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Air Conditioning Woes

26 Jun

1953 Chrysler Imperial - detail of the air ven...

1953 Chrysler Imperial – detail of the air vents for the factory air conditioning system mounted in the trunk of this car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unlike most people I do not like or use air conditioning unless there is no other choice for me.  I have had weird experiences with this mechanical wonder for as long as I can remember.  It is a rare time when I am happy or comfortable with the benefits that others laud air-conditioning for.

First and foremost everyone I know who has central air, a unit in their house or car, keep the temperature below freezing, so it seems to me.  I have a most difficult time keeping warm in the winter, so why then should it be necessary for me to wear a sweatshirt in the summer?  That’s right, it shouldn’t be necessary.  Hot is the order of the season.

In my younger years not everyone had air-conditioning in their cars.  I remember Jim and I driving around in my mother’s 1960 Studebaker, Lark.  It was about 90 degrees in the shade and we were very young.  We were driving along Bruckner Blvd in the Bronx and while almost every other car on the road had all their windows rolled way down to catch a bit of breeze, we rode with ours closed up tight, pretending to have an air-conditioned car.  Needless to say, we were sweating our brains out, but we smiled and waved to others.  Fortunately, we arrived at Orchard Beach before either one of us passed out.  Ah to be so young, stupid, and healthy enough to pull such a stunt.

I have quite a few air conditioning mishaps.  There was the time when I was about eight months pregnant.  I walked from our apartment through the broiling hot streets into an air-conditioned bank which was kept about 65 degrees.  You guessed it, the sudden change in temperature almost caused me to pass out.  Thank goodness for the old-fashioned benches in the bank, and the glass of water provided by the security guard who manned the front door.  I did mention I was pregnant, hence several decades ago.  You would be hard pressed to find benches in today’s modern banks, never mind a visible, armed, security guard.

Then there was that very wet ride to Virginia Beach when the air conditioning unit went bad and dripped cold water on my foot all the way to Kyra’s house.  I wore sandals that day.  My toes were pruned for hours after our arrival.  On the way home the unit went on fire and we had to drive real fast to put it out.  It worked, but I wouldn’t advise that it was the best course of action.  I guess the leaking should have given us an inclination that something had gone amiss.

In St. Martin the air conditioner in our room leaked all night long.  Unbeknownst to us.  It was a wet surprise when we awoke in the morning ready to jump in our bathing suits and head off to the beach.  We should have brought those suits into bed with us.  After placing our feet on the floor we found we were almost ankle-deep in water.  I won’t mention how many days it took the hotel management to fix it.  Being me, I was happier with the ceiling fan.  If the air conditioner had worked I would have required a quilt while staying on the Caribbean Island.

There were several other incidents where air conditioning was the cause of much angst.  These symbols of creature comforts, haunt me.  To this day we do not own an air conditioner.  I bring sweaters with me whenever I visit friends, or especially when I visit my children in their homes.  Each has central air and are most comfortable in igloo type conditions. It is a sad commentary when I am offered a hot drink and a blanket upon entering their beautiful homes, in the midst of July!!

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5 Comments

Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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5 responses to “Air Conditioning Woes

  1. Jan Arzooman

    June 26, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Great bit. I am on the fence about air conditioning. I didn’t grow up with it, either, and at the very least for conservation reasons I feel people should be using less of it. But I’m not opposed to using it in certain conditions.

    In summer I hate to waste a breezy, beautiful night by turning on the AC. My friends all seem to turn theirs on a lot earlier in the season than I do, and on hot days, a lot earlier in the day. And my husband and I have different internal thermostats — I almost always feel colder than he does and I’m still using a blanket most nights almost into July. If he puts the AC on, it’s definite I’ll be using a blanket.

    On the other hand, I feel I can breathe better when the air conditioning is on, on certain very muggy days, and I also worry about my cat, so I’ll turn it on under those conditions even if I think I can handle the heat. We live on the second floor of a co-op building right by the entrance, and people coming and going often make noise even late at night (there are two families with very loud children). If they’re sitting on the front steps chatting and smoking, the talk and smoke can drift into our bedroom window. So if I’m trying to sleep I may put the air on just for that reason.

    In the car, I am torn between enjoying the non-air-conditioned breeze and enjoying my music and it’s hard to have both when you’re on a major highway, so I’m 50-50 about AC in the car.

    I used to laugh at an ex-boyfriend who always put the air on so the wind wouldn’t mess up his hair…

     
  2. MsSopia

    June 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    So it seems we are kindred spirits in more ways than one. I must admit I have gotten accostumed to air in the car. It really cuts down on the noise and like your ex-boyfriend I don’t want my hair messed up on the way to events.
    I love your comments.

     
  3. Kyra

    June 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    You know I call my house Antarctica . I’m freezing right now,lol. But I do love having coffee at sunrise outside, before the real heat, bugs and farmers start the day.

     
  4. MsSopia

    June 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Since I’ve been to your home in the summer and had to borrow socks, I know this to be accurate!

     
  5. Cool Crissy

    June 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Lol! I’m sitting in my ac house with the fan going and I feel good. Hahhahahaha

     

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