning in their homes. And just to steal the article subtitle 'The warmer it gets, the more we use air conditioning. The more we use air conditioning, the warmer it gets. Is there any way out of this trap?'
While we wait for the answer (some kind of super technological new machine that can both cool us and not emit so much - basically some magic machine), here are some things to make heat bearable (not, not comfortable, but bearable) while working from home (or just, while being..).
Sunlight. It's beautiful and yet we should remember that sunlight + glass = glasshouse = heating.
This means: stopping the sun before it hits the glass. And stay in a darker house.
Air. Make the most of the nightime 'cooler' temperatures to air the house, and leave a lot of windows open as to make a current.
Computer. I don't know you, but my computer these days is a heating machine. poor thing, i also leave it there to run some model for work and then i think i could use it as a frying pan and eggs would be ready in a second. What I am learning is to have the laptop elevated (over a small book so most of the underneath is free from contact), that way it can cool down easier and it doesn't work as a heat source
Water. Drink drink drink. I have to remind this to myself, but i do feel much better after a glass of water. I keep it in the fridge but on the door so it's never too cold. Splash a little on your face, ankles and wrists - and you may notice a difference. A nice little work break.
Time. if you can work flexi time, don't expect to be the most productive in the warmest hour of the day. your colleagues may understand. If you have this privilege, try to schedule more difficult work in the morning and evening and in the middle of the day, schedule something easy.
I think with all of these little things I have 1-2°C less than I would if i had everything open, and no need for an ugly, energy consuming, plasticky air-con machine!
Disclaimer: some posts may contain affiliate links. At no extra costs to you, buying through the link will help me in this blogging journey!