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(Slate)   Do not feel guilty for using your air conditioner all summer   (slate.com) divider line 130
    More: PSA, air conditionings, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, righteousness, natural world, energy budgets  
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11432 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jul 2013 at 4:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-16 09:58:26 PM  
the wife disapproves when i crank the A/C in December then turn up the heat.
 
2013-07-16 10:12:10 PM  
Its after 10 pm and its still in the mid 80's putside. You're goddamn right I'm usingnthe AC.
 
2013-07-16 10:17:52 PM  
Don't worry. I won't.
 
2013-07-16 10:19:25 PM  

Nabb1: Don't worry. I won't.

 
2013-07-16 10:36:10 PM  
I don't understand people who prefer heat to cold. That's INSANE to me. Heat is awful - it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off. Cold is refreshing. Too cold? Put on more clothes, drink some tea.
 
2013-07-16 11:10:46 PM  

DamnYankees: I don't understand people who prefer heat to cold. That's INSANE to me. Heat is awful - it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off. Cold is refreshing. Too cold? Put on more clothes, drink some tea.


People go into steam rooms for relaxation and enjoyment. People don't go into industrial freezers for relaxation and enjoyment.

Once I start to get cold, it's all over. I can't get warm again unless I go inside for a while. Extreme heat does suck, but I'll always prefer warmth to cold. The only time I like the cold is right when I'm about to go to sleep and I can warm myself up in the covers.
 
2013-07-16 11:43:20 PM  
I feel no guilt about using my A/C. No more than my water heater which probably uses more juice.
 
2013-07-17 12:16:57 AM  

scottydoesntknow: DamnYankees: I don't understand people who prefer heat to cold. That's INSANE to me. Heat is awful - it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off. Cold is refreshing. Too cold? Put on more clothes, drink some tea.

People go into steam rooms for relaxation and enjoyment. People don't go into industrial freezers for relaxation and enjoyment.

Stop right there. I'd go into the industrial sub-zero freezer in our school cafeteria after my playground duty when I taught summer school in Phoenix. It was a goddamned gorgeous winter wonderland.

 
2013-07-17 12:18:12 AM  
I live in FL.  You're GD right I'm going to use my AC in the summer, and in the spring, and in the fall, and in those weird 80+ degree days in winter.  If a business I frequented decided to make a statement by not using AC, I'd quickly stop frequenting that business.

DamnYankees: I don't understand people who prefer heat to cold. That's INSANE to me. Heat is awful - it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off. Cold is refreshing. Too cold? Put on more clothes, drink some tea.


I'm with you.  I've always disliked the heat, which makes my decision to move to FL rather peculiar, but there were other factors at play in the time.  Now I dream of the PNW, SF or maybe the Emerald Triangle - constant 50s-low 70s, plenty of rain, a nice Pacific breeze, it sounds like heaven.
 
2013-07-17 12:25:26 AM  
OMG I love our air conditioners. We got them just before the heatwave hit and then we felt like freaking geniuses. I read an article that says people who use window air conditioners consume less energy than people who use whole house conditioners.

So we have that going for us. Which is nice.
 
2013-07-17 12:32:57 AM  
I don't.  I never will.  I'd rather be cold than exta hot.

My thermostat stays at 70 in the summer, and 58 in the winter.  Cold is glorious.
 
2013-07-17 12:34:15 AM  
My AC is set to "always".  I have all sorts of other energy saving methods, but AC is a way of life in AZ.  Guess it's a good thing we have the nations largest nuclear power plant in the world, though I'm a bit pissed that our major energy company is trying to put the kibash on home solar.
 
2013-07-17 12:34:35 AM  

quickdraw: OMG I love our air conditioners. We got them just before the heatwave hit and then we felt like freaking geniuses. I read an article that says people who use window air conditioners consume less energy than people who use whole house conditioners.

So we have that going for us. Which is nice.


Depends on how many you have.  The entire heat transfer cycle of an air conditioner is way more efficient if you have a bigger unit, but if you only use a small window unit for a room you are in, then you probably use less energy than a central unit.
 
2013-07-17 12:41:59 AM  
Where I live I have to cool the house down with something. I can usually shut everything off and open the windows at night because I don't live in a helltropolis. The question for me was do I get a swamp cooler or an A/C. Do I get a swamp which is a motor and a water pump (plus the energy consumption of pumping water out of my well) and evaporate my precious well water, from a well that cost way too much. Or do I get an a/c and have it use more electricity (I think, overall) than a swamp (+well electricity). The most local powerplants are coal and they are "wasting" good water too.

I couldn't really figure out a good, less-impact-to-the-environment answer, so I went with A/C.
 
2013-07-17 12:53:06 AM  
A healthy person will not die from heat alone in the USA if they have enough fluids. The cold can kill the healthiest of individuals.
 
