Monday, May 30, 2011

Home Sweet Oven

So. Summer is here. That's a good thing, I like summer. Summer means trips like the one the missus and I took to the Jersey shore (the real one) this weekend. But now that I'm home, I'm learning that it also brings a slightly different set of problems than winter did.

My apartment is very well insulated. This was helpful when I had no central heating. But this also means the only ventilation comes from the exhaust fan above my stove and the one in the bathroom. Incidentally, whatever I cook in here leaves an aroma floating around or a good day or two. I've cracked the windows for a bit more air, and my insulating curtains help, but otherwise my four 6' tall, east-facing windows heat the place up about 10 degrees hotter than the outside temperature each morning.

By the way, did you know that, in New York City, tonight's predicted low is 10 degrees hotter than the high was last week?

So I've come up with a few ways to combat this, but they're going to take money and time:

1) Window Air Conditioning Units- Thanks to a good Craigslist app for my phone, and some lucky reflexes, I managed to score a small one of these for free for my bedroom: an Energy Star rated 6,000 BTU units. Bit of a struggle hauling it home solo from Brooklyn, but I made it. It's in the window, but hasn't yet been sealed up. I'll also need a 10,000 BTU unit for the main living space of the apartment. Unfortunately, while my little space heaters cost me $30, new, a new A/C unit of that caliber will be well over $200. I'm trawling Craigslist, but the results have been frustrating thus far. I'm also a bit nervous about what this will do to my electric bill.

2) Window Film- Word in the internet is that this stuff helps big windows tremendously from making this place a sun-powered oven in the morning. Word also is that installing the stuff properly is 2-man, multiple hour pain the kisser, especially if you happen to read the instructions wrong. It'll cost $25 a package, and it looks like one package will do two of the four windows. So $50 and whatever it costs to convince some friend of mine that what they really want to be doing in their spare time is help me put sticky plastic on my windows for an afternoon.

3) Ceiling Fans- I got to chatting with my downstairs neighbor, Sean, about A/C units. I told him my situation and he said "As a southerner, I can tell you that ceiling fans are the solution." His apartment has almost the same layout as mine, and he installed three $50 ceiling fans from home depot himself, saying the make a huge difference both in summer and winter. A little cruising on revealed $30 ones available only online. My worry here is that my ceilings are 8'. Supposedly, according to research, that's just the right height for such things, but I'm 6' tall, and I like being able to stretch my arms without getting injured. There are "hugger" options that stay close to the ceiling, such the one I've linked to, but I've also heard people say they don't do as good a job. Finally, while people say installing them is a breeze (sorry), and I do have both the tools and access to the circuit breaker to make that happen, removing my ceiling lights and rewiring a new piece of equipment in their place makes me nervous. If I got the courage and did it, I'll be putting in three $30 sets.

So, I'm looking at an investment of $140-350, depending mostly on how and what kind of air conditioner I can get, plus roughly a day of installation time spread out across each item. I would enjoy the time spent, if I felt like I had it, but as summer comes and all tutoring business goes away, the money is a bit more worrying.

Which is why I need to get a moving on teaching myself to be a web designer/ getting my voiceover demo recorded/ applying for other day jobs with flexible hours. Just as soon as I'm done editing and memorizing my 20 minute one-man show that goes up in less than two weeks. Joy.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully you won't need to avail yourself of the traditional Alphabet City Remedy: Frequent showers!
    This is Danny aka Crane-Watch..wishing you a cool summer.