Dr. Coldlove, or: Why I learned to stop worrying and love the aircon

This post is related to my last, partly because it deals with my unpopular suggestions for dealing with common problems and partly because it involves mosquitoes (‘the devil’s moths’ as I call them*).

Last night, with an indoors temperature of 30º and level of humidity that a fan would not shift, only direct, we elected to put the air conditioning on all night. It was a simple enough decision. Gemma turned to me and said “I think we should put the a…” but by then, I’d already closed all the windows and found the remote control for our air-con unit. We continued to watch Star Trek: First Contact with the pleasant, and pleasantly guilty, feeling of cool air caressing our youthful skins. (Well, Gemma has a youthful skin; despite being YEARS younger than her, mine has developed the reddish hue and blood-vesseled texture of a Plymouthian living in Spain**).

We slept right through the night with barely a stir, except for when it got too cold. One of the many advantages of sleeping with the air conditioning on is the fact that it’s cooler when you want to sleep. Another advantage is that while you have the windows closed, all but the most ingenious mosquitoes are barred from entry to your boudoir. A disadvantage is that any cigarette smoke from the sitting room that wasn’t expelled before the airlock was sealed becomes your ‘smoke buddy’ for the night (though this probably helps some people maintain a minimal nicotine blood level and for that reason it should probably be counted as another advantage). There are no other real disadvantages… unless everyone does the same. Because that would cause massive amounts of carbon to be released into the atmosphere, by way of electricity generation.

So I ask you, people of Barcelona, Toulouse, Marrakesh, Los Angeles, Singapore, Perth (Australia, obviously) and Mumbai: tonight, switch your air conditioning off. I won’t, because I need it. But if you took some time to think about the future of the planet, you would.


* I refer to moths as ‘the devil’s butterflies’ and mosquitoes as ‘the devil’s moths’.

** I was born in Freedom Fields

*** Obviously the title could have been “Dr. Coldlove, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the aircon” but I decided against it

5 thoughts on “Dr. Coldlove, or: Why I learned to stop worrying and love the aircon

  1. Of my two near-Arctic-death experiences in American hotels, one involved out-of-control airco. Learn how it works before you have a drink, or just turn it off and condemn the inhabitants of Perth (UK) to another millennium of miserable weather.

  2. You could get the same result without using as much energy with a “double-flux VMC (ventilation)” (there is a french word, and a german word, but no english, interesting).
    Closed system, extract air in wet rooms, inject outside air in dry ones, filter air for pollen and mozzies, cool the injected air (in summer, using a canadian well) or pre-heat it (in winter, using the heat in the extracted air).

  3. I suppose the option of buying a mosquito net is ruled out then? An electric fan can work if you direct it over the bed, mosquitoes don’t like strong air currents – might disturb the cigarrette smoke though.

  4. We don’t actually have A/C now (actually, we do a bit – we had a house-warming (ha!) party a couple of weeks ago, and it got so hot that our neighbours nipped down to their trastero and brought up a portable machine that they have not yet reclaimed: we’ve barely used it out of fear of the next Iberdrola bill). And here in Madrid there seem to be very few insects. We can leave windows open and never see a mozzie or a fly.

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