2013-07-17 01:10:28 AM  

quickdraw: OMG I love our air conditioners. We got them just before the heatwave hit and then we felt like freaking geniuses. I read an article that says people who use window air conditioners consume less energy than people who use whole house conditioners.

So we have that going for us. Which is nice.


I'm sure there are a ridiculous number of variables that make a straight up comparison difficult, but I used to cool one ~150 square foot room in my shiatty little apartment with a (shiatty little) window unit, and now I have a year and a half old house with central air. The central air unit cools almost 10 times the space, but doesn't boost the hydro bill any more than the window unit did.
 
2013-07-17 01:28:31 AM  

EvilEgg: A healthy person will not die from heat alone in the USA if they have enough fluids. The cold can kill the healthiest of individuals.


And depending where you live you may never have to worry about dying due to cold exposure.  I live in one of the handful of the counties in the US where heaters aren't required as part of the building code.  I've lived in this house for four years and haven't turned the heat on once.
 
2013-07-17 03:15:52 AM  
It's not guilt I fear, it's the electric bill.
 
wee
2013-07-17 03:18:02 AM  
I'm using both AC units and feeling perfectly fine about it!  The house would be inhabitable otherwise, and the alternative is nonsense...
 
2013-07-17 04:10:24 AM  
That's why I decided to go green, so in the winter time, I just throw all my garbage into the furnace.
 
2013-07-17 04:22:40 AM  
I have no air conditioning...
 
2013-07-17 04:23:32 AM  
I work all night, so I'll damn well use my AC while trying to sleep during the day. Not only do I have a window-mounted AC unit right by my bed, I have a fan blowing that cool air around the room, keeping my cave-like bedroom around 72F all day long.
 
2013-07-17 04:26:06 AM  
What is this "air conditioning" you speak of?  Do you guys mean the marine layer?
 
2013-07-17 04:34:39 AM  

DamnYankees: I don't understand people who prefer heat to cold. That's INSANE to me. Heat is awful - it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off. Cold is refreshing. Too cold? Put on more clothes, drink some tea.


I'll have to disagree with you there, being hot is much better than being cold.

If you're outside in freezing cold weather, you can walk into a nice warm house and an hour later you're finally beginning to warm up. On the other hand, you can be outside sweating your ass off in 100 degree heat, and the second you walk into a nice air conditioned house you feel instant relief. You can get the same result from jumping in a pool as well.

I live in TX now but grew up in western NY and have seen my fair share of cold winters, you couldn't pay me enough to move back to that part of the country.
 
2013-07-17 04:40:11 AM  
The older I get, the more heat intolerant I get, especially here in the humid South.  I feel no guilt at all about using my air conditioners.

The sanctimonious hipsters can feel as morally superior as they want to - I don't give a rat's ass.

Enduring unnecessary discomfort does not make you a better person.  It makes you a moron.
 
2013-07-17 04:42:58 AM  

Lsherm: I don't.  I never will.  I'd rather be cold than exta hot.

My thermostat stays at 70 in the summer, and 58 in the winter.  Cold is glorious.



Yeah, I do 61 in the summer and 55 in the winter. For me it's so much easier just to throw on another layer if I get cold, which is rare when I'm indoors.
 
2013-07-17 04:49:00 AM  
The battle between my AC and my PC is a draw.  Time for a second AC unit!
 
2013-07-17 04:52:51 AM  
I believe it, we have electric baseboard heat, bill is less in the summer. Keep the AC at 71, the heat isnt that precise.

Been in the 90s all week though, the AC is a wall unit in the living room and the bedroom door is around a corner from it, been considering getting some dryer tubing and rigging up some ghetto ducting to get cold air to the bedroom without using 3 box fans.
 
2013-07-17 05:03:37 AM  

Cyno01: I believe it, we have electric baseboard heat, bill is less in the summer. Keep the AC at 71, the heat isnt that precise.

Been in the 90s all week though, the AC is a wall unit in the living room and the bedroom door is around a corner from it, been considering getting some dryer tubing and rigging up some ghetto ducting to get cold air to the bedroom without using 3 box fans.


Why not just get a window unit for the bedroom? You can pick them up for about $200 or less this time of year. With only running a smaller unit at night you'll probably save that much in electricity over the course of the summer.
 
2013-07-17 05:05:35 AM  

EvilEgg: A healthy person will not die from heat alone in the USA if they have enough fluids. The cold can kill the healthiest of individuals.


I think you have this backwards...

/ok, i know you have this backwards...
 
2013-07-17 05:10:45 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: scottydoesntknow: DamnYankees: I don't understand people who prefer heat to cold. That's INSANE to me. Heat is awful - it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off. Cold is refreshing. Too cold? Put on more clothes, drink some tea.

People go into steam rooms for relaxation and enjoyment. People don't go into industrial freezers for relaxation and enjoyment.

