Summer is coming. You can tell because it’s baking hot in the sun, the flies are much more plentiful, and outside in the evening when all should be still, instead you can hear the hum or household air-conditioners echoing across the ‘burbs.
Yesterday I spent most of the day at home, as one of the kids wasn’t feeling well. I’m pleased to say that while outside it peaked at around 36 degrees, inside it got only up to about 26 — not brilliant, but quite bearable. So while I do plan to get a ceiling fan fitted in the livingroom, the expense and pollution of air-conditioning seems unnecessary.
(Coincidentally at work yesterday there were aircon faults, so for a while it was warmer there than at home.)
I put it down to home designers of the past being clever about low-tech methods of making houses resistant to heat — even weatherboard houses like mine. Eaves and blinds are in place. Double-glazing and external shutters/blinds aren’t, and I don’t off-hand know if the orientation of the house and windows meets current thinking on the optimum use of shade, but we seem to get by.
In contrast, some of the newer houses you see have enormously big windows, no eaves, no shade, and enormously big air conditioners to match.
Similarly, when my sister got back from Britain a couple of years ago, she mentioned that many of the Brits don’t know how to handle the heat. Some were just unaware of simple things like parking the car in the shade on sunny days, or keeping the blinds down on hot days.
Heat retention in my house may be an issue though. With several hours of windows and doors left open last night, and the temperature outside having dropped to about 18 degrees, inside it was still hovering around 24. I guess that’s where air con really would come in handy.