Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Drying index

Luckily it's not deadly hot in Northern California this summer. I only have to put the air on on for a few hours in the afternoon/evening before sunset. It's totally okay to live without air in the morning and at night.

When the air is on, I often check outside temperature and breeze to see if I can turn the air off. I just realize I need to be alert to the change of outside air if I want to minimize the use of air conditioner.
At the end of the day, it's not all about replacing air conditioner with energy efficient one; it's also about keeping an eye on and knowing the weather, and to be able to react to the change swiftly.

One of the interesting thing about using drying rack for laundry is that you become alert to the local weather. Especially in the country like Japan where sun-dry is the major way to dry clothes, people keep an eye on the weather much more seriously. It's especially because it rains much more frequently down there.

The picture is Japanese weather forecast with "drying index". It shows how the weather is suitable for drying and I think it's the combination of radiation, humidity, wind and the chance of rain. This is one of the way to pay close attention to the weather and use solar energy efficiently.

Likewise, we could reduce the use of energy, water or probably something more in various ways by understanding local weather better. For example, we shouldn't need drying index in California because it's always sunny and dry, but I think local radio/TV could report the temperature on hourly basis to let the people know when to turn the air conditioner off. (typical Mediterranean, the temperature here surges/drops drastically within a couple of hours)

This is something we easily forget when we indulge ourselves in 24/7 air conditioned building.

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