The Seattle Air Conditioning Lie


**Updated with Crime Links


 


I believe the majority of the residents in the Greater Seattle Metro area during the summer live a lie.  The lie in question is that Seattle is temperate enough to not require air conditioning.  It’s a complete and utter lie, one in which Seattleites continually repeat to ourselves so that we will eventually believe it.  During the month of June, 15 of the 30 days had a temperature > 75 degrees. In July, it’s 21 out of 31 days that are expected to be > 75 degrees. Of those, 16 of the 31 days are expected to be > 80 degrees.  Any apartment exposed to this heat for fourteen hours (sunset is around 9pm) heats up like it’s under a magnifying glass.  I’m not exaggerating here; I cannot be comfortable without a fan on me during the day and to go to sleep in our apartment. It’s sticky, our windows only open a solid 7” and we face west which maximizes our exposure to sunlight. Last night, the only way I fell asleep was by putting a bag of ice wrapped in a towel underneath me. It’s that bad. 


 


The weird part is that every feels the desperate need to propagate the myth. Some examples:


 


BGold said that you don’t need air conditioning, yet a couple of weeks ago I was at his apartment around midnight and I was sweating it was so hot. He had his porch door wide open but it wasn’t enough. When I asked him how he could possibly go to sleep in this heat, he did finally admit that he uses an oscillating fan on his bed. Since when have fans and open windows been a good thing? You end up getting insects (especially at night as they are attracted to the light), in the city you hear almost constant street noise and you’ve also opened yourself up to theft. Examples:





  • It’s common sense to keep doors and windows closed and locked, but “the basics are the things that people mess up the most,” says Seattle Police Officer Duane Fish. His department recently arrested two burglars with more than 100 break-ins between them. “Their primary method of getting into the home was an open door or window,” Fish says. Link




  • December 20 – Burglary – “Suspect entered a residence through an open window.“ Link




  • December 21 – Vandalism – “The suspect entered the residence through a window and left after seeing the victim.“ Link




  • December 26 – Burglary – “Suspect arrested after entering a residence by climbing through a window.“ Link




  • June 29 – Jeanette and Jon Elkins are warning their Kent neighborhood to keep windows closed at night, despite the hot weather….The Elkins are speaking from experience. They left the rear window of their home open Monday night. At 2:30 in the morning, they found out why police cautioned against leaving windows open without stops or wooden dowels to keep the opening so small a person could not climb through. At that time, while one of their two daughters was already in bed with them, a noise woke up Jeanette. She told KOMO 4 News she thought: ” ‘Who’s there? Is that our other daughter coming in?’ And then I realized he was hooded. And I went, ‘Oh my God!’ Like, ‘Jon, someone’s in our house! ‘ ”  Link




  • July 6 – Arson – “Police and fire personnel responded to the 5000 block of Brooklyn Avenue Northeast, where someone had thrown a lit firecracker through an open window and onto a bed.“ Link




  • July 13 – Burglary – “…The suspect had entered through an open bedroom window.“ Link


Another friend who shall remain anonymous repeated the air conditioning myth.  Luckily his fiancé was there to nudge him towards telling the truth and to stop perpetuating the myth.  Besides having all their windows open, they have a ceiling fan installed in the bedroom that they keep running all the time.  His fiancé admitted to getting very warm during the evening waking up and not being able to go back to sleep because of the hot temperature


 


BrianKel at least admits his place gets pretty hot and sticky and admitted that his place ends up feeling like a sauna. I was playing Xbox Live with Brian the other day and he mentioned that he and his roommate were playing in the sauna and were wearing towels and were pouring water over coals. Sadly, I know that he isn’t lying J


 


I drive in these people’s cars and they all have the air conditioning on, if you look around during high traffic, the majority of cars are using air conditioning to stay cool in stop and go traffic, yet, for some reason, the need for A/C disappears when you park at home and enter your house. It’s baffling.


 


The Good News


 


Me and the Mrs recently bought a new house (in BrianKel’s neighborhood too) that’s currently under construction! The first thing we asked for was air conditioning (it doesn’t come standard in any houses in Seattle). While we did have to pay for it, I can tell you it’s the best upgrade we got for the house. 


 


I can’t wait until next summer when the outside temperature is 85 degrees and our new house will be a chilly 55 degrees. I’ll be in a itchy wool Christmas sweater making hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows over a nice fire and laughing at my sweat-drenched neighbors standing in front of their windows waiting for that breeze to come.


