Rarely do I feel so strongly about an issue that I put an exclamation point in the headline of a post. But I feel really strongly about air conditioners, in that I really don’t think they’re necessary. At least, I don’t think they’re necessary in private dwellings. Having air conditioning on the subways and in offices is more a matter of safety, because corralling large numbers of already disgruntled New Yorkers together and keeping them trapped in an enclosed space for long periods of time without providing a steady stream of cooling air is a recipe for disaster on an apocalyptic level. Like, a human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria level of disaster. It would be bad.
But, anyway, no. I’m not talking about abandoning air conditioners in places where temperature control is essential to functioning. After all, the advent of air conditioning has allowed for major technology developments for the easy-to-understand-by-anyone-who-has-ever-gotten-second-degree-burns-from-resting-her-MacBook-on-her-lap-for-too-long reason that computers need to be kept cool, because those motherfuckers burn hot.
Let’s leave aside office environments though and talk about private homes. Recently, DNAInfo posted an article titled, “How to Survive a Sweltering NYC Summer Without Air-Conditioning,” which offered common-sense tips from New Yorkers like “drink lots of icy cold water” and “keep the shades down during the day” and “pop your underwear in the freezer.” All of these are excellent tips, although that last one hinges on whether or not you wear underwear in the summer, which, you know, I’ve heard some people don’t.
Living without an air conditioner—especially when it’s by choice—can cause people around you to sincerely ask if you are losing your mind. I know this, because I don’t have air conditioning, despite having been offered free units. If you are like me, and need excuses to give to people about why your lack of air conditioning does not actually mean that you’re not just a masochist, but have rational and valid reasons for not having an air conditioner, read on.