Living in California without Air Conditioning

When I came home after softball practice tonight, my apartment was 88°F. That’s what the thermostat says in the living room. My bedroom at the back of the apartment, which bears the brunt of the afternoon sun, actually feels warmer even though the window fan in my bedroom says it’s 84°F. So I’m not sure what temperature it really is, but it’s not cool, and leaving the window fan on all day (blowing air out) no longer appears to be doing much good.

My heater and stove are gas fed which I believe may be part of the problem. They both have pilot lights burning 24/7, and when I get close to the heater, I can definitely feel it giving off heat. Presumably enough I imagine to warm a small apartment by a few degrees on a warm summer day.

I bumped into one of my neighbors the other day who’d just come back from Yardbirds, the local home improvement store, with an air conditioner. He said it was an impulse buy, he’s lived here for a year and finally broke down and got one. I’m jealous. I’d been thinking I might complain about the heat to my landlord. Looks like this may be a problem for me to solve.

On the other hand, not having AC is like not having a TV. It makes me feel kind of hardcore—and earth friendly to boot. Meanwhile sweat drips down my brow even though I’m doing practically nothing.

It’s not humid here, which I guess makes a difference. And in the evenings I open the window in the living room, and it does cool down, but it takes a while. I guess an air conditioner would do the same, though at the cost of bumping up my utility bill. Perhaps I should think more seriously about homebrew air conditioning.



If you actually build an airconditioner out of a trashcan and some icewater like that dude, I will respect and fear you.


it’s like my freshman dorm days, or living in europe, only presumably without several stories below to lift you up into the breeze…


I have one word for you: Poor People’s Air Conditioning!

Take one cheap box fan from yardturds and put it in an open southward facing window around the time in the late afternoon/eve that the shade in south areas is cooling off. Point that fan into your casa and leave it there for a few hours or until you are cool. I have been using this method since I could walk and it totally works great!

on one of my previous trips to target i came home with two fans, one for the kitchen and the aforementioned window fan, bringing my total fan count to three. but i think you’re right, i may need to get a window fan for the living room window.

I never lived in a place with AC till I moved to NC. On the really hot days, people in CA, in my experience, just recline naked in bed and wait for it all to be over. But I always lived coastal, so YMMV.


From living in the desert with no AC for a year…When you go to work, close the windows entirely and draw the blinds. When you get home, as soon as it is cooler outdoors than it is indoors, open all windows and fire up those fans to bring in as much cool air as possible. Leave windows open all night if you can, but close everything up to keep the heat out during the day. If you only have light curtain, this doesn’t work as well, but you can even put carboard in the window to deflect some of the heat.
By the by, we used this tactic in NC to avoid turning on the air…

Yeah, I think what sucks most is coming home feeling a little hot from being in the car to a house that’s 80°+.

And then stepping into the kitchen and turning on the gas range to cook something. Which granted I only do like one or two nights a week, but damn does gas generate a lot of heat.

At least I’m not air conditioning the apartment all day long with no one in it—like I used to. So it looks like I just need one or two more fans and I should be able to make it through the hotter days.


Dude, I think you need to read some Henry Rollins so you can find some appreciation of the extremes in life. Extreme temps, conditions, obstacles….whatever….there’s something to be said about toughing things out. It builds character to not be so comfortable all the time. It also makes you appreciate things more. I mention Rollins cause he recently spoke live at the LBC and described his unusual way of vacationing. Instead of going to Hawaii, he rode the trans siberian express in the dead of winter. What a nut. I love him for it.

So I’m not alone… I have the same problem….

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