The Inequality of the Air Conditioner

David Trammel's picture

I can not imagine living with a daytime temperature of 122 degrees F!

In a country like America, where just about every home has one of those blocky outdoors heat exchangers for the air conditioner on the side of the building, we forget that for much of the World cooling is a luxury few have.

I like the discussion this article has about the difference between air conditioners and air coolers. I'll have to look into coolers more to see how I can incorporate one into my building plans for my retirement home.

'It can’t get much hotter ... can it?' How heat became a national US problem

Heat now kills more Americans than floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters – but cities are facing it almost entirely alone

"Recent research suggests warming conditions are leading to suicides, as rising nighttime temperatures deprive Americans of sleep and respite from scorching days. A new study, released last week, predicts that a warming climate will drive thousands to emergency rooms for heat illness. The very hottest days experienced in the US could be a further 15F warmer this century if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t curbed."

David Trammel's picture

We might as well start learning to live without it in a hotter world then:

"The heat wave is here. Do I regret not putting in my air conditioning window units? It is 80 outside and 81 in my little house come sunset as I arrive back home from my camping excursion. A thunderstorm is going to miss my town. The humidity makes my shirt stick to my back after the daytime high was near 100, but it doesn’t matter. I am sticking to my resolve this summer: I don’t need AC in my house.

I would love to have AC, but it isn’t in the budget. There are other things I need and value that come before AC. To be able to afford nice things of greater value, I am foregoing air conditioning for a season."


The author makes a good "economic" case for learning to live without the expense of air conditioning.

Propane for coolant....there's a story in that... In fact you could do a whole volume of stories on coping with heat. Very interesting that the article mentions Caves of Steel by Asimov. That was one of my favorite Asimov books (there weren't many). It's probably been 50 years since I read it. You might have whole colonies of heat refugees living in movie theaters and churches.