 

Comments (64)

  1. Ben Monroe says:

    I’m another Seattle resident. I’ve grew up here. Throughout the 80s and the 90s, in general, I don’t think Seattle really need air conditioning.

    However, ever since 2000, I am constantly being surprised by the great heat; I don’t have any statisics, but it just doesn’t seem like the weather that I grew up to know. There seems to be much less rain (especially the spontaneous start and stop rain that used to be so typical) and it seems a lot hotter overall.

    Since 2000, I keep thinking that I really should invest in air conditioning, but then I recall the previous 20 years where it wasn’t needed and that it might just be a fluke… but this is the 4th year in a row! I’ve been keeping a fan and a spray bottle next to me all day long lately, even some nights.

    I definately think that you made the right choice in getting air conditioning for your new place.

  2. MS says:

    I’m a lifetime Seattle resident. A/C isn’t necessary because there are so few days throughout the year when it really is that hot that you need it. Don’t get me wrong, I agree it is hot but A/C is overkill. A/C is something that shows your not from here.

    Insects aren’t that big a deal. Most people who have grown up in Seattle love the outdoors and with the outdoors comes a few bugs.

    Oh, and my car doesn’t have A/C either.

  3. Darrell says:

    I live in Virginia, not Seattle. But at least here it’s so humid that no idiot builder would dare try to tell you that AC is "optional".

    And as for keeping it chilly in the house, AMEN! I like it cooler than most!

  4. J. Daniel Smith says:

    I’m from Michigan, and while I don’t think we have the same "myth", much of the same logic applies here as well.

    I don’t buy it; I love my A/C and keeping my house cool enough to easily fall asleep at night.

    A/C is man’s second greatest invention.

  5. Thomas Lewis says:

    Thank you for exposing this! We moved from Texas and we heard this same myth as well. We went through one freaky hot spell (in the 80 degree range) and I immediately called and had A/C put in the next day. We keep a consistent 62 degrees in our house now!

    It is funny when you talk with people who live here who say it is no big deal, but when you dig further you find that they are doing all kinds of things to keep cool during that time.

    It seems like it is getting hotter and hotter as the summers come, viva la Air Conditioning!

  6. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Dan,

    If your house gets too hot in Seattle, it’s because your house is built wrong!

    Use of trees, thermal mass, and other techniques can create a house that stays comfortable all summer without requiring AC.

    The shame is that AC is a huge power draw, wasting natural resources & polluting our air. Yuck.

  7. >>If your house gets too hot in Seattle, it’s because your house is built wrong!

    For clarity, I live in an apartment in Seattle right now, I don’t know how my apartment, on the 8th floor, could take advantage of any of the tecniques you mentioned.

    The amount of energy we would spend on A/C should be pretty minimal as our new house is being insulated specifically for this and it surely wouldn’t be anything compared to the "huge power, wasted natural resources and air pollution" by having air conditioning at Microsoft. Why is it we need air conditioning at work, in the car, at restaurants, but not at home? I like not having to sweat in my house 🙂

  8. bkretzler says:

    My A/C is set on 80. Hot is anything over 110, less than that is called "warm".

  9. Rod Paddock says:

    I totall agree. I spent three grand last summer to put AC in the house. This house is only 2yrs old and well constructed/insulated so that’s not the problem. It’s just the fact we have had 2 summers in a row with California like weather. I want my rain.

    Putting A/C in the house is some of the best $$$ I have ever spent. I bet I’m the only one on the block…..

  10. Randy says:

    People laughed at me when I said I wasn’t turning on my TV or computers because I was afraid of them overheating… that is until I told them my top temp in my place: 97 degrees a little while ago. This past last week it hovers between 81 and 90 (as it’s been between 80 and 85 outside).

    I’ve spent the last 31 years in an A/C controlled evironment – when I move out of my apartment for a bought place, it WILL have A/C. Because, I don’t care what kind of thermal mass or trees you have… 100 degrees outside means it’s hot inside.

  11. Rick Casey says:

    Since moving to Birmingham from LA, I’ve heard a lot of humidity quotes…

    but I also realized how the south got that draw that they hold dear. Hot temperatures.

    We average in the 90’s right now, and with the high humidity, why move.

    Go ahead, sit on your porch and just rock away grandpa. But that’s all you can do. Sit.

    You don’t want to do anything. The heat just slows you down. In the south, it slowed down their speech too!

