All Hail Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th Century. Without it there’s be no Phoenix or Las Vegas or Houston or Orlando as we know them Air conditioning made those cities livable.

I say I like summer. Of course, I am protected from its more difficult side. I walk from the car to the Hartford Courant Building. That’s it. The rest of my day is spent under climate control.

I am spoiled.

Air conditioning is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th Century. Without it there’s be no Phoenix or Las Vegas or Houston or Orlando as we know them Air conditioning made those cities livable.

I say I like summer. Of course, I am protected from its more difficult side. I walk from the car to the Hartford Courant Building. That’s it. The rest of my day is spent under climate control.

I am spoiled.

There are many people without air conditioning by choice. Please comment. I don’t understand why you do that.

There are many people who can’t afford air conditioning. That’s awful. This weather can kill, even if you’re just sitting at home!

We had no air conditioning growing up. It was less widespread then, especially in my parent’s income bracket.

Fifth floor apartment. Windows open. We looked onto a complex of parking lots and an open space where people gathered on hot summer nights. It was tough trying to sleep as a kid with loud conversations down below.

We were also under an approach pattern to LaGuardia. Prop planes. Lower and slower. The building would shake!

Air traffic let up at night. It didn’t disappear.

I moved to Florida for my first fulltime job in radio after college&#185. I got a little apartment near the center of Lake Worth, FL. No air conditioning!

I remember lying in bed, hoping for a breath of air to remove some of my sweat. Summer nights in South Florida are still!

Here in Connecticut a real estate agent tried selling us a non-air conditioned home by saying, “It’s the shoreline. You don’t need air conditioning.” Uh huh.

Plants and flowers grow in the warmth. Daylight lasts longer. You don’t have to drive in snow.

I love summer.

&#185 – Considering my college experience, I might not be entitled to all seven letters. I’ve only earned ‘col.’

13 thoughts on “All Hail Air Conditioning”

  1. I grew up with NO air conditioning. Our house had windows on all sides so we got a good “cross breeze”. And as kids when it was really not we slept on the covered porch at night for adventure (and a breeze!).
    I don’t like AC myself and it seems to run in the family as my father didn’t (hence no AC!) and just found out my cousin hates it too. I wait as long as possible to turn the window rattler on in the house. The office (only me) has central air and that goes on as infrequently as possible. Windows open until even I can’t stand it! I don’t like the closed in feeling.
    And I use ear plugs when it runs at night so when I wake up in the middle of the night I can fall back to sleep.

  2. We live on the shoreline. We have only window units in the bedrooms. Whole house fan takes the edge off of common areas at night. Right now, I am sitting in front of a pole fan. I can live without central air in the house, but I would never again buy a car without it.

  3. Growing up no AC in my house also, Big load window fan at the end of the 2nd floor. only relief I had. At least it pulled some air thru house.

    Growing up since we didn’t have ac we didn’t seam to mind the heat as much as we do now with AC everywhere.

    When we were young we just went with the flow. Now its hard to live without AC on these hot and humid days. I u

  4. I’m with all the above. I hate the noise of window units, the way they block the windows, and the feeling that you’re trapped one room to stay cool. Maybe it’s different with central air. I think our obsession with air conditioning stems from our need to be on call and productive 24/7, rather than adjusting our bodies and activities to the climate. After all it’s a couple of months, albeit miserable at times. Plus there’s the expense, the cost of the units (or installing central) and the utility bill…
    We have pole fans and ceiling fans (Hunter fans are wonderful, very quiet).
    Most new buildings are hermetically sealed so AC is a must.
    And finally there’s the environmental factor: and
    But, yeah, I do like AC in my car, even though it’s a convertible. Are any cars not air conditioned these days?

