A Little Cool Air, Please!

Thursdays Bite

a blog for the first days of summer

Writing spicy romance can get to be a hot job and I work in a house with no air conditioning. That’s right. None.

Now I know for all you people up North, this is likely a no-brainer, but for the Southerners I’m not sure they can conceive of buying a house without central air, or even those tiny window air conditioners. Nope, we don’t even own one of those.

boulder flatirons chataqua parkI grew up in Colorado and no one had central air. Not even the rich people. We all just opened our windows and used box fans, ceiling fans, and tiny desk fans, to cool off. At night the air temperature drops nice and low and you pull in all that cool air. In the morning, you shut the heavy duty blinds and keep the hot sun out and the coolness in. Houses stayed comfortable, for the most part.

I do remember sweating through some hot July’s and August nights, but before it got unbearable the evenings would be cooling off again. Then the out of state-ers started moving in. Things got crowded and they all needed air conditioning. Frankly, so did I. Summers seemed to get hotter and dryer and we lived in a neighborhood without the big trees of my childhood. A little air, please!

We finally installed air conditioning at our last house and used it sparingly. First of all, we kept the inside temp around 78°-80°. Second, we only ran it during the day- at night we would open the house up and pull in that free, cool air. And third, we only ran it during the really hot months. So the bill wasn’t too bad.

But then we moved.

And this house stays reasonably cool. We don’t have a ton of direct sunlight and we do have a basement. (That’s the other secret. Pull in cool air from the basement during the day when the house is closed up.) But I miss the air conditioning. I miss being comfortable during the day, and I’m really not looking forward to those hot nights in July or August.

But is it worth it? Is it worth it for only a few weeks of heat to spend all that money and replace the furnace, add all the pipes and things necessary for a house that has never had air conditioning?

My husband (who goes to work during most days and isn’t home in the heat) says he doesn’t think so, but I’m begining to think it needs to move to the top of the list. Meanwhile, I’ll be drinking my homemade iced coffees and cooling off in a mid-day shower.

How do you stay cool? Do you have air? Do you have a swamp cooler or a whole house fan (ours died, sad)? When does something change from being a luxury to being a necessity? Should we just let our bodies adjust?

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Filed under About the Author, Thursdays Bite

7 responses to “A Little Cool Air, Please!

  1. Living in southern Ontario, for me air conditioning is a necessity, both in the car and in the house. I know people think Canada is all ice and snow but that’s WAY up north. We have lots of summers where the air is on all summer. Sometimes we get a few days reprieve and turn the air off and open the windows. I love those days. Don’t envy you without air, Jessica, although those cool nights sound lovely.

  2. By the way, what’s a swamp cooler?

    • Good question. It’s an evaporative cooler. I went to Wikipedia for more:
      “The temperature of dry air can be dropped significantly through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor (evaporation), which can cool air using much less energy than refrigeration. In extremely dry climates, evaporative cooling of air has the added benefit of conditioning the air with more moisture for the comfort of building occupants. Unlike closed-cycle refrigeration, evaporative cooling requires a water source, and must continually consume water to operate.”

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