Cool Dad

Staying Cool During Record Heat in Seattle

The weather forecast this weekend in Seattle forecasts record heat temperatures of 100 F and higher. All of Seattle will be trying to stay cool. Typical summers here are mild, with the highs usually in the low 80s.

We moved to Whidbey Island during the winter and the “new” house (it’s 20 years old) has no AC. Neighbors have told us that since our homes have property on the waterfront, the temperatures are usually ten degrees cooler. So the big question in Seattle is how do we stay cool–besides hanging out at hockey arenas?

Flashback to 1976, moving into the dorm as a freshman at the University of Missouri in Columbia. No dorms had air conditioning then (nor suite bathrooms then either). August Missouri temps easily exceed 90. Our dorm room had one window. How’s a girl to stay cool.

Dad to the rescue. He explained that the old houses from the 1800s were built with breezeways to relieve the heat in the homes. He said we could replicate that with two box fans. He put one fan in our dorm window, blowing outside our room. Then, he opened the dorm room door and placed the other box fan in the doorway blowing inward. He created a breezeway effect which kept the room temperature bearable.

Fast forward to this weekend when Larry began thinking he was going to have to install central AC in our Whidbey Island house. But I proposed we do what Dad did in our dorm room 45 years ago. In our place, we have French doors on the wall facing the water. Directly opposite on the opposite wall is the front door. When we put in screen doors earlier this month, we put them on the French doors and front door. Leaving them both open created that breezeway effect Dad taught me. And this weekend, I said to Larry—let’s put a box fan blowing outward on the front door and one in front of the French doors blowing inward to bring in the breeze from the water.

We’ll be putting my cool Dad’s breezeway effect this weekend to the test. I’ll let you know how it works in 100-degree weather.

I’m curious how you stay cool during the summer heat. Would you let me know in the comments box below? Seriously, I want to know!

Debora Ragland Buerk
The Write Stuff
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