We made it!

This year we spent the entire spring and summer without a/c.   Maybe you live up north and don’t have air conditioning, but we’re in south Texas.  We’re farther south than the southern border of California.  We’re way down there.  And we did it.

We’ve had a record number of triple-digit days this year, but we made it.  We only turned on the 2 little window units twice, for company, and all the windows were open at the time.

According to the forecast at AccuWeather.com, the high temps for our little town for the next 2 weeks should range from just 90-93 degrees, and then it’s just one more week until fall is officially here!    That sounds positively comfortable.   Maybe they’re wrong, but the very thought of sub-100 temps makes me giddy.

Do you know what else makes me giddy?  The thought of all the money we saved by not running the air.  We didn’t just save what we spent on air last year.  This year was much hotter, so we would have spent much more.   Ironically, we probably would have spent more and been less comfortable, since the little window units wouldn’t have been able to keep the house comfortable.  They would have run constantly, but it would have been a losing battle.

Another advantage: we didn’t experience cabin fever.  If the a/c was running, we would have spent all summer crowded together, huddled inside the stuffy house because it was 15 degrees cooler than outside.  Instead, we spent a lot of time both inside and out – on the deck, on the trampoline, and visiting our new chickens.  The kids explored the woods and climbed trees, and fashioned a makeshift seesaw out of a long plank and a paint scaffold.  I still haven’t gone to look at it.  I don’t want to.

And finally, not having a/c at home made leaving the house more pleasant.  The a/c in our van works, but not well.  To our acclimated bodies, it wasn’t bad.  The desperate run from the air conditioned vehicle to the air conditioned grocery store wasn’t desperate at all.  While others looked sweaty and uncomfortable, most of us felt very little inclination to complain.

Don’t get me wrong: there was complaining through the course of the summer.  Some of us adapt more easily than others, and some are more prone to complaining than others.   Some of us vacillate between the two groups.  Some simply didn’t understand why were weren’t using the air.

It certainly wasn’t easy, especially at first.  But it got better even as the temperatures rose.  100 now feels far more comfortable than 85 did in the early spring.  God’s design for the human body is wonderful.  We can adapt, and when the need presents itself we do.

In the end I feel triumphant.  And I feel crisp and cool, even though it’s 7:30 PM and 92 degrees.

Now I’m wondering if we could adjust to winter temps without heat.   I’m also wondering if the very suggestion would result in a mutiny.  Maybe next year…

Comments

  1. Hi Kim.

    As a fellow Texan (we live north of Dallas), I’m wondering if ya’ll used your ac last year? We moved out of state in the height of the heat wave… only to move back a few months later. (we did escape the heat.. until this upcoming summertime!)
    We are about to move into a smallish (2bdroom!) home that has no air. I had my dh take out the furnace/ac thingy for pantry storage. We won’t have ac. I don’t like window units because I like light.
    Anyway, all that to ask you if ya’ll made it last year with no ac!

    • Janet,
      We made it through last summer with much less complaining than the year before. It was a far milder summer and I really do think we’re acclimating. Like you, I dislike window units – the noise gets to me and I hate not being able to open up all the windows on a nice day. I also feel that a/c contributes to cabin fever, since nobody wants to leave the house if there’s a 20 degree difference. I think plenty of ventilation and cool drinks make it far more bearable.

  2. Hi, I live in a country where an A/C in the house is something nearly unknown – of course, we only get about 10 hot days every year. But yes, it is possible to survive hot weather, as long there is enough cold water to drink and to shower with. In the winter we often have only 60 F in the bedroom – I have started actually liking it. Woollen sweaters and socks are a must-have in the winter.

  3. Yup! I turned the A/C on when we started having our 100 degree days. Time for it to go off again soon. Looks like we have about another week to a week and a half here in San Antonio of really HOT (face of the sun) weather. Then it will be time to save a bundle on the electric bill. Hard to believe you stuck with it during this hottest of hot Summer.
    Congratulations!