  5. I grew up in Manchester England, I Didn’t even know Air Conditioning existed as a thing till I was well into my 20’s. You may think there would be no need for Air Con in the UK but during the summer months the humidity often reaches over 90%, and I too have spent many nights with the windows open praying for a non existent breeze. It wasn’t till a local shop installed it in the late 90’s that I experienced Air Con for the 1st time. Even our cars at that time had no Air Con. So here in CT I’m still amazed by the cold air machine on the wall, and it would make for an interesting experience to go back to England in the summer now without it……

  6. We got AC beginning in the early 70’s – window units that turned a eastern looking room into a cave ever summer. It was hardly turned on as I was never really in the room except to sleep, and evenings on the CT shoreline were cool enough to not need it.
    I have a window unit now. I bought it last summer for the bedroom,for the wife who was undergoing chemotherapy…she just couldn’t deal with the heat. It’s upstairs in the closet now. Not sure if I’ll keep it or sell it.
    I like having my windows open and the light. As for the heat, if it get’s really bad I come down to the basement where my computers are and where the temp is a few degrees cooler, but otherwise it doesn’t bother me that much. I think many are ‘acclimatized’ to AC.

  7. Yesterday, as a courtesy to my husband who stills works while I am retired, we bought an air conditioner. It is a portable, Friedrich with two hoses (I researched and this is important). First we set it up in the kitchen/livingroom area. Had to have all of the windows closed included insulated Roman Shades to keep out the sun. Add the noise, (and these units are the quietest portables)and you have pure torture for me. Moved it to the bedroom at night where I tolerated it and it will stay. Never had air conditioning growing up and I personally could continue that way. I’ll take the heat and humidity over the claustrophobia and noise any day. It’s summer – remember when you were a kid and looked forward to it – barefoot and fancy free for almost three months. : )

  8. I grew up in a shoreline village. It was at least ten degrees cooler there than anywhere else. Now I don’t think I could survive without central A/C. My husband, like you, worked in air conditioned comfort and came home when it had cooled down. I campaigned tirelessly for A/C, finally got my way and he said it was the best idea he ever had. Central A/C, for those who want to pay the price, is quiet. It’s well worth the investment if you have it which we wouldn’t have years ago.

  9. I have central air in my new house been here 10 years
    And love it but it’s all in different zones so you can turn it off
    I grew up with no ac and in my old house had no ac until
    my son was born in June of 1995 we finally got those window units
    because before that was never home that much always working
    and never noticed how hot and miserable it was . I love my

  10. I grew up without A/C and didn’t really even have a window unit in the house until about 5 years ago. I was able to cool the house down with an attic fan and opening the cellar door. (The dehumidifier in the cellar keeps it beautiful all summer long.) Then the fan broke and I couldn’t find one to fit the opening anymore. Mom had COPD but she didn’t want an A/C in the house. The nurse finally convinced her she needed it – I went out and bought one that night.

    I still only have it in the living room, but it’s enough to get the ‘sticky’ out of the house (small house, obviously). I hate going to work where they keep it at ‘frozen’ all day long. I have a sweater on all summer. The worst part is coming out of that frozen wasteland and back home to the sticky. I think it makes it harder to adjust at night because I’m so cold all day long. Just need to convince my boss of that.

  11. About 6 years ago we installed a ductless AC system (also know as a mini split) you see them in some offices and are very common in the rest of the world. I think its better than a true central air system, no huge air handler in the attic with ducts going to each room. Plus the units in the room that blow cold air or very quite, and since I have three units we can save energy. Plus our units also can produce heat – via heat pump technology which saves oil use in the fall and spring. I Don’t think I could handle window units anymore going forward…

  12. I grew up in Maine, where a/c isn’t needed more than 3 or 4 days a year. Then my parents moved to Florida, where without a/c you simply cannot exist. The central air went out one year for a few days in July, and we all just about died. (That was when my parents decided to put a pool in the backyard.)

    Two summers ago during a heat wave, we finally broke down and bought a window a/c unit for the bedroom, because our 2 cats were overheated and were facing some serious medical issues if we didn’t do something fast. I think we turned it on 2 or 3 times all last summer, and we haven’t installed it this year yet. It all depends on how the cats are faring. We can handle a few icky sticky nights a year with a fan blowing on us, but if the cats start having heat-related issues, that’ll be our cue. I don’t like how noisy it is, but that’s what earplugs are for.

  13. I agree! Air condition is one of the most important things to have in our home. Summer might be great for going out and swimming, but there can be days that it’s gonna be really hot and you need air condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *