Live Without: An Air Conditioner

Live Without: An Air Conditioner

Geoff Bentz
Apr 19, 2010

By design, window AC units don't take up floor space. But visually they make a room feel compact. Plus there's winter storage. And with small rooms you have to design around the airflow (whether you like the cold blasting you in the face or not). Now is the perfect time of year to let the spring weather slip in, but as things heat up it might be time to ask yourself: Could I live without the AC?

For most people this is a black and white issue. I can't possibly part with it or I hate those rattling contraptions. But living without an air conditioner has more benefits than just freeing up a window. Losing my low to high cool settings was a big decision. The first thing I did was install a ceiling fan. They're relatively inexpensive, no more than your AC energy bill for a month, and with a little creativity they can actually compliment your decor.

But the biggest step to living Freon-free was a mental one. You know that feeling of pulling the covers up to your nose when it's chilly? Everyone loves that feeling. Well there's a similar attitude to slipping under a light linen sheet and letting the summer air melt you to sleep. Accepting the heat is a state of mind. It's about moving a bit slower, drinking a lot more cold drinks, taking cool showers and spending more time outside instead of sticking to the couch watching summer reruns.

And yes, the first wave of heat does make things a big uncomfortable. But the most surprising thing is how quickly your body adjusts and starts to regulate the temperature. It's like millions of years of evolution reduced to a few restless nights. Just make sure you have decent privacy in the bedroom. Because living without an air conditioner also means sleeping without underwear.

(images: 1 Automotive Resource; 2 Architectural Digest; 3 Nest Egg)

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