Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No Air Conditioner Here Baby




An Air Conditioner is just one of those luxuries that we have always chosen to do without. This surprises many because in the last 20 years it has went from being viewed from the luxury item that is usually is, to a necessity, kind of like Cable TV. Especially escalating to top of the list needs within the last 12 years or so. Yet even though many view them as needed items now, neither truly is, they still are a luxury item.

I agree an air conditioner comes in handy if you have infants or the elderly and live in areas where the heat can get really hot. These two age groups hot temperatures can be life threatening and cause high fevers or heat exhaustion that leads to death.

Going without an air conditioner may indeed be something I regret this year. Since my chemo I seem to only be tolerating 60 to 70 degree temps. Anything below that and I am freezing cold and shivering all day. Anything hotter I am dying, drinking gallons of water and so so so miserable. But I am determined to grit my teeth and bear it, after all they certainly did not have these items in the past.

In the olden days they use to hang cold wet sheets over open windows to  cool off the house while adding moisture. I may even try this for this summer, along with the fans we have, all will be good!

One of the main problems are that we live in a trailer, trailers seem to collect heat like a green house unless shaded by trees really well. Our yard is open with NO trees what so ever. No trees to block the high winds in the winter and no trees to provide us relief from the blazing sun. If this was our property, we would have planted trees to remedy this, but alas it is not, we rent it. So suffer it is.

We did buy a few more screens to get some more of the windows we can open though as broken windows or windows with no screens were another issue of causing more heat in the house. Windows specifically are listed in rental agreement as being our responsibility even if most were in disrepair when we moved in.

To me though no matter what, an Air Conditioner is just not worth first, the expense to purchase one, or two the cost to run one on the electric bill. We just simply choose not to want to spend money in these categories.  Even if you only run the air conditioner on the few days you find unbearable, then to me it was never worth the expense of purchasing the air conditioner in the first place. 

We find plenty other ways to cool down for the summer so to us it is just not a big deal and not even wasting the energy to contemplate this purchase. At least not here in Michigan, I do understand those who live in very hot long hot season states!

I also know this certainly is not something most are willing to go without and for us that is okay because we are not living the others lives, we are living ours and this is what works and the choices we like to make.  That is what is wonderful about life, it is unique to each individual and each family, making conscious choices of where you want to save money in areas that don't mean much to you while being able to spend it in the areas that do mean something to you!

Do you have air conditioning? Do you see it as a luxury or a need? If you do not have air conditioning what are some ways you like to cool off?

29 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog :o) As far as air conditioning for us, we do have some old "window rattlers". We wait until the last possible minute to put them in though. The humidity in Virginia, and being a "woman of a certain age" makes it difficult to be productive in the heat of the summer. It would be the first thing on my list to go, need be, because I do consider it a luxury! I sure can sympathize with you though, our first home was a trailer. Our first daughter was born in the heat of the summer, and we must have had spent most of that season in a cool bath!

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    1. Oh yeah little ones spend a lot of time in cool baths in trailers! LOL

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  2. Being the enviro-hippie that I am, for us A/C is an unnecessary waste, not to mention that it does one's health no favours. I've hardly ever used it, even if the house happened to have one. If you want to cool down, go take a cold shower ;) Having said that, I've been in towns where living without A/C is impossible...

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    1. Oh yeah, I do think there are certain Places or health issues that take the luxery out of air conditioning and make it a neccessity!

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  3. My house now has central A/C. When we first moved in, there were sleeve air conditioners built into the walls in strategic places and they allowed us to effectively cool the house in various zones. Once the big unit that cooled most of the first floor died, my ex-husband went on a quest to find a way to get central A/C installed. He insisted on it. So, there was a high velocity central A/C unit installed at great expense. I try not to turn it on very often, but here in the city we are surrounded by a lot of concrete and asphalt that really builds up the heat.

    I read a book a few years ago called Better Off which is written by the husband in this couple living for a year in a community with no electricity. The author noted that when they took a break from the community for a couple weeks during the summer they stayed in hotels and places with A/C. They found it very hard to adjust back to living out any A/C or fans once they returned to the community. He said it took a few weeks until he acclimated again to the heat and then could continue on with working outside and not over-heating.

    The main point was that our bodies become acclimated to the temperature regulation, and I think this is very true. I'm convinced that since I spend a portion of every day in A/C whether I want to or not (because I'm riding a train or bus with A/C, or working in an office with A/C) it makes the temps outside seem unbearable in the summer.

    I grew up without A/C and when I was young we used to go camping in places like Florida and Texas during the summer without any A/C. I do remember getting some pretty bad heat rash in Florida one summer, but most of my memories of the summers back then were of fun times during our camping trips or enjoying time in swimming pools.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Linda, yes concrete can make a difference too! LOL I know if we go shopping on a hot day, coming out of air conditioning always makes it seem hotter outside! Crazy when it is like a suffocating heat index!

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  4. A/C used to be something I considered a luxury but now it is more of a necessity. If I get overheated, my arms and hands hurt and swell to the point I am in tears. Not to mention utterly useless. I would rather be of use and help to my daughter, parents, and other family and friends than prove a point - because it would be about proving a point for me.

    You have to make the decisions you feel are right for you and your family. I personally wouldn't want to suffer from the humid summer heat here in southern Louisiana while also dealing with the effects of chemo treatments. I'm just not that tough.

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    1. I do think certain health issues puts air conditioning as a need rather than luxury. I don't think I would want to deal much with the heat of Louisiana either! :) One year in North Carolina was rough!

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  5. As of this spring, we've never had it -- and gotten by just fine with fans. (We also get a cooling breeze in early evening here in CO that helps. But we get very little rain, compared to you.) Try hanging wet towels in your windows -- this always helped me when it was particularly nasty. Or wearing a dampened shirt...or carrying around one of those little spray bottles. (Add a little scent for a nice break.)
    Last fall, Husband bought a swamp cooler off Craigslist. So we'll be using that in the bedroom this year. I personally think we could continue to get by without it just fine -- but he's wanted a swamp cooler for years. (An engineer, loves gadgets. What can I say.)

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    1. yeah I like the hanging wet sheets or towels in the windows like they did in the pre air conditioning days :) Sigh oh yes, men and their gadgets! haha

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  6. Great post, Carrie. Here in St Louis, prone to heat waves and old, brick houses, I would say AC is a necessity for the elderly and sick. We have it and fired it up yesterday when we hit a record of 93 and my husband is recovering from knee surgery. I generally try to keep the AC off and the house open as much as possible. When we lived in northern IN we rarely used it. Stay cool! On a really hot day think about decamping to a public library and reading magazines. You might find the heat affects you more with the chemo.

    Best, Anne

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    1. Yes, I am a little Concerned Anne about that, which is why I just may regret our decision and who knows, in the future it just may be a purchase we decide to rethink. As it is now anything under 60 I am freezing and anything above 70 I am overheating. But for now, we plug onward with how we have always done it......I suppose it will depend on just how hot this summer gets LOL.

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  7. Carrie, have you considered placing an awning type covering , about one foot higher than the trailer?
    We vacationed one summer in the prairies , and had rented a trailer in a farmer's field. The accumulated heat was unbearable. So we found about eight tall poles(from a garbage dump of all places} and bought discontinued sheets which we strung up along the poles. The difference in the temperature was noticeable.Especially , at night, it made for easier sleeping.

    Now that I'm older and retired I find that higher temperatures make me miserable, I just can't tolerate them the way I did when younger.

    Marien

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    1. I have thought about something like that Marien but being a rental, not sure if landlord would allow us to do that, I should ask. Yeah, the older you get the harder it is to tolerate heat, that is for sure, my mom and dad both need air conditioning now, keeps them out of the hospital.

