There are two kinds of people in the world, those who tolerate air-conditioning and those who worship it.
I am a worshiper, my wife is a tolerator. It oftens happens that way, that people sharing the same house have markedly different views on such basic concepts as hot and cold.
This is especially noticeable in September and October when questions of "is it hot enough to turn on the air conditioning?" and "isn't it cold enough to take the air conditioner out of the window?" become fuel for debate.
My answers to these question are yes, and no. Yes, we should run the air conditioner, constantly. Not only should we run it, we should be ever grateful for its humidity-free breezes and eternally thankful for the cool, cocoon-like comfort it bestows upon us.
As for taking the air conditioner out of the window, I say no, don't rush it. It might be pleasant today, but it will probably be hot and humid tomorrow. And there is nothing worse than being caught in hot weather with your air conditioner down.
About this point in the debate, my worthy opponent, also known as the tolerator, points out that if the air conditioner isn't running, then our electricity bill isn't growing faster than kudzu. Moreover, she points out, with the air conditioner off the earth's depleting ozone layer gets a holiday.
To which I reply that you gotta be true to who you are. And after suffering through many humid nights, I have learned what kind of environmentalist I am. I am willing to recycle my bottles and cans and carry newspapers to the recycling center that is open about two hours a week. But I am not about to give up my air conditioner. Try to take it from me, and I fight with a fury last seen in the middle of the night when someone turned off the bedroom air conditioner in a vacation house because she was cold. I woke a short time later, gasping for breath, soaked with sweat and furious. It took me half an hour to cool down again, and that was with the air conditioner on high.
Such middle-of-the-night tantrums over temperature are rare for
me. That is because at home the bedroom is part of the house's central air-conditioning system. And as keeper of the thermostat, I set the air conditioner to run at a mutually agreeable temperature, say 80 degrees, then make sure the unit's fan runs all night long.
This is really not cold enough for me. But since the fan is running, air is moving through the vents. It sounds like air conditioning, and that sound helps me fall asleep.
The top floor of our house, where the kids sleep, is not hooked up to the central air conditioning system. I used to cool it with an old window unit.
I think it was a one-ton unit. That is what if felt like it weighed when I would put it in the window. Putting that unit in the window, or taking it out, was a two-man job. It was so heavy that when I placed the old air conditioner in the window, the frame would groan with pain.
This summer I never got around to installing that one-ton monster in the upstairs window. Finally, a week or so ago, I went out and bought a new, smaller energy-efficient unit. It is so light I can lift it all by myself.
I do, however, need the tolerator's help to fit it snugly in the window. Right now the new air conditioner is sitting on the floor below the window.
The tolerator contends that it is "too late" in the season to hook up an air conditioner.
I argue that there are still many unpleasant nights ahead of us. That the air-conditioning season isn't over until the first frost, or maybe even the first snowfall.
Besides, I want to get the new air conditioner up and running. I can't wait to hear this baby's condenser kick in.