Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Life with no AC
Old 07-01-2008, 04:51 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Life with no AC

My AC went out last night. Luckily, it was a mild day today and the temp in the house never got above 77. Actually, it was kind of nice to have the fresh air in the place.

The repairman came early this afternoon and fixed it at a cost of $180 so no big deal. What I found interesting about this experience is how I was going into panic mode about not having AC. Good grief, I lived without it for years here in Virginia and survived. Of course, I was much younger and more resilient then.

I am reminded of a piece done by a local anchorman by the name of Jim Vance years ago. Any of you who have lived in the DC area are probably familiar with him.

He told the story about growing up in WashingtonDC in the days before AC. During the summer, folks would stay outside on the stoop and even sleep outside during particularly hot evenings. Everyone in the neighborhood was outside a lot and visited with each other. This provided a sense of connection with your neighbors and community.

Now, since just about everyone has AC, there is very little interaction with neighbors anymore. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to give it up, but AC does have a way of isolating us in our homes.

Anyway, the AC is fixed and the crisis is averted. The experience did cause me to reflect on how dependent I have become on AC and how it does isolate us.
__________________

__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-01-2008, 05:00 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BunsGettingFirm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,502
Reminds me of an old Norther Exposure episode in which the main female character complained endlessly about not having her own washer and dryer. When she finally got them, she realized that she missed the community aspect of doing laundry in the laundromat.

Of course, there is the downside of being the only person without AC and being the only person hanging out on the stoop. That's no fun either.
__________________

__________________
BunsGettingFirm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 05:05 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,038
I think the Television also drove people inside in the evenings. Now the internet also. When I was a kid in the 60's there were always kids out playing in the evenings. We had AC but only used it if it was really hot. People are not willing to let there kids run around the neighborhood anymore. Afraid of what might happen. Probably nothing, but tell that to a Mom.
__________________
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.
Lazarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,913
My husband designed our home for passive cooling, we just open a few lower windows, crack open a couple sky lights and wa-la, the hot air flies right on out. It is sooo nice not to hear the whine of a heat pump, just the birds conversing while sitting on the deck with a glass of wine.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 05:33 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
When I was a kid in the 60's there were always kids out playing in the evenings.
My DH and I were talking about just this very topic a couple of nights ago. We too were kids in the 60's. We lived in typical middle class neighborhoods. We used to explore with our friends (the local creek was always popular), play wiffle ball, ride our bikes, go sledding, and generally just free flow with our buds. Now everything is planned and controlled by adults. Yup, it's a different world now and the kids are safer. I just wonder how so much this control impacts the creativity of kids these days. Geez, I sound like a geezer talking about the "good old days".
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Same experience here, growing up in the 60's. Playing cards held with clothespins to stick them in the spokes of your bicycle. Always outside unless weather prohibited it.

Scheduled activities? We never heard of that.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,434
I can't imagine not having AC here in Mississippi. But back in the 50's and early 60's, all we had were window fans. You would leave your windows up(screens on your window) and it would help circulate the air through the house. Talk about some good sleeping, the noise from the hum of the fan and the air blowing on you made you sleep like a baby. No going back now though.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 08:11 PM   #8
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
I can't imagine not having AC here in Mississippi. But back in the 50's and early 60's, all we had were window fans. You would leave your windows up(screens on your window) and it would help circulate the air through the house. Talk about some good sleeping, the noise from the hum of the fan and the air blowing on you made you sleep like a baby. No going back now though.
In 2003 (or was it 2004?) my A/C cratered during the summer. Because of LBYM and working hard on my ER plan, I didn't want to spend the money to have it fixed that year. I spent a New Orleans August and September without A/C.

It wasn't really as miserable as I thought it would be. I used the ceiling fans a lot, plus a table fan. I took a couple of cool showers each day, turned off most lights, drank ice water, and dressed skimpily while at home.

