Saturday, May 2, 2009

Air Conditioning

This has to be one of the single greatest inventions in human history, right up there with Key Lime Pie and wide-screen televisions. There's really nothing that contributes more to a comfortable existence, especially in the humid, hot summers of the American South East. Overstuffed couches...nice. But sit on one, or rather stick to one in a 90 degree room and you'll find its comfort defeated.

Heat is easy. That's been around since the dawn of time. The luxury "heated" cave existed back even with our Neanderthal cousins. Things a little nippy at the home front? Light a fire. Indoor heating is a very simple, and sometimes accidental process. But interior cooling is much trickier, and took a good deal longer to join our technological arsenal.

That's a good thing, really. You don't generally die from being uncomfortably warm. So thankfully the technology required to keep us from freezing to death, a much more likely death scenario, is easy to come by. But just because something doesn't kill you doesn't mean it might not make you wish you were dead.

I, for some reason, get very hot very easily. What's considered temperate for most people is often uncomfortable for me. When Kate and I visit her sister and brother-in-law in Florida in the summertime I usually find myself sitting in the air-conditioned house, sweating. Just the hint of heat is enough to get my sweat glands pumping. When I'm there, I like to spend most of my time staring into the blades of a desk fan. So for me, a powerful air-conditioning unit is more important than just about any other household appliance, save a wide-screen television.

It does kill me now that our new house doesn't have central air. I've never lived without it. Window units work, but they're just not the same thing. If Kate and I decide to stay in this house for a while, I may end up teaching myself HVAC and installing a system. If there's one thing I like more than central air, it's holding on to my money.

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