Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Air Conditioning

You can tell when you leave the idealistic days of youth by your attitude towards air conditioning. When I got my first car (my beloved 318i), I got it in white, partially to keep the car cooler in the summertime and not use the A/C so much. I would watch outside temp and would only turn it on when it was 90°F or higher. It was my way of sucking it up and saving the environment. Besides, it was more natural, why shouldn't I be happy with the environment that nature provides, we do live in the "temperate" zone after all, not the tropics, not even Texas or Florida!!

So when it was warm, I would open the sunroof and the windows and enjoy the breeze. I never understood why my parents would always use the A/C in the car instead of opening the windows. The 90° cutoff temperature for the A/C quickly dropped down to 80°, not so extreme. And I was happy with that for 8 years or so. Then the kids came. It started when I was pregnant, and after hearing that you always feel hot while you are pregnant. We installed central A/C in the house, and I was comfortable at home in the summer for the first time in a long time.

It may be the protective instinct to make babies as comfortable as possible, after all, they cannot regulate their temperatures as well as adults. When I drove Adam as a baby, the A/C went on as soon he started sweating. And that would happen quickly, often by the time it reached 77° outside. Now driving Dova, the A/C goes on immediately at the sign of heat and humidity, even as low as 69°!! Plus the amount of additional gas that gets used while the A/C runs in the car is minimal (of course I know from my detailed mileage spreadsheet)!!

Now that I think back, I always did have A/C growing up. Room air conditioners in the apartments, central in the house, a room air conditioner in my dorm room (certainly not everyone had that!!), and every car since I was 4 had it!! Only recently did we live with only one room air conditioner in the house until the central (and a few years we didn't even install it - what dummies!). So was I spoiled or justifiably pampered as I am doing so with my kids? Adam is really spoiled, he even as central A/C in his preschool.

Now we always say that the central A/C is the best thing we ever did for the house. I realize now that it is not a crime to be comfortable!! It is nice not to be grumpy from the heat. Everyone in the house benefits when it is comfortable. We all deserve to be comfortable if we can. I always said that there is so much trouble in the Middle East because it is too darn hot!!


JWY said...

Hey! I found your blog because we both like Grey Eye Glances. Sounds like we have a lot in common. Anyway, just wanted to say that where I come from (Alabama) AC is not an option. It's a necessity! I may be spoiled, but I have often wondered how people survive without it. I agree with you, though. Feeling comfy is not a crime. Just enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

I guess I get some strange pleasure in admitting that I am cheap....and my motives for not using AC very much come down to saving. my last two cars have had AC...and my wife demands it in her cars....but we are both holding out in our house. It is actually well all we have to do is keep the sun out and doors closed and it stays fairly comfortable

Oh....the comment about Alabama....I believe it. I was down in Huntsville late last year for work and we went to the Air and Space museum and we almost melted going from the car to the museum. Almost as bad as Florida where I have been for business. (I notice that my Boss takes the trips to Florida or Taiwan in the winter...and sends me in July and August. What's up with that???