There are a lot of possessions that do not withstand our high humidity very well, but overall I am no worse for the wear. Having no windows (other than French doors out to a covered patio, which I left closed for home security reasons) in my bedroom, and no ceiling fan there either, I can't say that it made for good sleeping in my case.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 08:44 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purron View Post
Good grief, I lived without it for years here in Virginia and survived. Of course, I was much younger and more resilient then.
I was just talking about this with DW an hour or so ago. We were sitting out on the front porch enjoying the beautiful sunset, until the skeeters zeroed in. I was talking about growing up in VA with no AC. We always slept with the windows open. And somehow one of those little buggers would always get inside the screen and spend about an hour buzzing around my ear before I either killed it or just fell asleep anyway .

I like my AC. Especially now with the new geothermal setup. Clean, quiet, and cheap(er). I guess I'm just spoiled.

Harley
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 08:51 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
I didn't have A/C until I retired.

I don't like A/C, but I don't like it less than I don't like 90F and humid.

Used A/C ~120 hours in '07.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 09:41 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Eagle43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,879
I grew up in New Orleans with no AC. We had window fans which kept us reasonably cool at night. Of course, during the day I was always outside. I still like (can tolerate) heat and humidity, although since growing older I would hate to do without it at nite. Now, DW and I keep the thermometer at 80 during the day, even with the 95+ degree Texas heat. As an aside, I find the a/c at most public places too cold. If I know I'm gonna be trapped, like at a movie, I take a long-sleeved shirt just in case.
__________________
Resist much. Obey Little. . . . Ed Abbey

Disclaimer: My Posts are for my amusement only.
Eagle43 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 09:47 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43 View Post
I grew up in New Orleans with no AC. We had window fans which kept us reasonably cool at night. Of course, during the day I was always outside. I still like (can tolerate) heat and humidity, although since growing older I would hate to do without it at nite. Now, DW and I keep the thermometer at 80 during the day, even with the 95+ degree Texas heat. As an aside, I find the a/c at most public places too cold. If I know I'm gonna be trapped, like at a movie, I take a long-sleeved shirt just in case.
I am amazed at the folks that run the A/C to anything less than 80F; these same people sometimes run the heat at a higher temp.

I have heard people tell me they have a summer temp at 65F and a winter temp at 75F.

Then there are those who turn the heat up in winter and run the fan; and others (maybe the same) who turn the A/C low and use an electric blanket.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 09:49 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,764
I run it because I can afford it. Otherwise I would sweat and deal with it. Winter time I dont like much heat. Maybe Im hot blooded
__________________
Notmuchlonger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 10:14 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purron View Post
He told the story about growing up in Washington in the days before AC. During the summer, folks would stay outside on the stoop and even sleep outside during particularly hot evenings. Everyone in the neighborhood was outside a lot and visited with each other. This provided a sense of connection with your neighbors and community.

Now, since just about everyone has AC, there is very little interaction with neighbors anymore. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to give it up, but AC does have a way of isolating us in our homes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunsGettingFirm View Post
Of course, there is the downside of being the only person without AC and being the only person hanging out on the stoop. That's no fun either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
I think the Television also drove people inside in the evenings.
We have a couple of window A/C units that we'll run at night to keep it cool & comfy for sleeping. But even then, most of the time we leave the A/C off at night, and just open the windows and turn on the house fan. We spend almost all of our 'awake' time outside in the yard or on the patio. We just put our chairs under the shade tree, and sip iced tea or lemonade. Many of our neighbors don't leave the house except for work, school, or shopping.....they stay in their self-induced isolation. They're easy to pick out in a crowd....they're the pasty-white folks that look like Casper The Ghost impersonators. We have a few neighbors though who are like us, and like to spend time outdoors relaxing and visiting.

The ones that stay indoors all the time probably think the rest of us are nuts.....but then again, us 'outdoorsy' folks think they're the weirdos!