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  8. Dear Carrie,I live in Australia,o yes it gets hot in summer but I never use A/C.
    I like for my body to get used heat.I do get a cold shower even in winter here
    makes me strong.
    When is hot I keep in the fridge a lots of wet face washers in the container and I sponge my self.
    I drink a lots of ice tea,eat salads and keep blinds all the time.
    It is not to save money(I work and Ican spend)it is just me I like some parts of my life to be ascetic
    Take care and get well!

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    1. I bet Australia can get HOT HOT HOT! Watch that tea though Wimmera, if it has caffiene in it, it works to dehydrate you! :)

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  9. I admire you guys for being able to endure the heat, especially in the past few years. The temperature seems to just keep on hitting its peak. Even the winter doesn't seem to be as cold anymore. However, you showed we were made to adapt to survive. We do have an AC unit at home though. It is well-maintained, even if we only use it during summer and on occasional hot days during other time of the year. :)

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  10. I am impressed with your positive attitude! I don't think I could handle the challenges you face with the grace and optimism you do. Praying for cool breezes for you this summer!

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  11. We had central air in our old home (recently moved) due to my health. It was a huge expense every summer but it was important for me not to become to warm. The new house does not have it. I am not overly worried as we have a finished basement that should help me stay cool this summer. Like you we are sitting in the great wide open. I am going to put off having central air installed here as long as I can tolerate the heat. Prior to the health issue we preferred not to have it. It seemed to keep us from doing things we liked doing outside.

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    1. I miss my moms basement, always nice and cool! I hope the basement provides you enough cool relief for your health! Enjoy your new house :)

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  12. I work Nights. The morning sun comes on my bedroom side of the house and heats it up all morning and it stays that way. The position of our house and detached garage prevent a cross draft most of the time. I have to have AC to sleep. I'm a nurse - you want me rested ;)Keeping the window closed muffles the lawnmowers, weed whackers, traffic, and screaming neighbor kids too.
    Our allergies are much better too without all the pollen blowing in.
    Sheila - Escanaba

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  13. The Navahos, I think, live in the desert. They have brush arbors. These are four posts with a lattice on the top. Bundles of brush are placed on the top, like a grape arbor. This provides shade. Why don't you try one of those, or make one with a tarp and tent poles? You could also spend a lot of time at a local park, or swimming hole. Ann

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  14. Living in the PNW, we only have a handful of days when I think AC would be lovely. Most days of summer, we have a "hot" time of day, and I'm careful to stay out of the heat for that time period, then in the late afternoon and evening I can enjoy the outdoors in the cooler air. I find that if I don't let myself become overheated during the day I fare better overall. So I avoid going anywhere in the car in midday, I avoid our deck when the sun is directly on it, and stay in the shade of a tree instead.

    We open all windows and doors early in the AM (about 5 AM) to cool off the house. Then shut them around 9 AM, and close curtains on south facing windows.

    I do gardening or run errands in the early AM hours. I cook dinners in the mornings, then reheat in microwave as needed, or just serve cold (if it's something that would be appetizing cold).

    We do what we can to stay comfortable, because I have found that if I get the least bit too hot during the day I feel miserable for the whole rest of the day and night, even when it does cool down.

    Stay cool this summer, and drink a lot of water and juice.

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  15. Well in the olden days, A/C companies were scarce and the price for a unit would cost you your firstborn plus an arm and a leg. Nowadays, with the numerous companies competing for customers, prices have gone way down that almost anyone can afford a unit for their home. It isn’t a necessity per se, more of I can afford this luxury so might as well.

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing this post with your readers.

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  17. That's true, having an AC system is seen by many as a necessity. So when their AC units break down or need repair, they simply don't know what to do with it. Their next course of action is to find another place with an AC system in it for the meantime while waiting for repair. But as you've said, there are other ways to cope with the heat. However, it ultimately depends on the structure of your home. Some homes aren't built with proper ventilation and heating in mind, which also leads to decreased energy efficiency.

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  18. You shared a really good article and explain it very well with the example of picture. But Air Conditioning is very necessary for well comfortable life.
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