Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Can't Live Without: Air Conditioning
As much as I'd like to be ultra green and frugal, there are certain little luxuries I'm not willing to live without. Not without being forced to anyway.
The first of these is air conditioning.
I know it's horrible for the environment. I know it's one of the biggest energy hogs in my home. I know millions live without it now and have lived without it for hundreds of years. But the thought of facing a 90+ F day, with high-humidity, without AC? Um, no thank you.
We got a taste of AC-lite life over Memorial Day weekend when the central air conditioner in min hus suddenly started working at about 80%. Of course this happened on one of the hottest weekends we've had all year. It was a painful 1.5-2 days until the repairman came this morning. The AC was constantly running just to keep the temp steady at 77-79. The cats were miserable. The Boy wouldn't leave the basement, where it easily stays 5-10 degrees cooler. It made my frugal little heart tense just thinking about all the kilowatts we were wasting just to make it barely liveable in the house.
I know there are people who keep the AC at 78F all the time. My grandmother is one of them. No freaking thank you. It's bearable if you sit still, under the ceiling fan and don't move other than to say, click a mouse or something. Forget about cooking, vacuuming or doing anything else that generates heat.
I know people who go without AC all summer, in much hotter stickier places than Ohio, but I don't understand how. We didn't have central air conditioning when I was growing up and I remember being hot, sticky and miserable at times. Some nights I would sleep on my parents floor, as close to the window AC as possible just to get some relief.
In my first apartment after college I only had a window AC. I practically lived in my bedroom.
Life without central AC just isn't for me. Without it I'd be a fatter, stinkier version of myself because I'd never cook, or dry my hair, or vacuum. Forget biking for exercise if I didn't have a place to cool off at afterwards.
Luckily my little AC problem cost $250 to solve (at least, I hope that was the end of it. Did I mention it's a less-than-two-years-old system that I bought to avoid these issues in the first place?!?!). So until someone pries my AC away or I can't afford the bills, it'll be on.
Do you live without AC easily? What are the last things you'd give up, no matter how ungreen?