Through the intercession of St. Willis of Carrier

There are people who speak out against air conditioning, and they should be dropped, en masse, into a Bessemer converter.

Meanwhile, there are normal people:

I am relying on my window-unit air conditioner in my bedroom to keep it cooler at night. I feel slightly guilty about all the power I am using but I sleep SO MUCH BETTER in a cooler room. When it’s really hot and I have no relief, I wake up feeling like I didn’t sleep, and I have bad dreams when I do. (I wonder how people managed before air conditioning, especially in the South. Did stuff just shut down in the summer and the expectation was you got little useful work out of people?)

Southern houses, at least up until World War II or thereabouts, were generally constructed for maximum potential cool: cross-ventilation was a must, and windows were big and easily opened. Ceiling fans were ubiquitous: a big room might have two or even three. We didn’t have A/C during our eight years in South Carolina, and we weren’t the only ones either. And in Charleston in particular, there’s a lot of rain in the summer: six inches in a month is routine, and I’ve seen over 20.

Oh, and I have no guilt at all about running the A/C; I pay for these stinking kilowatt-hours, and I figure I can do as I please with them. In the summer, my bedroom is the warmest room in the house, so it gets a box fan. Besides, cooler rooms are healthier, period.


  1. fillyjonk »

    5 June 2015 · 1:33 pm

    Cool rooms are also healthier for the people around me, because a hot room causes “urge to kill….rising, rising”

    Well, maybe not “kill,” not literally, but “be very, very snappish” would definitely apply.

  2. Bill Peschel »

    5 June 2015 · 1:50 pm

    Southern houses used design elements such as high ceilings to let the heat rise, deep porches for shade, and doors and hallways designed to catch the breeze such as shotgun shacks.

    And, yes, when it got really hot, nothing got done, period.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the heightened passions seen in people around the tropical belt wasn’t motivated in part by it being so %@%$@#@ hot.

  3. backwoods conservative »

    5 June 2015 · 5:22 pm

    I suffered through all of last summer without air conditioning after my central A/C died and I didn’t have the money to replace it. I had to rely on a couple of 18 inch pedestal fans. Fortunately it was a fairly mild summer.

    I still can’t afford a new central unit but I have put a 12,000 BTU window unit in a room in the middle of the house. So far it’s cooling the house well enough that I haven’t needed the 8000 BTU unit I put in my bedroom.

    People who live in the South don’t owe an apology to anybody for using air conditioning. The reduction in humidity alone makes it worth it. It’s a pretty miserable feeling to take a shower and not be able to get dry.

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