    Now it’s full of character.

    hmm, I wouldn’t buy a house or car w/o a/c. I don’t care how much it costs. I was spending 150 a month last summer for my 1 bedroom apartment just to cool it. Worth every cent.

  12. Rick Casey says:

    btw, I love hearing from my friend Ian Frearson who lives somewhere in Seattle… but he’s from Alabama too.

    The window unit a/c’s, fans, occiliating and ceiling units… haha.

    Poor guy. Come back to Alabama and enjoy some sweet tea with our cool air.

  13. Peter says:

    Life long Seattle resident(50 years), have had a heat pump/AC for 15 years. $$ well spent vs gas heat and AC.

    ONLY in the past 3-4 years have we used it. Seems like the weather is getting hotter and drier.

  14. Jen says:

    Why be uncomfortable? Even when i go camping I take the right gear. A/C is neccessary if it’s over 90 degrees on your home and you have pets.

  15. KC Lemson says:

    I’ve lived here going on 7 years, moved here from chicago. Didn’t get air conditioning until 3 years ago, because we too believed the lie and believed that it must be perpetuated. Actually, I really don’t remember there being all that many days in 98/99 that we were miserably hot either. But eventually it just got to be too much and we bit the bullet. Moved houses last year and had it put in the new one too, can’t live without it. I feel terrible for the neighbors on the street without one. So terrible as I stand at the window in my wooly sweater sipping hot tea and waving at them. 🙂

  16. MS says:

    Save the enviroment and go through a little sweating for the one or two months a year you actually need A/C in Seattle.

  17. TM says:

    So your argument for A/C is that you need to close your windows to protect your home from burglars? Realistically, if someone wants in your home they will find a way in with or without an unlocked door.

  18. Angie Fernandez (the Mrs) says:

    TM – Don’t be an idiot. We want a/c because life is absolutely miserable without it. I’m a 95lb woman, and am uncomfortably hot in our apartment on a sunny day. In general, I’m cold all the time (I run a space heater during the summer at my office). If I’m hot, anybody else would be miserable. Anybody that says you don’t need a/c just doesn’t know any better. To your point about burlars – while a burglar can find a way in if they are determined and targeting you specifically, many common burglars are just looking for an opportunity – I suggest that you don’t give it to them. This is common sense.

  19. No, you missed my point. It’s really, really hot. Uncomfortably hot. Crime is just another after-effect b/c you don’t have A/C.

    Thanks,

    -Dan

  20. TM says:

    Angie,

    While I respect your description of me as an idiot, I would say that this idiot knows a little more than you are assuming. I grew up in Seattle and have lived here for 27 years. I also lived in the Mohave Desert for 3 years of my life where you actually need A/C. However, I just used a swamp box in the desert which is far from being A/C. So, this idiot must know a little more than the next idiot about what I am saying.

    You are right in that many criminals are just looking for opportunities. So in that sense you definitely know better than me and are not an idiot yourself.

    I still don’t think you need A/C in Seattle but what would I know? I’m just an idiot.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What the heck is he thinking » It’s not the heat, it’s the people complaining about the heat.

  22. rseiler says:

    First, A/C running at 55 or 62? That’s ridiculous and a waste. Why set it so low that you have to bundle up in it? If you’re not exercising, you certainly will have to bundle up sitting around a 55 or 62 degree house. Recommended temps are usually 72-75, which allows being perfectly comfortable while wearing normal clothing.

    Second, a couple people mentioned rain, but if you look at the rainfall averages (and more than those just from this decade), you’ll see that it’s quite dry from May through September. Many other areas of the country, such as the East Coast, tend to get pounded with big storms during this period, which is part of the reason why many East Coast cities average more annual rainfall than cities in the the Northwest.

  23. Fresno says:

    Try living someplace where it gets hot. We set our thermostats here on 80. If we are lucky it will get that cool at around midnight. That is when we open the winows. You could try opening the windows or a fan.

  24. Steven Vore says:

    I live in 90 degree, 90% humidity Atlanta, and if it weren’t for my family (my wife likes to live in a refridgerator :-), I’d do without A/C 90% of the time. Lived many years driving an A/C-less car, too.

