Summer tip: use a fan and ice instead of air conditioning

fan and ice

This post is dedicated to my friend Philip, ’cause he needs it right now 😉

This summer has been fairly mild in Sendai, but the last couple of weeks have been hotter. I don’t like air conditioning and prefer to use a combination of other strategies to stay cool outside of work. At home I wear as little as possible, sleep on bamboo sheets (one of the greatest inventions ever), and use an electric fan.

One way to make an electric fan more effective is to combine it with ice. This has two benefits: it takes some of the moisture out of the air through condensation and also lowers the temperature of the air slightly. You can see my setup in the picture above. A plastic bottle 2/3 full of water, frozen, a bowl to catch the condensation (this bottle accumulates a couple of centimeters of water in the bowl by the time it thaws out completely), and something to raise the bowl so that it is in front of the fan.

If you prepare three or four bottles you can rotate them fairly constantly and maintain a more pleasant environment without the expense, environmental damage, and air quality degradation of air conditioning.

Any other tips for the summer?

Are the bamboo sheets actually comfortable, Ben? Curious.

Hey Greg

I find them fine. They are very supple, and the pieces move with you. They can trap hair between the pieces sometimes, which is uncomfortable if you move around a lot. Sometimes they leave imprints in your skin in the morning, but they fade pretty much immediately.

The great thing about them is that they feel cool and allow air to circulate under your body. They also allow the sweat to drain away from you. I really couldn’t survive the summer without mine…


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