There are people among you, friends even, who live without artificial cooling during what are affectionately known as the dog days of summer. One-third of American households don’t have air conditioning, according to the Department of Energy. Many of those, of course, can’t afford it, but people don’t like AC for a variety of reasons beyond cost: environmental, aesthetic, nostalgic, social and cultural.
And, yes, to humble-brag, which I may be doing right now, about our greater tolerance, lower carbon footprint and puny electric bills, which are half the temperature outside.
Clinical social worker Olivia Snyder lives on the fifth floor of a Philadelphia apartment building with southern exposure and no air conditioning. It gets so hot, she says, “I don’t want to turn on the burners, let alone the oven.”
But window units offend her. “Air conditioners are ugly. I really like the view,” she says. Also, “I hate sleeping with the noise. I’m super-weird about noise.”