  25. Tim says:

    Feh! I haven’t had air in Chicago for the last 5 years, or Madison for years before that. What’s wrong with a fan or two for a few weeks? I won’t say I didn’t sweat, but you dont *need* A/C. You want it. In Dallas, you pretty much need A/C. In Bagdad. Arguably in places with no cross-ventilation. The thousands of deaths in Europe last year probably resulted from construction that wasn’t designed for the heat. Similar thing happened in Chicago a few decades ago when a heat wave killed 600+ people. I can’t see that happening here. So sleep with an oscillating fan, and open a window. Chicago probably has more crime than Seattle and it worked for us. Or buy an air conditioner and run it a few weeks. Whatever you want.

  26. JRP says:

    why do so many people consider a luxury a necessity nowadays? if you can make it through two months (july and august), then you can make it through twelve months without air conditioning.

    using air conditioning creates the conditions where more people will need air conditioning, because air conditioning makes it cooler inside, but hotter outside.

    if you multiply that by millions of people, it is simply a fact that everyone using air conditioning makes it hotter for all those who don’t use air conditioning.

  27. J.R. Kinnard says:

    Found this entry after a Google search "Live without air conditioning". Wife and I moved to Seattle 2 months ago from Columbus, Ohio. We knew AC didn’t exist in Seattle, but figured we only had to survive 2 months. As I sit here, in May, it is about 85 degrees in our apartment. May, June, July, and August…that is 4 MONTHS! At this point, I’m pretty concerned about our (and our pet rabbit’s) ability to cope with 4 months of uncontested heat.

  28. tom says:

    I have just moved here from

    Alabama. I have seen many homes in North Alabama and in Chicago that are acceptable to live in without A/C because they have high ceilings, proper insulation and ceiling fans or whole house vent fans that draw in cool evening air at night. Take your pick== Close up the house and run A/C or design for passive cooling…. or both. But seriously, you can save a lot of money by using ceiling fans and properly shielding your house from the sun with decicious trees that shield in the summer but allow sun heating in the winter.

  29. Astrila says:

    Thanks for writing this blog!  It’s exactly what I was searching for.  We moved here in October (it’s May now), and before we moved, we checked with a lot of people we know here, and everyone was saying that you don’t need AC.  I had been to Seattle before in the summer and remembered it being in the 90’s, so I was very skeptical, but I thought, "Well, the locals know best, I’ll trust their judgement".  When we looked for apartments here, about 95% of them didn’t have AC, so we didn’t have much of a choice anyway.  Now, as I’m sitting here in mid-May in a 78 degree apartment with all the windows and doors open, I’m really getting worried…

    I totally agree – This notion of NO AC IS A LIE!  I totally believe that you might not have needed it 5 years ago, but global warming is definitely kicking in.  

    I’m planning to start searching immediately for any kind of AC that I can use in our apartment, so by summer we will be protected.  However, I don’t know of anything that comes ready-to-use without any installation or anything that it would be okay to use in a rental apartment…

    If anyone knows of something that would work, please post it here!  I’m sure I’m not the only apartment dweller who will appreciate it!

  30. Mike says:

    Amen Dan. I’ve lived in Seattle for six years with my wife (a fellow blue badge) and we tried to live the lie, but this year I think we’re gonna break down and get a/c installed.  I work in a home office and you are 100% on target; our uber-insulated house bakes at 80 degrees all day long and it’s a cooker inside by 5pm, so much so that halfway through the day I’m packing up the laptop heading for the nearest air conditioned coffee shop. Moreover, the house gets to a peak 81/82 degrees inside and won’t cool off to 70 degrees until 4am the next morning, just in time for the sun to come up and start baking it again.

  31. July 2004 – The Seattle Air Conditioning Lie - Another summer, another big increase in the number…

  32. John says:

    My house enjoys shade from trees and intelligent airflow. I work at night and rest in the day. Intelligent fans can do a lot of what A/C does with a lot less cost. Try the stuff the pioneers understood before blasting the problem with the energy cannon. Rah rah we can, but I’m not so sure we should.

  33. Rob says:

    I, too, trusted the locals prior to moving here … and believed a/c would not be needed.   Certainly, I realized the temps would get into the 80’s, however, I did not realize my condo would BAKE!  It’s like an oven.  In response to Astrila’s post, I recently purchased a Sharp portable a/c unit from Costco.  It works great for cooling down (very cold) a moderately sized room.  

    Note to anyone considering relocation to the Seattle area:  If you are used to a/c, you’ll be miserable without it.  It really heats up, no matter what others may say.

