Monday, June 30, 2008

Life Without Air Conditioning

So, as we've discussed before, Victoria rarely gets much above 80°F even in the summer. Yesterday, we achieved 30.6°C (87°F) which did not quite break the all-time record for the day here but did elsewhere on the island and was the hottest day of 2008 so far. The rest of the week looks to be more reasonable (between 20-25°C or 68-77°F) but summer is definitely here.

As a former Floridian, I can honestly say that we have not yet -- quite -- wished for air conditioning in our place. There is always a cooling breeze (not that "open the oven door" hot breeze you get down there) not far away, and thus shade really does provide just about sufficient respite on those rare occasions when we actually get warm. We are, however, sleeping with the windows open now (it gets nicely cool in the evenings still -- it's 15°C [60°F] as I write this, near midnight) and going to invest in a fan for the bedroom.

I don't begrudge anyone in Florida their air conditioning -- especially not after Hurricane Charlie -- but I do have to say we certainly have a leg up on everyone there in terms of carbon footprint (though it occurs to me that all those century-old homes on oil heating might be making up the difference!). As I've walked through the malls and shops in town I've noticed that they do use air conditioning, but at a minimal level by Florida standards. And this was before the carbon tax (which kicks in tomorrow)!

We are a little bit proud of ourselves for easily acclimating to the change here -- we handled the winter pretty gracefully and the summer is officially here and hasn't melted us yet. Heather, I think, was a little nervous of the idea of having no A/C, but (for those who know her) she's even started leaving her coat and sweater at home when going out!! :)

A quick side note -- Victoria had a "tall ships" visit this weekend, and I'll have a picture gallery up soon. Stay tuned, tomorrow's a big day!


Anonymous said...

One of the fun things that happens, if you have AC, is the ability to say - with a straight face - something like.... "Boy its hot outside, it's gotta be at least 33 degrees. I think I'll cool the house down by setting the AC down to 72 degrees". Of course one temperature is Celsius and the other Fahrenheit.

Comes from being "officially" metric. But still buying house thermostats from the US.

Cheers from Salt Spring. I enjoy reading your blog. Its fun to see our neck of the woods through different eyes.