Sept, 2008 Contest: Have you been using less air conditioning this summer and do you think the high cost of fuel will affect the way you set your thermostat this winter?

Congratulations to our contest winner!
Lisa Schultz of Simi Valley, CA

We live in Southern California, where summer temperatures can regularly soar into the triple digits! During those summery days I have been keeping the thermostat set at a modest 78 degrees. But in the evenings our community begins to cool down quite nicely. So we take advantage of the soft night breezes by opening all our windows (and turning off the A/C of course). Not only is our home freshly aired-out and pleasantly cool in the mornings, but there comes an evening bonus as the winsome summery melodies from the crickets wafts into our lovely home, adding a special “seasonal” experience to our pre-Autumn nights together. (I’m a hopeless romantic, what can I say?) Then first thing in the morning all windows are closed and the A/C is set, however it doesn’t even turn on until around 11:00 am! I also just signed-up for an energy saving plan with our local power company. It allows the user to save up to $200.00 each summer by being willing to have one, ( I chose the upstairs) of the two A/C’s we have, to be shut off randomly IF there are over-usage peek times in the local area. Our neighbor has done this for the last 5 years now and has never even had her unit turned off, yet has saved an incredible $1,000!

With the rising costs of fuel, I think our plans for the colder s will include a similar strategy. Once again, we will conservatively set the thermostat, and take advantage of those cool winter nights (which don’t really get too cold here in So. CA) by lighting a blazing fire to warm the hearth of our homey family room; our favorite gathering place in the evenings. Since my daughter and I love to bake, we can also weave this tradition into occassional week nights when we are typically at home together, offering not only warmth, but aroma and ambiance to all who visit!I think it’s wonderful how life’s challenges can actually set the stage for thinking more creatively and thus, “an adventure is born!