  34. KR says:

    Hi, My husband and I just built a house. We chose not to put AC in because we feel we don’t need it. Our new home is well insulated and it does not get hot. We built the home so the main windows do not face the direct sun. We had that luxury because we own over fifty acres and we could position the home any direction we wanted. We’ve lived in the PNW our whole lives. We’ve never had AC in any home we’ve lived in. We have ceiling fans in the bedrooms and in the great room. Those keep the rooms comfortable if the air gets a little warm. We don’t have any floor fans. We open the door (they have retractible screens to keep the bugs out) and let the cool evening air circulate through the home. Our friends who have AC all freak out if the doors are left open, they never get ‘fresh’ air and they sit inside their ‘cool’ homes and think they are smarter than the average person. We are both outdoors people—hike, fish, garden, camp, bicycle, and so do our  three children. I think if the house was all closed up like our friends’ houses we might find ourselves sitting in front of the television like they do instead of enjoying the great outdoors. When it’s summer here, WE LIKE TO BE OUT IN IT!!!! What kind of nut lives in the PNW and wants to stay inside during our beautiful summer months??? With that said, if you WANT AC, by all  means get it. But it’s not everyone WANTS it or feels they NEED it.

  35. Scott says:

    I guess it is both a matter of intelligent home design and perception of temperature. We moved here in 1995 from Memphis, TN (major heat + humidity).

    We have a home built in 1908 with a major expansion in 1964. There is a clear path W/E for airflow.

    There are lots of trees on the S to provide partial shade during the mid-day.

    Most of the day we pull air from the W and blow it out the E side. In the afternoon (when the W side of the house gets the sun) we reverse the flow. That way we are always pulling the air from the cooler side of the house.

    In addition we have white see-through cellular blinds (shears if you will) in all the windows and we have them closed for whatever windows are in the sun (you can still see out just fine, just most of the heat is bounced).

    In 6 years we have been in this house there have been maybe 12 days in total where the interior was to warm at night. Average daytime temps inside the house on the hotest days (2-3 days+ of 88+degree temps) peak around 84 and return to <76 at night (again, these are the 12 worst days out of 6 years). So, most years that is just two nights.

    Why the heck would I want to pay for A/C?

    The author mentioned bugs? We have screens, the window fans go inside the screens.

    The author mentioned break-ins? The windows only need to open about 10" for the window fans and are bolted in that position, it would be rather difficult to enter them, much easier to just kick in a door.

    A lot of modern home designs are built here without concern for clear airflow through all rooms from the outside. Those end up forcing the resident to need A/C to cope.

  36. George Bush says:

    Seattle people can be very kind, but they can also be faggot ass bitches.  Some of you people are just that.  On the AC front, I agree that it just isn’t hot enough to justify a big AC setup for most days of the year.  I’m saying this from a 90 degree apartment right now.  

  37. I hear a lot of superior comments from people who live in custom designed homes and have the luxury to be "green". Good for you, now remind me to ask if you, with your eco-friendly homes, happen to work in air conditioned offices? Reality check: some of us live in apartments high above the tree line with no cross-ventilation. The ambient temperature in my apartment at 5:30 AM, for example, has been hovering around 83 degrees the last couple of days. Closer to 95+ in the afternoon: about five degrees hotter than outside. I think it criminal that A/C is not installed in these apartments, which are obviously not designed to resist any heat, but seems to be real good at retaining it, and doubly criminal that my lease prevents installation of window-mounted A/C units.

    Does anyone have any constructive advice or experiences with practical solutions?

  38. George Bush says:

    You’re lucky, Ryan.  My place has been 90-92 degrees for 48 hours straight.  How I slept in this heat is beyond me.  I’m lucky to be a fairly young and healthy guy, but I worry about older people around here.  You can only hope that they belong to air conditioned communities or have families close by that take care of them.  

    I’m surprised to hear of no heat-related deaths, but then again, if the country found out that Seattle had an informal no A/C law and lots of deaths were reported, the city would have hell to pay.  My friend, who lives in Texas, thinks that Seattle is crazy for this policy.  Can’t say I disagree with him.  

    I find it funny how the first floor of my apartment complex is air conditioned, even when not needed, and the rest of us are tortured with this heat.  So basically the fat apartment manager gets to be nice and comfortable, but we have to take cold baths every few hours.  How difficult would it be to have a centralized system in which the cooling is only used in the most dire circumstances?  

    Ugh…and don’t even get me started on the hippies who talk about how bad A/C is for the environment, yet drive around in their 20-30 year old Volkswagon pollutionmobiles.  