  4. I don’t know how you did it!! I live in Mass. Average high during the summer is mid-80′s…but the humidity has been a killer! It has been tropical around here—–yuck!

    Once it hits 80 my a/c is on so I give you all the credit. I am enjoying today because it is around 70 with NO humidity—-LOVE IT!!

  5. i’d love to be able to do that. its the humidity as much as the heat here (sydney australia) thats so bad. that and our house is so poorly insulated/laid-out/everything that even with the a/c on its often cooler outside than in – and thats on record-breaking hot days. we have to same issue in winter – which is just ending now. its almost-warm outside, yet indoors, even with 2 pairs of socks and a sweater and stockings on, i cant feel my toes because the house is so cold.

  6. Hurray For you!
    We tried that for a few months but then as you know my mom turned the AC back on.

    ~CZ

  7. We live in Zambia, so I can relate to a lot of what you said in this post! Though, in the rainy season with the humidity and temps upwards of 110*, I have to say we do breakdown and turn on the air. Mostly at night though. :-)

  8. Between the cooler summer (we DID run our A/C, but not nearly as often) and the lower gas prices, it was like manna from heaven this year. We rejoiced in both!

    You’ll probably laugh at this–we live in the Great Lakes area and we still had to use our A/C, even though “hot” to us is definitely not the same as it is for you. However, it is always a blessing since we live in the city and the houses are closer together so the air circulation is much more restricted.

    I totally agree with you about the cabin fever feeling, though. I would rather have the windows open, and we had much more opportunity for that this summer. It was a gift from Above:)!

  9. Awesome job! Having spent three years living in San Antonio (and having the AC on most of the time) I understand the climate. We now live in Michigan and still had the AC on a lot this summer and it wasn’t even very hot. A hearty round of applause for you!

  10. Wow… I’m in VA, and I could only make it so long as my house was no more than 85! The humidity here kills things for me… and being Canadian probably doesn’t help things either, lol! I’m used to heat waves bringing no more than MAYBE 95 degree weather for a few days, and the rest of the summer is around 75! However, we went until the end of May with no A/C, and I’ll turn the A/C off again when the days don’t get any warmer than perhaps 85 or 90… :-)

    DH doesn’t like winter with me because I only heat to 68… when I finally turn the heat on around the end of October or early November. Then I turn the heat off around the beginning of March. He tells me I am trying to freeze him!

  11. WOW! you all are troopers! we live in central california and our temps have been 95-108ish all summer. I couldn’t do it! Our house is poorly designed and just doesn’t cool off (how do you know this when you buy a house?). The good news is that we hardly use any heat during the winter, but the last 2 months our electric bill is $800!

  12. I’m proud of you guys!!! What a great job!!!!!!

  13. Congratulations! I wish we had the guts to do that.

  14. I don’t know if we could do it as its a bit hotter here in PHX. Its 7:45 and 104. But my neighbors did it last year, they lived in their pool all summer. I am sure it can be done but I don’t know how! lol You def deserve props for that one!

  15. Well, you’ve inspired me once again. My dh is trying to get a business off the ground and I am looking for anything and everything to cut costs. Although the fall and winters aren’t so bad in Dallas, it does get chilly. I am going to purchase sweatshirts for everyone in my household. That along with lots of sock and good slippers. LOL!!!!! We’ll practice being a bit uncomfortable while it’s cold and then we just won’t turn on that AC. ok, so that is my plan. I turned the air up last night and dh couldn’t sleep because it was so “hot”. <> I think I might have a losing battle ahead of me. I am very impressed that you made it through. It was a beautiful in Dallas today. My children played outside all afternoon (we haven’t done that in months.) i’ll send some cooler weather your way. Thank you for the inspiration. My dh and I have referenced some of your ideas as we do talk about cutting costs for our family. That, and we have had some great laughs.

    God Bless,

    Karen

  16. mu husband would never ever allow this but good for you for saving big!

  17. I seriously do not know how you did it. We live in Austin. Our central air went out for a few days in July. It was completely miserable, especially at night.

    I’m impressed.

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