The New Home Economics

Going without the AC

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I just saw this article in the NY Times: “The Unchilled Life: Breezing through the recession without air-conditioning.”  It made me laugh because we unwittingly joined these people this summer.  Our central AC died right in the middle of a heat wave in mid-June, and we couldn’t afford  to fix/replace it.

We have been very fortunate in that we are experiencing a very cool (albeit dry) summer here in MN and I don’t know that we would have used it anyway after that initial 4-day heat wave.  Daytime temps have only been in the 80s at most.

So now the debate is, do we try to get that AC unit fixed/replaced or not?  There is a tax incentive to replace it in 2009 or 2010.  Yet, I’d like to put it off as long as possible.  I’m flirting with the idea of never replacing it.  I’d much rather spend my money on something that would help naturally cool our home, like a porch, or deeper eaves, or better-insulated windows.  I could go on and on.

I am really excited that I have until the end of 2010 to decide.  The only thing that bothers me is lying awake at night, with all our windows open, listening to the drone of the air conditioners going full blast outside every single house around us and wondering, just how great IS the quality of that spewed-out air coming in through my window?  Maybe this no-AC plan works better in the country?

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