    I’m not dealing with this again, so I’ll probably buy a cheap window A/C unit next year.  I’m pretty sure the apartment complex will allow it.  If I were you, Ryan, I’d go ahead and do it.  If they give you any crap, just come back at them 10 times harder.  In my experience, Seattle people can be great, but they can also be confrontational.  Issues like A/C really sparks them(as you can see with above posts) because they look at those who oppose as outsiders.  The one good thing about this is that Seattle confrontation is VERY weak when compared to any harder city’s confrontation, like LA, NYC, Chicago, etc.  I use this to my advantage when it’s appropriate.    

  39. SS says:

    I just got this site doing a search for "air conditioning, seattle" because our furnace broke down and I wanted to price out for a duel heat/cool air conditioner system.

    I grew up in Los Angeles and my husband makes fun of me that I can’t take the heat. But even he believes that its getting hotter (global warming). I can’t take the heat here because where I grew up there was always air conditioning and I lived near the ocean, not a sound, where it cooled off to 50-60s every evening.

    In terms of burglaries, even in L.A., we opened windows in the evening because of the cool down and my parent’s preference for fresh air.

    So air conditioning here we come!

  40. Rosie says:

    Does any one know where you can rent AC units for your home?  (And before anyone says anything rude – my house has been at 84 degrees + for 48 hours now and my kids are beginning to melt!!)

  41. Ah, I&#39;m blogging again. Will it last only? Only time will tell. 🙂 So, we&#39;ve had a hot week here

  42. Miriam Reiss says:

    I’ve lived in Seattle 15 years and came from Boston and New York, both of which were hotter climes at the time. I’ve watched Seattle have more hot days over the past several years. I’ve also noticed a level of denial that air conditioning is a must now.

  43. Jake Belouve says:

    Of course you don’t NEED A/C. People have survived without it for centuries. You’re not likely to die without A/C. You also don’t NEED electricity, running water, or a refrigerator either. Heck, you don’t NEED a house for that matter. Just live in a cave–stop cutting down trees for you house. But all of these things are modern conveniences and they make your life more comfortable.

    I’m in the Seattle area and yes, I have central A/C. My co-workers snicker when I tell them I have A/C, but oddly enough, when it gets hot, they’re the first to ask if they can come over to escape the heat. They admit to having A/C in the car. On hot days, they admit to hiding in air-conditioned malls and cinemas. And yes, they DRIVE to these places because it’s too HOT to walk. Some even admit to driving around in circles in their air-conditioned cars to escape the heat.

    My air-conditioned home allows me to actually sleep instead of tossing and turning. This allows me to function better in the day and not cause an automobile accident due to a lack of sleep. A/C makes it tolerable to cook at home on hot days rather than drive to a restaurant. A/C saves water because I don’t use as much water trying to cool myself and my family (extra showers, damp rags, etc.). And A/C encourages my friends and neighbors to come over to cool off and in the process build a little community spirit.

  44. Nico Palleroni says:

    Hi! Seattle has far cooler sumemr nights than Los Angeles! What are you talking about! The warmest average low temperature is 57 degrees, in August,

  45. heather says:

    This is the third summer I have looked up this blog and read about how I am not the only one here who thinks this! 🙂 My apartment has been 90 degrees for the third day in a row (I work from home). It is 74 outside, and I have two large balcony doors wide open. I also have thermal drapes on part of each door, but the sun just bakes the place, day after day. For the past 3 nights, my apartment cools down to around 84 degrees by 6am, only to start heating up again with the sun. Last year I got an AC that vents and installs with balcony doors, and I try to only use it when the apartment reaches 98 degrees. I just sit at the computer/phone and pour out sweat, sit with my feet in a bucket of cold water, take 3 showers a day, and get very little sleep overnights when it’s like this. Having lived in places with actual hot summers, I don’t exactly think the climate here justifies AC built into all apartments. What I don’t really understand is why apartment complexes all have electric heaters–I have never used mine because it’s never gotten below 68 degrees inside here in the winter. Seems like AC would be the more reasonable thing to provide for tenants.

  46. Stu says:

    Weak weak people.  What did the human race do before air conditioning.  We are breeding weaklings that can not survive without massive amounts of power and fuel to keep them alive.  The office working type are prime examples.   They are all going to die after peak oil and energy crisis becomes the order of the day.  At my work they sit in their air con offices, in their ergo chairs, and complain about the air conditioning not being cool enough.  Then you have us, sweating like pigs heaving boxes and cartons, hauling pallet loads of products on pallet jacks.   If we have to work our arses off physically in 38 cel…over 100F, then how can a bunch of office workers who sit in comfy chairs in max 25c be complaining.