As for TV driving folks indoors......just the opposite action for us. Due to the lack of anything that is not inane or mind-numbing....not to mention just down right pathetically stupid and/or worthless (including 'reality' TV).....we go for looooong periods without turning on the aptly nicknamed 'boob tube'. Exceptions are some 'cultural' shows (music, the arts, etc), the late evening news from Chicago, a few (VERY few) game shows where you have to use your brain and think, an occasional movie (usually in black & white or on Hallmark Channel), a baseball game, or something along those lines....oh yeah, and a few older sitcoms like All In The Family, Sanford & Son, Frazier, Becker, and M*A*S*H. Other than that, TV is what helps keep us outdoors.

We don't have too many skeeters usually.....but if they're out, we have Deet to spray on, and citronella candle/torches to light.....or we'll just plug in a fan and blow 'em away from us.
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 11:12 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
nphx's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 285
Well with LBYM and an ER plan I gave up on noisy central air and installed some split units. With no pets they run for a few hours in the morning or nightly. I deal well here in the desert with that model. I have swamp cooler but I havent used it in a few years due to dust it blows in.
__________________
nphx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 11:32 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,020
I grew up with no A/C. But then, in Marquette, you don't really need it (4th of July fireworks cancelled due to snow one year, true story). It did get hot one August (only month it's never snowed) so all of us brought our sheets down to the living room and set up box fans at each end of the room to pull air through. Family campout, yay.
__________________
Marquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 11:38 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquette View Post
I grew up with no A/C. ......... It did get hot one August.....so all of us brought our sheets down to the living room and set up box fans at each end of the room to pull air through. Family campout, yay.
Been there...Done that.....many times!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2008, 11:44 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan View Post
I am amazed at the folks that run the A/C to anything less than 80F; these same people sometimes run the heat at a higher temp.

I have heard people tell me they have a summer temp at 65F and a winter temp at 75F.

Then there are those who turn the heat up in winter and run the fan; and others (maybe the same) who turn the A/C low and use an electric blanket.
I have found that living in Scottsdale, AZ has a cumulative effect. I start off well enough and my A/C is at 80 or 81, but as the summer goes on I know I'll be turning it down as my body just reaches a point where I cannot stand it any more. This usually happens in August or September We'll see how I do for the rest of the summer.
__________________
Kathryn48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 02:04 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
No A/C here.. it's been in the 90s for a week now, but the stone house is relatively OK, especially if we run a couple of fans at night. Would be better off if we closed all the doors and windows during the day, too.. but after a cold rainy spring I just need to open the place up. There's a saying in Italy "non ci sono piu' i mezzi stagioni!" [there are no more half(way) seasons.. i.e., no more spring/fall weather]. Sure seems that way --two weeks ago the highs were in the 60s-- but I wonder if it is backed up by the historic record.

I don't really miss the A/C unless it gets quite humid; the humidity is pretty moderate here in the summer but October-May is much more wet than I am used to.

My house in the NE (built in the 1920s) had a sleeping porch, as did the house I grew up in (built late 19th c.).
__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2008, 04:06 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
I can remember a time before AC was common... when I was very young. I can remember when my father first installed one. The same for cars.

Two things I have noticed lately.

1) The cost of our home energy bill in the summer is higher because of AC
2) The cost of my car fuel bill is lower not using AC in town at lower speeds.


I am not planning on stopping the use of AC. But will higher fuel and energy prices change the the behavior of some Americans at lower income levels?
__________________

__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Life 2.0 two4theroad Life after FIRE 6 02-13-2008 07:12 AM
RV Life fisherman Other topics 9 07-11-2007 04:56 PM
OK ... The REAL Question of Life ... Your Socks Life Craig Other topics 25 01-19-2007 04:24 PM
Ever wonder how life would have been OldAgePensioner Other topics 14 06-28-2006 09:31 AM
Get a Life! REWahoo Other topics 43 12-05-2005 07:05 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:12 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.