As I write this, the temperature is hitting 100 degrees and I am very conscious my vacation home does not have air conditioning and guests are going to be feeling the heat. Fortunately, the cottage is on a river with beautifully clear water for swimming; the interior has ceiling fans in each room and a couple of portable ones for additional cooling. Where air conditioning is not provided, consideration of guest comfort is paramount so it’s important to let them know what’s available and what to expect.
Fans cool people not rooms
It may seem total common sense to know that fans cool people by blowing air over the skin to increase evaporation and that by forcing turbulence by replacing stagnant air, a fan can make us more comfortable by moving air around. However a fan going in an unoccupied room does little more than waste electricity. It won’t cool a room – it will only cool the people in it. Encouraging your guests to turn off the fans when they are not in the room can reduce your electricity bills. Let them know the heat generated by the motor does more to heat the room than the fan does to cool it..
Fanning the ice
Keep a supply of ice in the freezer. It’s nice to supply your guests with a bag of ice and suggest to them they can increase the cooling effect of a fan by putting a bowl of ice in front of it. The fan’s breeze will blow past the ice and create a refreshing chill.
Eliminating sources of heat
If you are using incandescent bulbs in light fittings, leave a note for your guests reminding them to turn them off to reduce the overall interior temperature. Switching off computers when not in use can make a difference too.
Sometimes the simplest methods are the best. We know how cooling it is to sit on a dock with feet dangling in cool water so guests can create this by filling a bucket or bowl with water and soaking their feet. Provide some towels and bandannas with suggestions that they can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Fill a couple of spray bottles with water and leave them in the fridge for a cooling spritz on a hot day.
The key is for both owners and guests to be one step ahead of the weather and to be prepared for whatever it may bring. Doing so will increase guest comfort and their overall experience. How do you keep cool in the hot summer months? I would love to hear your suggestions.