Stop right there. I'd go into the industrial sub-zero freezer in our school cafeteria after my playground duty when I taught summer school in Phoenix. It was a goddamned gorgeous winter wonderland.


The keg refrigerator was heaven when I was bar backing.
 
2013-07-17 05:11:49 AM  
I have a hyper-sensitive nose. When things get hot, things get stanky. This is one of the many reasons why I prefer cold over hot.
 
2013-07-17 05:12:29 AM  
I love AC, best thing that ever happened to mankind. Without it we'd never be able to sit in our own houses without exploding. I don't care that in other hot countries they manage just fine by using centuries old methods like thicker walls, light color surfaces, stone floors, shutters and strategic vents, this is America and I want all the benefits of everything else but at the touch of a button, and I want to drive the planet over a cliff to get it, AND I want to have pools of mildew and mold tainted dampness all up in my home, leaking from the frigid ducts that carry the ice demons and miniature frost clouds from the scary ugly box under my deck all the way to the vent next to my toilet that blows frozen legionnaire's disease up my shorts while I'm taking dumps.
 
2013-07-17 05:15:49 AM  
I keep my office at 65 degrees year around. When I'm in the field there is no AC, just whatever breeze floats down the hills.
 
2013-07-17 05:17:44 AM  

proteus_b: EvilEgg: A healthy person will not die from heat alone in the USA if they have enough fluids. The cold can kill the healthiest of individuals.

I think you have this backwards...

/ok, i know you have this backwards...


Heat waves do tend to kill older or otherwise less healthy individuals, whereas hypothermia isn't necessarily as picky.

In the US, even when the heat index is insane in some concrete jungles (unless you're in Death Valley, a heat wave in a large city can be hell), one can go "somewhere" to get help with some relative ease if they can't stay hydrated and cooled in their homes.
When it's winter, and your dumb ass gets stuck in a truck because you followed your GPS into a stupid place in the mountains, there's a chance that the next warm thing you find is when you're deep into the stages of hypothermia and you think some meltwater runoff is bath-temperature water.
 
2013-07-17 05:30:39 AM  

DamnYankees: it makes things sticky and oppressive, and there's nothing you can do about it once your clothes are off.


Those are the exact words my wife uses when talking about our love life. I'll tell you, I get no respect.
 
2013-07-17 05:33:49 AM  

SilentStrider: Its after 10 pm and its still in the mid 80's putside. You're goddamn right I'm usingnthe AC.


Dang close for me too, roughly 70 outside and nearly 80 inside. And to boot we just had a thunderstorm roll through, so you get the fun humidity factor added on too now... T_T
 
2013-07-17 05:37:28 AM  
I have my central AC set for 74 when I am not at home. My Macaw doesn't like it too hot. I set it for 71 when I am at home.
 
2013-07-17 05:43:02 AM  

studman 69: I have a hyper-sensitive nose. When things get hot, things get stanky. This is one of the many reasons why I prefer cold over hot.


I also have a hyper-sensitive nose, but I don't mind the smell of humanity. I prefer the smell of a sweaty, stinky human (assuming said person showers at least two times every three days, and wears clean clothing) to the smell of failing antiperspirant mixed with a stale, sour version of stinky human. As a bonus, people tend to bathe more often in the summer, tend to put less GODDAMNED FLOWERY LOTION on their bodies, less chap-stick, less hairspray, and less perfume...usually. Of course, self-conscious men compensate with foul smelling cologne--or worse, Axe body spay.
 
2013-07-17 05:44:15 AM  
87% of us households have ac? In Seattle, because we are part of the brrrr-geoise, it is more like 15%. I think one of my friends has it and we shun them.

It would be nice to have one now though. Which I say every year and then remember it only lasts two weeks and then I can go back to being my smug self.
 
2013-07-17 05:45:03 AM  
Both my GF and my pooch are fond of snuggling.

I am not, at least not in July. I'm sound asleep and then wake up drenched from the heat of both of them.

I can escape the GF by moving to the floor (have done it so many times the hard surface doesn't even phase me anymore), but the dog is always there, trying to spoon.

I think my AC shut off for about five minutes, around midnight. Otherwise it's been at full blast and all I have to remember is to turn it back up before I go back to bed. Of course, that means I'll be sweating balls. The GF routinely gives me sh(t about my AC usage so I've been trying to pay the bill before she even sees it. But again, the trick is to turn it up before she wakes up.

I have not always succeeded at this simple but important task. My penis, however, does remain attached.

/two hotplates...I sleep with them
//it's like they're both evolved simply to generate heat
///nice in January, though
 
2013-07-17 05:45:45 AM  
Nope. Right now it's 71 degrees and 93 percent humidity. So the AC is on not to cool but to dry the air out.
 
