June 28, 2017

Learning as We Go

My wife Trudee wrote the following article.

Learning as we go

As some of you already know, Chris and I live in Minnesota. What some may not know is that it gets pretty warm here in the summer. At the time of this writing, it’s 94 degrees with 37% humidity. I’m very grateful for the low humidity level, as our central air stopped working properly on Thursday! Unfortunately, I don’t tolerate ANY heat very well.

Chris and I decided to purchase a portable air conditioning unit this past spring, to keep our room cooler while we sleep. Little did we know at the time that the AC unit would end up being one of our best preps yet! (Okay, that’s MY opinion! hehehe)

We’ve talked about what we would do to keep the house warm in the winter if our furnace wasn’t working for whatever reason. We never gave much thought to what we would do if our central air stopped. Thursday night, we found out!

It was just after supper and I had just finished cleaning up the kitchen. I hadn’t had the oven on and couldn’t believe how warm it was in the house. The thermostat read 81 degrees and the outside AC unit sounded like it was running normally. I checked a few of the air vents to see if there was normal air flow. The crankiness started upon realizing there wasn’t much air movement at all.

Ladies, I don’t know how many of you have experienced hot flashes but that’s where I’m at in life right now and I don’t like being hot on a NORMAL day. I’m sweating from being in the kitchen, discovering that the AC isn’t working properly and having a hot flash on top of it all. This is one of those times when I have to be so grateful for God’s beautiful grace because I have NONE.

We’ve had a service plan through our natural gas supplier for years and years. We’ve had to use it enough that it has been worth the $17.95 per month and then some! We consider that plan a prep. It covers our furnace, gas drier, water heater and stove. We added our AC unit to it a few years back, thankfully.

I tried to schedule a service appointment online but the soonest was 5 days out and the next day was supposed to be 92 degrees! They’re usually so much faster than that but I’m guessing budget cuts have dwindled their service technician staff. I tried calling, hoping they would have something different. No such luck! I set the appointment up for 5 days out and set about the task of trying to get the house cooled off.

Chris and I share a home office. It’s on the top level of our small 4-level-split entry home. That top level is ALWAYS the warmest. Hot air rises and all that! (You can’t see it but I snarled when I said that.) Our bedroom is at the end of the short hallway that our home office shares. I decided that since we spend the most time in those rooms, I would do what I could to cool only those rooms.

I knew I had a spare shower curtain tension rod and I had just seen some black landscaping plastic in the garage. Remember now, we’re both unemployed and practicing making do with what we have. We have duct tape! hehehe I set the tension rod up to fit between the walls of the hallway and duct taped the black landscaping fabric to the tension rod. It proved to be a good makeshift barrier to keep the cooler air in our bedroom and office.

The portable AC unit is set up to vent out our bedroom window. Leaving our bedroom door open with a fan blowing the cooler air into the office helped Chris be able to work on the blog and me to be able to study. Once we were done for the day, we closed our bedroom door to keep it nice and cool for bedtime.

I’ve had to spend today in the bedroom as well. I’m thankful we have the option and I’m thankful for being a prepper. I knew what we would do to keep a room warm and similar principles are used to keep cool!

Thank you, Chris, for taking such good care of me while I hid from the heat!!
Chris says: We made it through the last five days or so and the AC is now fixed. Living in Minnesota, I have given a lot of thought to what we would do if we lost heat for an extended period. I’ve thought about how to keep cool in a general sense but never came up with a plan. Trudee knocked this out of the park, hanging that black plastic up kept the two rooms cool enough for me to work in the office.

To me, the two biggest assets a prepper can have are: thinking ahead and making do with what you have. We can’t think of everything but we can figure out how to get by!
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  1. I found your article very informative. I have one question, what are you going to do when the power is out and its hot ? I have a gas powered generator.But I am also aware that the gas will only last for so long as we can get it. I live in Texas. our summers can reach well over 100* .

    • I wrote an article some time ago that has some things one can do. We used the portable AC unit because we still had power.

      Here is a link to that article. http://preparedchristian.net/keeping-cool-without-ac/

      One thing that you might consider is having your generator modified to accept propane. Propane never goes bad, is easy to store, and my guess is will be around after the gas tanks are dry.

  2. Down here in Southern Oklahoma, we get about 60-70 days in the 90s, and 25-30 days in the 100s every summer. I’ve thought about how we’d deal w/ the heat, but have no answers, except… Drink extra water. Rest in the afternoon -hottest part of the day. Watch for signs of heat stroke.

    I believe the heat will kill many people here in the south, when the electricity stops.

  3. Awesome job with the article Trudy!!!! And “ta-da” women are extremely ingenious, and creative….especially whilst in the thralls of a “hot flash”! Chris must be very impressed with, and thankful for you!

  4. First of all, WOMAN ARE SMART. Secondly, people that prep for the times ahead are SMART! Keeping cool and keeping warm are two big concerns for most of us. The people in the colder climates need the heat, the people in Texas, Florida, southern California all need the air. Any tips can help us all.
    Don’t forget when that power goes out, the freezers won’t work, there won’t be any gasoline at the pumps, the store
    shelves will be empty, and your pharmacy will close, they will have no delivery trucks to deliver your medicine. The propane company won’t be delivering any propane as they won’t be able to get anywhere as they will have no gas for their trucks, soooooo. PREPARATION IS THE KEY. It will prove to be the solution.
    We MUST shop now, get water, food, the basic things b4 its too late. Those who tend to procrastinate will be sorry.

  5. Great article!

    I too am like Trudy and hot and sweaty is not good (unless I’m about to jump into a cool pool of water)!

    My question is what kind of portable a/c unit did you buy? I’m not familiar with that style but I like it. It appears to have a built-in handle for moving which is awesome.

  6. ColoradoRick says:

    Nice article. I saw a neat little You Tube vid a week or so ago about a 5 gal bucket swamp cooler. It significantly lowered the temp for the gentleman that had created it. Nice and cheap to build, and looked like it could run off of batteries or solar with no problem at all. I think you could find it by google. ColoradoRick

  7. Loved the read, thanks for sharing Trudee.
    92 is a cool day this time of year. I feel for you though, hot is not for comfort, unless you have someone with giant palms fanning you, wiping your brow and handing you some fresh sweet ice tea.

    • Yeah we’re on a different temperature scale as to what is hot or cold then the south. 92 is hot here (worse if its humid), but in the spring you’ll see many Minnesotans here wearing shorts when it gets to 45-50 outside.

  8. That was smart thinking, Trudee. Way to improvise! My hubs keep a portable air conditioner in the garage (his man cave). I’ll now consider that unit as a prep.

  9. Tina Manion says:

    Thank you Trudee for the great idea! I run my business out of our home (and have occasional hot flashes). I have wondered how I could make it through the day without air conditioning. Go girl!

  10. Your portable A/C unit looks awesome. My husband and I get a little sick from air conditioning, not sure why, but otherwise we’d definitely get one for our house. Feel with you on the whole upper floor = blazing hot thing, though you definitely have it worse than we do. Glad you found a solution.

  11. Great job! I love MN and really enjoy it. I am in MT just west of you. Great people in MN. I assume you have a lot of agricultural farming nearby too. In MT are primary AG production is wheat and cattle

  12. Whoops, meant “our”

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