No Air Conditioning May is Past!

by Kevin on June 1, 2009

Well another warm, wonderful month of no air conditioning has passed us by. For the second year in a row my wife and I went without air conditioning in our home for the entire month of May.

It was hot. Especially yesterday when the thermostat read 84 degrees inside the house.

But we made it!

Is Life Without Air Conditioning Crazy?

Well, of course it is.

However I think back to the days in the deep south when you know, there wasn’t a thing called air conditioning. You sat in the shade, fanned yourself a lot, and I’m imagining drank a lot of liquids.

The human body is an amazing thing and although it can be tough to adjust to living without air conditioning, you do just that. You adjust.

We were incredibly lucky this year. It seems the months of April and May got confused — April actually had a few really hot spikes, and little rain. May was so full of rain I felt like we had relocated to Seattle. It was depressing. (Good luck to you if you live in Seattle.)

Now we may have experienced something similar last year, but I don’t recall us getting so much rain. The rain kept the temperatures down for a while.

The last week and a half are where the heat kicked in… and especially this weekend. I would say on average we didn’t get above 80 degrees in the house too often until this weekend.

We’re Turning the Air Conditioning Back On

You better believe it. Although I am sure we would adapt to life without air conditioning at all — heaven forbid! — that’s not the point. So what’s the point?

  • to prove to ourselves we could do without it
  • to save on energy for at least a month
  • to save energy for the betterment of the planet

Now, do our contributions have any real affect on the planet? I doubt it. But we do it nonetheless.

Today the air conditioner comes back on. But we won’t be doing anything extreme there, either. The temperature will stay set at 78 degrees (unless we have company over).

Sounds hot? Yea, it is.

But you get used to it.


Philip June 1, 2009 at 7:11 am

High of 84 was all? I wish that was how it was here. Maybe I could do no air conditioning February here. We had plenty of days this last week in the 90’s with horrific humidity.

I do like the idea of what you are going for though.

Rebecca June 1, 2009 at 7:50 am

We live in Atlanta and just turned on our AC a few days ago. When I first read that you were planning to go with out AC for the month of May, I thought it would be a good idea to give it a try. The weather had been so unusually cool that I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult. And it wasn’t! We also used the grill a lot to keep the temperature down inside. Now that temperatures are more typical of a southeastern summer, I wouldn’t want to live without the AC.

I lived in Seattle for seven years and even the last few months don’t compare to what winter (the really difficult part) is like in Seattle. Atlanta gets more inches of rain per year than Seattle. The weather in Seattle tends to be cloudy most of the time with fairly regular drizzle, as opposed to the big downpours and cloud systems that move through quickly in the southeast. What gets really depressing in Seattle is when you go for 90 days with no break in the cloud cover and the daytime is only moderately lighter than night!

MLR June 1, 2009 at 10:10 am

I can count the number of times I have turned on the A/C AND heat on two hands.

It really becomes a non-issue. Cold? Put on a sweater. Hot? Put on a fan and dress in light clothing.

It works for me 😀

Kevin June 1, 2009 at 10:59 am

@Philip: A high of 84 in the house… not outside. It got into the low 90s in terms of outside termpatures.

@MLR: I think it depends on where you live. Last night we started to get pretty miserable, and that was in the least of the least clothing and the fans on high! 🙂

Mary June 1, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Ours is going on soon, humid in MO. We turn on the attic fan in the evening and run it until early morning. So far I’ve been able to get the house down to 65 to start the day, then shut windows and blinds, in the heat of the day we head to the basement to play games or work on a project. I have an aunt that doesn’t have AC, I could do it, but I’d like to be able to sleep and not be miserable. I don’t go below 80 on AC and leave the heat on 60, and dress appropriately!

SingleGuyMoney June 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm

I applaud you sir. I’ve had my A/C on for the past month or so. I am all for saving money but I would certainly find other places to cut expenses. I sweat alot duing the summer and I hate being hot so I and ok with paying my increased electrical bills during the summer.

Barnegat48 June 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm

It surely does depend on where you live! Only during the past week have I been able to keep the HEAT off, at least to take the chill off! South Dakota really doesn’t have much spring – we go from cold to hot in late May or early June, then go back to cold in September-October as a rule.

D. Smith June 2, 2009 at 9:09 pm

My wife and I done the same thing last month. No AC, only fans. Turned lights off ASAP and cut our energy bill down to $73 and some odd cents. It was amazing. Made up for the $275 November bill when heat was a must!

Philip June 3, 2009 at 6:00 am

Wow, a winter bill of $275! I think maybe I should try to do the opposite and as it starts to cool down here (note: it never gets “cold” in houston) I will try to figure out when I turn on my heat the first time. I will try blankets and jackets instead. I am a cold weather person sort of so this will be more reasonable and still save electricity. Now just to figure out when I might would first turn on the heat anyway.

Kevin June 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm

@Mary: 65 would actually be chilly in the morning for us! Brr! 🙂

@SingleGuyMoney: Ahhh, like I said you do get used to it. The first few days is miserable but it gets better.

@Barnegat48: Yes definitely. There’s a reason my company doesn’t have an office in the Dakotas. Very cold. No thank you.

@D. Smith: A definite improvement!

@Philip: Yea, give it a try. Never hurts to try, right?

Russell Fascenda June 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Watch out this idea can bite you. A friend of mine here in Florida never uses air conditioning before June 1. A couple of years ago he came into work about June 3 whining about his air conditioner. He hadn’t turned it on all winter, and when June 1 came it didn’t work. Try to find air conditioning service in June in Florida.

He never could get a repair place to come out, he ended up buying a new central air conditioning system a couple weeks later because they would show up for new installations.

It will take him a lot of $30-a-month savings to make up for that..

Kevin June 8, 2009 at 8:53 am

@Russell: Very true — I’ve heard that from several people. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) — April had several surprise hot days and we ran it then. That’s a good idea though — try and run it during the winter or fall or early spring just to verify that everything is operational.

Russell Fascenda June 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

Kevin, I meant to ask that (or suggest it) in my first post, I do the same thing in March or April we get a hot day, I check the thing out. (Same in the winter give that heater a test in October.) Those in-between seasons are also a good time of year for a maintenance checkup, you could use that $30 you saved and get your unit tested and cleaned, I usually call them every 2 years.

Anne June 22, 2009 at 5:49 pm

We are living without proper central air conditioning in West Central Florida this year, because we cannot afford to replace our unit. It is, in a word, miserable. My husband and I work at home, and we have several pets, who are all suffering. We do have a couple of small portable AC units (window units are not permitted where we live), but they have done little good during the heat indexes of 110+ the past few days. I have a small AC unit going about 8 feet away, and the corner where my computer is, as I type this, is 92 degrees at about 8 p.m. (not including adjusting for the humidity).

So, if you have working central AC, please appreciate it. Any wonder we plan to move to the Pacific Northwest as soon as possible?

Kevin June 22, 2009 at 8:42 pm

@Anne: Oh my! I would figure out some way to replace the A/C. Now I understand that isn’t exactly cheap or easy, especially during the summer. And I’m sure you’ve exhausted all of your options — but look again one more time just to make sure you can’t swing the money from some place. That would be unbearable.

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