2013-07-17 05:48:07 AM  

YoOjo: I love AC, best thing that ever happened to mankind. Without it we'd never be able to sit in our own houses without exploding. I don't care that in other hot countries they manage just fine by using centuries old methods like thicker walls, light color surfaces, stone floors, shutters and strategic vents, this is America and I want all the benefits of everything else but at the touch of a button, and I want to drive the planet over a cliff to get it, AND I want to have pools of mildew and mold tainted dampness all up in my home, leaking from the frigid ducts that carry the ice demons and miniature frost clouds from the scary ugly box under my deck all the way to the vent next to my toilet that blows frozen legionnaire's disease up my shorts while I'm taking dumps.


What countries are you referring to? I've been to some pretty hot ones, like South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq and a couple other middle eastern countries and they all have AC.
 
2013-07-17 05:48:15 AM  

Iczer: SilentStrider: Its after 10 pm and its still in the mid 80's putside. You're goddamn right I'm usingnthe AC.

Dang close for me too, roughly 70 outside and nearly 80 inside. And to boot we just had a thunderstorm roll through, so you get the fun humidity factor added on too now... T_T


That right there is why I finally broke down and got central air last year. I live in a house built in the 1890's, with wide eaves, shade trees, and lovely cross breezes. If I close all the windows and blinds at 6am, my house stays AC temperature or below until about 7pm. Then the windows go open while dinner is cooking, we deal with the heat for two or three hours, mostly on the porch with iced tea, and then the sun goes down and the house cools off. That works great, except for years like this one. I think it's stormed every day but four for the last six weeks. If I can't leave the windows open all night, this house is like a goddamned oven.
 
2013-07-17 05:48:44 AM  

lelio: 87% of us households have ac? In Seattle, because we are part of the brrrr-geoise, it is more like 15%. I think one of my friends has it and we shun them.

It would be nice to have one now though. Which I say every year and then remember it only lasts two weeks and then I can go back to being my smug self.


People in Seattle have no idea how to do smug properly.

Sincerely,
PDX
 
2013-07-17 05:54:33 AM  

ReapTheChaos: YoOjo: I love AC, best thing that ever happened to mankind. Without it we'd never be able to sit in our own houses without exploding. I don't care that in other hot countries they manage just fine by using centuries old methods like thicker walls, light color surfaces, stone floors, shutters and strategic vents, this is America and I want all the benefits of everything else but at the touch of a button, and I want to drive the planet over a cliff to get it, AND I want to have pools of mildew and mold tainted dampness all up in my home, leaking from the frigid ducts that carry the ice demons and miniature frost clouds from the scary ugly box under my deck all the way to the vent next to my toilet that blows frozen legionnaire's disease up my shorts while I'm taking dumps.

What countries are you referring to? I've been to some pretty hot ones, like South Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Iraq and a couple other middle eastern countries and they all have AC.


He does have a bit of a point, though. Ever since we got AC, we've neglected these things. We gave up stone walls, wide eaves, deep windows, shade trees, facing your roofline and windows the proper direction, thick blinds/curtains, etc. Sure, we have way better insulation these days, but we're still relying more on our HVAC system than we have any excuse to be doing. If I ever have the money to build my own house, it's damn sure not going to be a wooden oven in the middle of a bare field.
 
2013-07-17 05:57:33 AM  
I just tape ice cubes to the back of a fan.

/and to myself
 
2013-07-17 06:04:09 AM  
I don't perspire


/better than you- KOSI, etc,
 
2013-07-17 06:07:35 AM  

TopoGigo: He does have a bit of a point, though. Ever since we got AC, we've neglected these things. We gave up stone walls, wide eaves, deep windows, shade trees, facing your roofline and windows the proper direction, thick blinds/curtains, etc. Sure, we have way better insulation these days, but we're still relying more on our HVAC system than we have any excuse to be doing. If I ever have the money to build my own house, it's damn sure not going to be a wooden oven in the middle of a bare field.


I went the other direction, and I lease solar panels for my home. With tax incentives and leasing, it paid off my initial investment in about three years.
 
2013-07-17 06:19:59 AM  

puffy999: In the US, even when the heat index is insane in some concrete jungles (unless you're in Death Valley, a heat wave in a large city can be hell), one can go "somewhere" to get help with some relative ease if they can't stay hydrated and cooled in their homes.
When it's winter, and your dumb ass gets stuck in a truck because you followed your GPS into a stupid place in the mountains, there's a chance that the next warm thing you find is when you're deep into the stages of hypothermia and you think some meltwater runoff is bath-temperature water.


not a very apt comparison. for the "warm" case, you've got them staying hydrated and cooled at home, and for the "cold" case, you've got them lost in the mountains. what about if they stayed home with blankets and sweaters in the cold, and went hiking up a mountain in the heat wave? would the results be the same?
 
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