Life

The Air Conditioning Dilemma

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I sometimes think that air conditioning is both the cause and downfall of our society.

On the one hand, it’s let us comfortably expand as a species into jungles, swamps, and deserts, and build large cities there.

On the other hand, it’s let us comfortably expand as a species into jungles, swamps, and deserts, and build large cities there.

It keeps us comfortable in those more temperate locales where it only get particularly hot for a couple of months of the year. That’s the benefit my family is after right now.

We bought a house built in the 1960s with baseboard heating. Owners in the 1980s put a gas furnace in and ran vents to the first floor. A few years ago, long after we moved in, we broke down and invested in central air. Until then, we’d gotten by with strategic fans, sprinklers, and sweating.

There are still no vents to the second floor. In summer, it gets hot upstairs. For those of us who sleep upstairs—my wife and I and both daughters—it’s not always comfortable. (It gets colder upstairs in the winter, too, in case you’re wondering, but there are still electric base boards.)

The point of the matter, I guess, is that the heat got to us this week, not to mention one of our daughters threatening to buy her own air conditioner, and we decided it was time to cool off the second floor a bit. Vents to the second floor have been on the list for a long time, but other, more pressing things have always gotten in the way. Not in the cards right now, either. A huge project and/or a huge expense that we just don’t have the budget for right now, partly due to COVID reasons and partly due to normal there are other things higher on the list reasons.

So now R2-X2’s less programmable cousin is doing its best to turn hot air into cold air on the upper floor of our house.

I’m not really happy about it. There are other things I would rather have spent the money on that would get us closer to the goal of selling the house and moving into the home we’re going to retire (and probably die) in. But sleeping comfortably is a thing and I was outvoted.

Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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