Hot town, summer in the city (Day 92)…


I can feel it already — this summer is going to be as hot and sticky as a cinnamon bun, thanks in some part to global warming but also because, as of today, I’m switching off the air conditioning.

As some of you may remember, I previously tampered with my thermostat back in March, when I committed to keeping my apartment no warmer than 20 degrees (68 F) during the winter. But as my body has a much higher tolerance for hyperthermia than hypothermia, I figure, heat wave shmeat wave — I’ll be fine with a few fans and some buckets of water.

Plus, the hallways in my building are air-conditioned, so at least a cool breeze will seep in under the door every now and then, and my windows all face north-west, so there isn’t a lot of direct sunlight pouring in all day.

I’m betting this change will be easy enough until late July and August, when there are always those couple weeks that are so scorching you can barely get out of bed without over-heating. You get that permanent layer of sweat and start to feel like a walking, talking lint roller as everything starts sticking to your skin (clothes, cat hair, food crumbs, the grocery list).

It’s all mental, though — I think if I try and accept the heat, be one with Mother Nature and take pleasure in the fact that I’m probably sweating out a lot of toxins or something, it should be fine. I just hope Sophie doesn’t suffer too much in her fur coat.

Comic courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner

12 Responses to Hot town, summer in the city (Day 92)…

  1. Nancy Z. says:

    You are so brave. In Texas, this would not be an option. What type of sunscreen are you using?

  2. dinsky says:

    good for you! I would do the same if I had the option, but I don’t have air conditioning to begin with, and the ol’ farmhouse gets mighty stuffy. My solution to beat the heat is to go down to the river and jump in, it’ll cool you off instantly, the refreshment stays with you for a long time.

  3. SpideyMizzou says:

    I haven’t had my heat or air on since the middle of March, and so far, it’s going well. I figure if I can’t stand the heat I’ll just go to the office where they refuse to turn down the frost-inducing air units.

    Kudos to you! Fall is just around the corner!

  4. gettinggreen says:

    Nancy — I’m glad you asked! I think somewhere under my sink there’s a half-empty bottle of Hawaiian Tropic SPF15, but I’ve been hearing some bad things about suntan lotion and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ll obviously try to stay in the shade and whatnot, but inevitably I’m going to find myself out on a Saturday afternoon getting burned and I’ll need to put something on. Anyone got recommendations?

  5. Chile says:

    Oh my! Definitely not an option in the SW desert, although we only have a swamp cooler. We have been keeping our thermostat higher this year and I’m avoiding A/C when in the car. I think I’m adjusting, but it’s not hot yet. Yeah, sure, we’ve hit 100 a couple of times but June-August are the real scorchers. Humidity levels make a huge difference. Here, wet hair plus ceiling fan equals comfortable. In high humidity, that doesn’t work. Best of luck with your continuing adventures, Vanessa.

  6. kit says:

    I lived in Austin, TX for a few years without AC and now in Boston with neither AC nor ceiling fans and learned a good many things. There’s a reason the old houses there are constructed with high windows under a big overhang and thick limestone walls!

    — I had the flexibility to shift my sleep schedule somewhat so that I wouldn’t need to be biking home in the evening rush hour since waiting until 8 PM made a big difference there.

    — Short hair was a real bonus for getting rid of head heat and very quick icy jumps in the shower.

    — I put foil in my sunniest window and saw a 10 F degree difference in that room the same day. Another option is to cut cardboard to the shape of the window and to cover a side in foil so that you can put it up during the day and pull it down to open the window at night. Unless you get a lot of sun, you usually don’t want the windows open during the day.

    — Keep the bathroom door closed while you’re showering so that the hot, humid air doesn’t warm up the whole apartment.

    — Don’t forget to bring warm clothing to places that over-air-condition. People who live without AC tend to do much better with summer weather as a result, but you don’t want to destroy that tolerance by shivering for hours in an office. I liked to think that my ‘office parka’ sent a message about the ridiculous temperature the place was kept at.

    — Lastly, don’t be afraid to escape to a coffeeshop or library on the really disgustingly hot days. It’s so much easier than just keeping an AC unit around ‘just in case’ for those days when you might be tempted to use it a lot.

  7. christal says:

    as far as suggestions for spf protection, I just recently got some from lavera for my pre schooler. it is a little on the pricey side, but the little guy is well worth it. I had used some from jason last year, but it was a bit greasy and still had some ingredients I wasn’t too happy with. as always, staying away from the parabens and such is vital, so be aware of that. most suntan and sunblock formulas are chock full of them, even if they claim to be ‘all natural’.

    my little apartment is outfitted with 4 fans, which keep me cool generally. I usually take my shower before bed and fall asleep quite comfortably with the wet head and fan action.
    happy summer!

  8. Previously I had box fans I used in the windows, and some ceiling fans. This year I got a couple of actual window fans (2 9″ fans per unit and a thermostat so it shuts off when it gets too cool) – “Holmes Window Fan with Digital Thermostat” from Target. It’s supposed to use 20 % of what a window a/c would use. They are AWESOME! It has made such a BIG difference. It was 88 degrees yesterday and the bedroom still felt cool. I think I may pick up 2 more for some of the other rooms and give the box fans away.

  9. Steven says:

    I lived without AC for two years in Arkansas. People thought I was crazy because it’s routinely 100 degrees and very humid. It was really rough for about a month, but then I guess my body just adjusted to it. I had a box fan that provided a breeze and I was fine. I felt really good about myself, my utility bill was cheaper and I didn’t have to listen to the extra noise the AC makes when I wanted to sit on my porch.

  10. Gwyn says:

    You are getting hardcore now!

  11. Rhett says:

    Good on you! I so wish that we could do something similar, but AC is a necessity here in South Florida. Not only is it chronically hot here (we often run the AC in the winter), but it’s chronically humid, too. It’s so humid that we have all sorts of special clauses in our renter’s agreements about mold infestations, and we have to run the AC because it’s a way to keep the apartment dry enough to prevent mold growth.

  12. Mido says:

    Kudos to you, Vanessa. My roommates and I are planning to keep off the AC until it gets dangerously hot (I wouldn’t want to have it on at all, but I have to give into the democracy of our situation). I find it funny that they are complaining now that it’s hot, when it’s really not that bad.

    And Sophie is such a cute name for a cat (I hope she handles the changes as well as you do!)

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