On the surface this may seem like a ridiculous idea these days but believe it or not, it is possible. Not only is it possible, it can be very rewarding. No air conditioning for Florida residents in the Fall, Winter and Springtime is a no brainer. These seasons are the reason we have had so many snowbirds and tourists flocking to our state for decades. Well, when it comes to sustainability, our AC systems that we all know and love are one of the biggest energy hogs that we run on a daily basis. The demand for energy from a household AC unit will certainly keep you cool but suck you dry financially.
As a result of our current economic climate most of us have been trying to find ways to cut back on expenses. Well, my wife and I have been cutting and cutting and this past summer we received our July energy statement for $300 + dollars and that was it for the AC too. Now at first it was purely economics driving this decision but then something strange happened, we started to feel something different. I know what you’re thinking, “sticky and wet in bed at night trying to sleep”. No, our bodies actually began to acclimate to the hotter temperatures. With a fan over the bed and fans in the windows, we pull in the outside air keeping us cool. It was amazing, what we thought would be dreadful has turned out to be one of our greatest physical comforts. I hear you, “but I need my AC, I couldn’t live without it.”
Well, in terms of necessity, not having the AC turned on all we have to do is look back 50 years or so ago. Some of our parents didn’t have AC, even here in Florida. Our friends and neighbors that know we have given up the AC think we are crazy. One neighbor even mentioned that he couldn’t stop thinking about it for a week solid that we do such a thing. Our friends and neighbors respect the decision but think they just couldn’t do it. Not only can they do it, they can come to enjoy it. It is quite the opposite adjustment for us now when we spend any significant time in air-conditioned space. We of course feel very cool, even cold in controlled air environments and it is something we appreciate more now then before. But it still does not make us want it again, even strange for us to not want it again. It is not for the faint of heart to go without the AC during the summer in Florida. It is for those people who understand the value of our bodies amazing ability to adapt to temperature and those who want to live more with less. No doubt, AC is very comfortable and essential to hotels, office buildings and healthcare facilities, but is it really sustainable?