Author Topic: Air Conditioning.  (Read 1816 times)

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Air Conditioning.
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:44:20 AM »
I think the Slate article is pretty right.  Even if my AC is on right now, holding the temperature at this end of the trailer--the fan's heading my way--at 78oF.  Probably closer to 81-82 at the other end.  But I think I've had it on over-night just once.

I do heat exhaust pretty easily, as I get older.  Never had a car with AC until 2000--that did include a summer in LA, but a one-day trip down here to look at land, then back to Nashville left me mildly sick for a day or two.  AC--air-con--helped a lot.

On the other hand, friends with a house deep in the woods seem to do just fine without.  And I'm not uncomfortable when I'm there.

Design, siting, not putting blacktop on the drive and parking spaces.

Finding and recommending some sort of parking lot coating that does not involve slathering bright black stinky asphalt over it every August (why is it always August?).  

If you want to quibble--the summer all those people died in Europe of heat was not (particularly, anyway) hotter than this one, they'd just figured out how to deal with it.

I also know people who use AC "just for the dehumidifying, you know."  Hmmm.  I wonder why they don't use dehumidifiers, after all the AC puts the hot air outside ("a wash", according to the article, as far as heat goes), but only removes water when the compressor's working.   ::)  Meow!

Thank goodness for air conditioning. To keep old folks alive, cities from Washington to Los Angeles are opening artificially cooled buildings to the public. Meanwhile, people are lining up to buy window units. According to the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, shipments of air conditioners and heat pumps have tripled over the last three decades. The percentage of single-family homes built with central air has gone from 36 to 87. The percentage of cars built with air conditioning has risen from 61 to 98. In 1970, only 42 percent of occupied mobile homes had it. By 2003, that percentage had more than doubled.

It's a heartwarming—or, more precisely, a heart-cooling—story. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. Air conditioning takes indoor heat and pushes it outdoors. To do this, it uses energy, which increases production of greenhouse gases, which warm the atmosphere. From a cooling standpoint, the first transaction is a wash, and the second is a loss. We're cooking our planet to refrigerate the diminishing part that's still habitable.

All over the country, power consumption is breaking records, and air conditioning is a huge reason why. We use about one-sixth of our electricity to cool ourselves. That's more than the total electricity consumption of India, a country whose population exceeds 1 billion. To get the electricity, we burn oil and coal. We also run air conditioners in our cars, which reduces urban fuel efficiency by up to four miles per gallon, at an annual cost of 7 billion gallons of gasoline.


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