‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Signs of the Apocalypse: Central Air

We have central airconditioning.

I know for most of you this is normal, but for us, it's akin to Pa coming home from Town and saying "Caroline, get the pigs out of the kitchen garden. We need a place to put the compressor. And we're bartering it for 3,000 jars of pickled green beans, so get canning."

Our house is not old enough to be historic - just clumsy. We couldn't put a screen door on because the door frame isn't true. Most of the windows don't open without a great effort. We've slowly replaced things as we've been able, but airconditioning seemed a bridge too far.

Meanwhile, Chris has been renovating his studio. And while the dehumidifier has been very helpful, he checked into air conditioning for climate control.

One of his clients, who has an HVAC company, deemed the project do-able.

This client is also a family man, and saw the wisdom of not restricting the airconditioning to the studio area. This is a shame, as I could have gotten a lot of mileage out of Chris sitting in air-conditioned splendor while the rest of us lay perishing of heat stroke. Sometime remind me to tell you about that time in July when he took the (only) fan out of the living room and moved it to the basement to keep a Linux machine from overheating.

We've had a fleet of nice young men working at the house on and off over the last few weeks, installing things I thought were only for making robot Halloween costumes. I'm never sure when they're coming, but since I'm sitting on the couch in my pajamas right now, it's quite likely they'll drop by to make sure it's working okay.

Believe me, they don't time it that way on purpose.

They won't need to come in, because it's obvious from the street that it's working. Not only are we not lying on the grass under the tree to keep cool, but all our windows are closed.

It's very strange to sit inside on the first day of September with the windows closed. It makes it seem like fall is really here. It's quite likely that I'll put on a sweater, jeans and clogs to go out later. I'll then take five steps and fall over dead from heat exhaustion.

Unless we had airconditioning in the house we lived in when I was five, I have never lived in a house/apartment/renovated garden shed with central air. I'm having an identity crisis.

People like my sister have airconditioning. People with houses they bought on purpose and with a plan. People who have kitchen cupboards with doors and drawers with pulls.

I'm sitting here thinking thoughts not my own. Thoughts like "maybe I should take that huge stack of pizza boxes to the dump."

It seems a bit late to get around to that "growing up" thing I've heard about, but maybe there's some middle ground we can inhabit. Airconditioned middle ground.

In the meantime, I'm going to need warmer pajamas.


Celia said...

We have a 1936 row home. There are TWO drawers in the kitchen. We have a/c but the circulation in these houses is so bad that we might as well not have it. It took us two years to find a replacement door for our upstairs bathroom and we have a couple ahem, holes in our floor because they don't make this kind of floor boards any more. We needed trim and had to rip some out of a closet because they ALSO do not make our trim any more. Let's not even discuss the electric. Sweet mercy. When I visit my best friend in her new and modern and awesome house with drawers and closets and cabinets and you know stuff that has not been grandfathered in as far as safety codes....but then our house has personality. Yeah. That's the ticket.

So we have actually stored the vacuum in the SHOWER when company comes to get it out of the way. THAT is the closet situation here.

Susan said...

Celia - That sounds about right. Things that need to be fixed can't be fixed because they need to be replaced. And by "replaced" I mean "leveled. "

Anonymous said...

My house is from 1980, so all mod cons, but it still has character.There´s this famous architect who designed it and supervised the building, so real walls of brick, lots of wood, funny corners. I was even able to do some comfort enhancing adjustments in it, without ruining the overall concept.

Then again, I would love a home from the 1930s...