Meanwhile in north Texas

This 82-degree sleeping crap has come to the attention of Peter Grant, and he doesn’t like it any better than I do:

Standard domestic central air-conditioning units don’t cope well with such temperatures. We’ll start the day with ours set to 72 degrees, but by late afternoon it’ll be ten degrees hotter than that, and stay at the higher level right through till bedtime. The only way we can cool the house further is to run a window A/C unit in our master bedroom, which pours cooler air out of its door into the main air intake to the master A/C unit. That, in turn, means the main A/C receives cooler-than-ambient air, which it can cool even further before spreading it to the rest of the house. By running the two in combination, we can get the house down to the mid-seventies by bedtime … and that’s the only thing that makes it bearable to try to sleep.

Mine does a little bit better, but not much: it’s been 78 or 79 in the afternoon.

I can only doff my hat in real respect to the original settlers here, who had to deal with such temperatures without even electricity, let alone air-conditioning. I know they built their homes to be as cool as possible in summer, but even so, I simply can’t imagine going through an entire summer of such heat without any escape. As for working outside during it, in the fields or on cattle drives, the thought just boggles my mind!

It’s funny to hear the National Weather Service read off the specs for a heat advisory, which includes “Stay in an air-conditioned room.”

If I ever have the opportunity to build a home to my own specifications, it’s going to be over-climate-controlled for its size, so that no matter what the outside temperature, hot or cold, it’ll hold the internal temperature I want. If Energy Star doesn’t like that, well, that’s just too bad!

It’s possible, I am told, to have too big a unit.


  1. fillyjonk »

    23 August 2019 · 6:30 pm

    A few evenings lately, I have punched the button to raise the temperature to 78, out of fear that the whole-house unit is working too hard and I don’t want it to burn out*

    But then I DO use the window unit – bought when the original whole-house unit crapped out over a July 4 holiday (best $150 I ever spent) – to keep my bedroom at a sleeping-favorable temperature. (I run distressingly hot; a comfortable bedroom temperature, honestly, would be 66 or 68)

    The rain and overcast today was most welcome; I came home to an AC unit that was still and quiet and a house at 75 degrees, where I had left it.

    (*Then again, in my distressed state a couple weeks ago, I left for the emergency trip to Illinois and left the thermostat on 73. I realized part of the way up there I’d forgotten that and worried about the unit burning out or, worse, burning up. Of course, I ALSO couldn’t remember for sure if I had locked the front door, a bigger worry…..I had locked the front door, and the unit was fine when I got home…)

    I often think about the geothermal systems and wonder if they work as well as advertised; claims I’ve seen is “72 degrees all year ’round,” which would be heavenly.

  2. CGHill »

    23 August 2019 · 6:42 pm

    I’m a 74ยบ kind of guy myself, but 72 is quite livable.

  3. McGehee »

    23 August 2019 · 8:00 pm

    Our house has two zones, each with its own heat pump and FAU. The inside temp, when everything is properly maintained, stays within a degree or two of the target temperature except in the worst tropical heat wave or misplaced polar vortex cold snap. We happily pay for the maintenance plan.

    Our previous house had only one heat pump and FAU, but four zones, one of which was unfinished and might as well have been uninsulated, so I disconnected it. Even so, we rarely had anything like the temps we wanted, even after I managed to persuade Mrs. McG that programming different temps for when we weren’t home was only making things worse. In fact the only thing that we didn’t try to make it better — until we moved out — was replacing the heat pump.

    The people we sold that place to got a much less dysfunctional home than we had lived in at that address.

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