    I had to laugh at a female office worker who commented that she loved summer and loves the hot weather.  I said, "no you don’t, you work in an air conditioned office and complain it’s not cool enough, you drive an air conditioned car and live in an air conditioned house, you visit air conditioned venues"    What you love about summer is looking out the window from one of your various air conditioned environments at the lovely blue sky and sunny day.  If you really love the heat, why do you insist on having air conditioners everywhere you spend more then 5 mins at a time to escape the heat.  Why is it a problem if your air conditioner fails to keep things under 20c.

    Young people now days were born in air conditioned hospitals, went home to air conditioned houses, went to school in air conditioned schools, then went to work in air conditioned offices.  When there is no more air conditioning, they won’t be able to cope.   People like me, you current slaves, who toil in heat while you sit in comfort, will barely notice the demise of our energy intensive society.   It’s the same with cold, I rarely have the heater on, even in winter.  And I’ve never had an electric blanket in my life.   I think we are just breeding weaker and weaker people.   Human beings should be able to operate without heating or cooling in temps for 10c to 35c……if I had my way I’d ban air conditioning all together.  It’s the biggest wast of power on the earth, and way too much finite resources are burnt up provided it.

  47. Julie says:

    Thanks, I was wondering whether I should bring my portable ac machine with me to Washington.  I love that thing and I’m glad I’ll actually not have to toss it out.  It gets super hot here in California about 6 weeks a year.  AC is totally worth it!  Especially if you can wheel it away into teh closet when the hot weather’s over.

  48. Dave says:

    I agree.  Seattle is miserable in the summer.  I have lived in Colorado and Texas and the summers got much hotter and lasted longer.  But our homes and bodies where prepared for it.  Now there is no air conditioning and my body is not use to handling this heat.  People in Seattle that don’t need air conditioning, are the same idiot locals you see walking around in the pouring rain with no hat or umbrella, and wearing shorts.

  49. lionel says:

    Same lie in Paris (which has a climate similar to Seattle).

    They put it in the head of people that airconditioning is "an unnecessary luxury" and with the eco craze, they try to make people feel guilty about it. Result : in August  2006 there was an unprecedented heatwave in Paris (temperatures went up to 100°F for 2 weeks in a row) and the 1st victims were the poor and elderly, there was 10 000 victims, the morgues were full, but that doesn’t stop Frenchmen still today to criticize the "American airconditioned nightmare" (as Henry Miller wrote ).

    And when there do have airconditioning, the French are utterly unable to switch the thermostat to pleasant temperatures (like 60°F when it’s 90°F outside) : believe it or not, whatever the temperature is outside, they are locked on 80°F!

  50. It’s wet and humid in Seattle, been there quite a few times.

    Regardless of the temp – need A/C to control the humidity.

    -Tampa,FL

  51. no says:

    *if I had my way I’d ban air conditioning all together.  It’s the biggest wast of power on the earth, and way too much finite resources are burnt up provided it.*

    Nuclear, geothermal, wind, solar, etc. can provide power needed for air conditioning, dolt.

    I hope you big tough guys ‘heaving boxes’ also live without other modern conveniences like antibiotics and indoor plumbing.

  52. Gabriel says:

    It’s always ridiculous to see this sort of thing.  It almost inevitably comes down to the same argument, whether it’s New Yorkers being complete pieces of dung or Seattleites not bothering with a/c:  "We’re from here, so we’re tough – it don’t bother us none!"

    No, you’re not.  You toss and turn just like everyone else.  You miss half the night’s sleep, then whine the next day, just like everyone else.  You have all the same problems everyone else does, but the moment that you’re anonymous, suddenly you’ve never complained about it!  It’s your badge of 100% awesome.

    If you purport that this is the case:  you lie.

    And I say this coming from a place where today’s high is just a few degrees above average.  Literally no one who deals with temperatures like today’s regularly would pretend that air conditioning is anything other than a necessity.  It’s literally dangerously irresponsible, bordering on criminally stupid to espouse basting in potentially lethal temperatures because it shows local color.  But because Seattleites regularly dip their toes into actual high temperatures just a few times a year, they do it with the attitude of true dilettantes.  "Oh, I’ve been into high temperatures for YEARS, oh my word, yes.  You require air conditioning?  Oh, you people from down south are such amateurs.  No, here in Seattle, we savor it, it toughens us up."

