Monday, June 24, 2013

We don't use air conditioning because....

"We don't use air conditioning because it makes it too hot outside."  Anonymous
We have yet to turn on our air conditioner this year - except for about 20 minutes of run time about two months ago during a bout of extreme humidity - I am determined to make it through the summer without it.

Mind you - I'm not bragging about it.  We have had an unusually mild spring, with evening temps consistently in the 60's and sometimes even 50's.  This has made it relatively easy to resist flipping the thermostat switch from "off" to "cool."   It has also helped that the upstairs AC unit isn't working.  My husband turned it on about two weeks ago to "test" the system and nothing happened. [ Insert evil grin here - and no I did not sabotage it - but fate took a firm hand. ]

Most nights, the boys have been sleeping in the cool basement.  Hubby and I are doing fine upstairs with the windows open and with the ceiling and circulating fans running.

Funny thing - our body thermostats seem to be adjusting to the rising temps.  Twice in the past two weeks, while outside in the evening, I've had to don a light jacket.  Seriously - I was shivering in the cool night air.  We went to a movie a few weeks back and I remembered that the theaters are heavily air conditioned, so I brought along my windbreaker.  Thanks goodness I did.  My boys have even commented on how cold the grocery stores seem to be.  Take my word for it - none of this would have happened if we had been living in an artificially cooled home.    Yes indeed - we are adjusting.  Since we will have to work outside in the garden whatever the outside temps, this internal thermostat change is welcome indeed.

Can we make it through the oppressive heat and humidity of July and August in Maryland?  Only time will tell.  But when we started this experiment, we were sure we couldn't sleep comfortably if the bedroom was above 80 degrees.  Last night it was 84 degrees when we went to bed and we managed just fine.

Today I purchased a new book entitled, "Losing our Cool, Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air Conditioned World, and Finding New Ways to Get through the Summer," by Stan Cox.  Hopefully, reading it will provide us with an extra measure of motivation and increase our determination to persevere - even as the temperatures (both outside and in) continue to rise.

It's around 5:00 p.m. and a thunderstorm is approaching.  Perhaps it will cool things off?  

For further reading, check out these links:
The Unchilled Life, NY Times
Living Without AC and Liking It


  1. Thanks for the link! It does take a little thinking to keep things cooler. But I don't know -- in Maryland... it depends on when your house was built, I think! Older ones had built-in strategies; newer ones depend on AC. Don't keel over in the humidity ;)
    Keep in mind that I live in Massachusetts and my house is freezing most of the year :)

  2. Leila - it would be so much easier if we were living in Massachusetts - but alas, our life is in Maryland. Really though, it has not been as hard as I thought it would be. Last night the bedroom was a scorching 87 degrees, but after a cold soak in the tub, the warmth felt good, and I drifted peacefully off to sleep.