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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life without AC

Most of Florida and other parts of the Southeast are without power. That means they are also without air conditioning. It's going to be tough.

The south really boomed when air conditioning became common. Losing it is like going back to an earlier age. However, the house designs of the past that made the south somewhat livable are rarely used now. Many places have windows that do not even open.

The north has the cold, but a house can be heated with fairly primitive technology. There are no wood fired air conditioners. As I write this I have a nice kitchen woodstove that's perfect for heating and cooking. It needs no electricity to run. Not only that, I live in the woods, surrounded by fuel within walking distance.

Air conditioning has allowed people to live in a hot climate without ever having to acknowledge it. They go from their AC homes to their AC cars to their AC job. While that's pretty comfortable, they never acclimate to the climate. Only those who spend a lot of time outdoors gets a chance to adjust.

It's been my observation that it takes about two or three weeks for one's body to adjust to a hotter climate. It looks like plenty of people will be without power for at least that long. In the mean time, stay in the shade, catch what breeze is available, avoid heavy labor in the heat of the day, and drink lots of water.

People die from heat stroke. It's no joke. Hopefully power will be restored to most places before too long.



  1. Heck, I have trouble here in West Virginia without AC. It's worse, though, since I developed heart trouble. I can't take the cold as well, either. I can only imagine those poor folks down south, especially the ones with health problems.

    1. The heat can kill people. Here in the mountains of NH, I don't even own an air conditioner.

  2. Well, in defense of the south, if a hurricane comes through you only have to put up with oppressive humidity, mosquitos out the ying-yang, and butt-loads of heat.

    Blizzards, on the other hand, will kill you. I know people up north that only have electric heat, because of building codes or 'environmentalism' or 'for the children' or something. Lose that precious alternating current and YOU DIE.

    Not to mention all the carp you have to do to keep a car running up north - chains, special tires, pissing on locks to un-freeze them. I've driven on icy roads before (yes, in Florida) and it sucks so bad. (And lived in a house without power when it was 10 degrees outside, and had a waterbed. That really sucked) You northerners can keep your damned cold.

    Plus, you have... Yankees. There. Said it. You can keep those to yourself, too!

    But, yeah, it sucks. Melting heat, breathing water with every breath. Having to use a knife to split the jello-like water-air mix so you can walk forward. Bleh.

    Still better than living in FROZEN HELL!

    1. No need to defend the south; I wasn't attacking it. Just stating a fact. If I didn't like the south I wouldn't have been doing the snow bird thing all these years.

      One man's frozen hell is another's winter wonderland. As for myself, I'd rather sail than ski.

      Funny thing about Yankees. If you are an American in a foreign country, you are a Yankee. Does not matter if you are from Alabama. Where I am Yankees are those old families with British names. Those folk are plenty proud to be flinty Yankees.

    2. Oh, I know you weren't attacking. I was joshing yah.

      But there are lots of northerners who put up with far worse than a hurricane a year with blizzards, living without ac during the blazing summer, snow and ice on the roads, salt eating their cars out from underneath.

      It is like the people in Oklahoma who wonder why we live down here, and they don't have storm shelters at their house that has been rebuilt 4 times in the last 20 years.

      Paradise is different for everyone.

      I just never ever want to drive on frozen roads again. Which is really funny considering I am a fat, pasty-white person of northern European stock, and my preferred outside temp is between 45 and 65 with extreme overcastness.

      As to Yankee, well, I have heard of Southerners who have recoiled in disgust after being called that.

  3. I can deal with the day time loss of A/C. Its sleeping comfortably without it that really sucks. We keep several camping battery powered fans for occasions like this. Makes it tolerable - but only just. No covers, nude or light underwear maximum. When day time highs are in the 90's and humidity is above 70%, it isnt' easy at all.

    1. Fans do help, but sleep can be elusive. That wears on you over time.

  4. Folks will spend a grand or more on a big six foot TV, but won't spend 300$ it takes to buy a 3500 watt generator. If you own a home it should be part of the standard equipment and make life a whole lot manageable in times of trouble wherever you live.

  5. We live in the SE and gave up air conditioning two summers ago. It isn't easy but we were determined and learned to do without it. I confess that I get really tired of being hot and sticky. Thanks to added insulation and energy efficient windows, we only get up to the mid-80s indoors when it's 98+° outside! Without making that choice and having that determination, however, it can be devastating for people who are accustomed to it. Construction in the south depends on AC, as you pointed out. Maybe we humans haven't made such wise decisions in regards to where we live and how.

    1. Of course, nobody likes to shovel snow.

      At least you know you can survive without. Imagine the shock to the system to those who've acclimated to a stead 68 degrees.

  6. Our home is well insulated and stays cool for a long time after the AC stops, but after awhile it gets hot and down here with the high humidity, it is can get too hot to be safe. If the electric would go out for a long time, I guess I would have to move out to the motorhome and fire up the diesel generator and still stay cool, as long as the fuel holds out.

    saw this and thought about you folks..just a thought from an old geezer.

    1. By the time I got to it the post had been deleted. Oh well. Thanks anyway. Been a busy day for me.

  8. Thought I'd drop a line and report that we survived the whirly girl...
    We lost power, water and all comms Sunday evening. Finally regaining the utilities Thursday late in the day.
    Thank the gods for our little Honda thousand watt generator ! It kept the freezer, a fan and light going. Chose the freezer to power to make ice for the fridge and for us !
    Our house was built in 1928, so was designed without AC in mind. Yes it got a bit uncomfortable...but tolerable with the fans. I had modified a gas cap and a boat gas tank to use on the Honda, as it only has a one gallon tank. Because of the heavy load it used four gallons of gas every twenty four hours. Pretty damn good I think.
    Had three hundred gallons of water stored, so we had hot showers daily with solar bags. Plenty of stored food too.
    Damage was not too bad, lost one out building roof because a tree crushed it.
    Highest wind we saw was 94 mph. Rained right at 12 inches.
    It pays to prep !

    1. It really does pay to prep. It must be pretty obvious to people down there that a 72 hour kit just does not cut it.

      Those little Honda generators are nice. Not too loud either.

      I was worried about you so I'm glad you are doing so well.