    But perhaps I shouldn’t complain.  The fewer intelligent people there are in the area when it comes to livable temperatures, the lower the prices on air conditioning should be for the rest of us.

  53. Gloria says:

    Ex-New Yorker, living in Seattle since 1985, this summer has been the second worst since.

    Before I say I NEED A/C not want it, let me make some points clear. Not everyone is healthy enough to withstand such high heats. When it was 101 degrees outside on Wed, inside my house was 93, 89 in the room with the fan. With both coronary artery disease and T-2 diabetes, coupled with chronic vertigo it was unbearable. Forget about upstairs where the master bath felt like a 350 degree oven, the carpet was hot as were the walls. There was no way I could sleep in the bedroom with the windows open and the fan on. I spent three nights sleeping on the floor in the family room with the fan on me, waking at 2:30 am to go upstairs to bed, and not being able to fall asleep even then. I am desperately looking for an A/C. For my health as well as my comfort.  It is a necessity not a luxury at least for those of us with chronic medical conditions.

  54. Joseph says:

    You can still have ac and maintain a degree of going green. Geothermal Systems are the perfect example.

  55. Marcus says:

    Once you have ac you cant go back.

  56. Sue says:

    Seattle needs air conditioning!  Wake up!  I also hear many residents originally from the Seattle area say, "We don't need air conditioning here".  However, they are the first in line for a fan or window air conditioner at a home center.  I love the comment above, that if a person requests AC that people will know you are not from Seattle.  What does it matter if you are from Seattle originally or not?  I often experience what is called the Seattle Freeze here, where Seattle people are not that welcoming to new people.  I have lived in Tampa, Michigan, Chicago and Seattle.  Seattle is the least friendly or open to new people or ideas…such as Air Conditioning maybe?  When it is in the 80's like it is now and I see my temperature on the inside of my house at 80 and feeling terrible?  Come on Seattle, invest in air conditioning in your homes.  

  57. GoGoBear says:

    TOTAL cosign on this – moved here from Chicago (via Toronto) in 2009…just in time to experience the worse f'ing summer heat wave in history…with no air conditioning in the BRAND NEW house I was living in (was living with a friend…could NOT believe he paid 600K+ for a house with no A/C). The next summer I was renting another one of his houses…no A/C, sweat no nuts off. Next summer I am in my own apartment with my new live – in GF? $1500/month – no A/C. Next year? New apartment, bigger, nicer, more convenient… $2000/month….NO F'ING A/C!! I finally said ENOUGH and got a window unit, since at least this place had windows which would accommodate (previous place did not, plus the Condo Association made a big stink about trying to jury rig solutions)

    This year another new place. Brand new apartment complex, just built. Place is only half full…we are actually the first persons to live in our unit. Yep, another "luxury" apartment – $2,000/month. Tons of amenities. NO BLEEPING A/C in the apartments!!! And you know what is really funny? There is A/C every damn place else in the building…including the bleeping elevators…but not the apartments???!!!!

    Every f'ing year I hear about how it does not get hot in Seattle, so I should not be concerned that my "luxury apartment" does not have air conditioning…every f'ing year it GETS hot in Seattle…and every f'ing year I promise myself I will not make this mistake again…

    I am really f'ing sick of this….

  58. GB says:

    @GoGoBear: I couldn't agree more with you! There are at least 2 new apt complexes coming up in Redmond. I called both of them to ask about A/Cs. Both mentioned they don't plan on having A/Cs in any of their apt units. One of them has already started pre-leasing (they have their pre-leasing mobile office and you can hear the A/C on when you pass by on Cleveland St), guess what the price is for the cheapest apt? >2K per month + parking, but no A/C! The pre-leasing agent said that they'll allow portable A/Cs in apts. I'm strongly considering renting in a luxury apt complex that has central A/C _in_ the apts.

  59. Speattle says:

    We had AC installed 9 years ago and it was the best improvement we've ever made in the 25 years we've owned this house.  Interestingly, several of our neighbors have done the same since.  I'll never live in a home without again.  

    We live in the Seattle/Lake Washington area.

    People who know I have AC used to think I was crazy for having it, but when they visit on a hot day or evening they sure don't complain then.

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