Too darn hot

This past week has been hot for us all, but it’s been really brutal for those of us without air conditioning at home. When I get home from the (air-conditioned) office, I open the windows and turn on the overhead fan, but even by morning the house isn’t cool.

This weekend, I had to abandon the house by noon each day, both times for matinees (“Ruby Sparks” is recommended, “Searching for Sugar Man” highly recommended) and then to a coffeehouse or cafe.

My house needs to be dusted and swept, but it’s impossible to labor in this heat. I’ve also had a movie rented since Wednesday waiting to be watched (“Suspicion”), but I can’t muster the will. I’ve been taking a cold shower in the evenings and within 10 minutes I’m sweating again.

The temperatures will cool slightly this week, but so slightly I’m not sure it will be noticeable. Anything above, say, 95 makes my house a sweatbox.

How are the rest of you coping?

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  • DebB

    I’m not coping very well. I don’t have AC either, although I do have a portable air conditioner that sits on the living room floor. It manages to keep that room down to about 85 during the day.

    I have a large exhaust fan in the kitchen that I can run late at night or early in the morning. I have to open all the windows to pull in the cooler air, which means that it has to cool down outside for it to work. And this week the nights have been brutal. I wake up at 6 a.m. and the living room is still 85 deg.

    A week of this is just overwhelming, and as you say, it’s only getting marginally better this week. I’m just praying for cooler nights. In the meantime, I’m very grumpy and feeling very sorry for myself. Good thing no one has to live with me. I’m sorry you’re suffering, too, but I appreciate that I’m not alone.

    [The beauty of this blog: We learn that we’re all in this together. And, in this case, sweating. — DA]

  • judi

    I spent many summers in a house without air conditioning. The last 10 or so were years where I worked outdoors, so I know your misery of not being able to cool down. The only way I could sleep was to soak my pajamas in cool water then wring them out well before putting them on. The evaporative cooling allowed me to get some relief. Hope this helps!

  • Dee

    Dave, seriously, get a portable AC. We have central air, but I bought a portable one for my boys because they have loft beds (picture bunk beds with no bottom bunk) so they’re up near the ceiling. We bought a Haier Commercial Cool from Costco and my older son keeps the temperature of his room in the mid 60’s (unless I catch him). It even has a de-humidifier which is VITAL in this weather.

    This is the kind of weather that can kill people…and if something happened to you…how would we know where to go eat LOL.

  • Doug Evans

    I spent Saturday at Huntington Beach… cool… and yesterday (Sunday) at a swim meet for my daughter in Moreno Valley. Hot. Luckily air conditioning in both house and car is keeping us cool. We’re able to turn off the ac at night, open windows and sleep with the ceiling fans on, but I think I could be ready for this heat wave to come to an end.

  • Ramona

    Lemme tell ya, when I work up a sweat just applying mascara, it’s too darn hot!

    I have central AC but I try to hold off on turning it on until noon or so to avoid the shock of seeing the Edison bill.

    I have a fan that I move around with me when I go from the office to the living room.

    I tolerate heat well, thankfully, so opening up the house in the evening works well for me but the evening breeze we usually have in the evening seems to be missing.

    I did the marketing this AM and told the clerk to check me out really slowly so I could linger and let someone else pay for the AC. I’m a regular customer and they know I like a bit of craziness so she told me to pull up a chair from the patio sets which are on sale and linger as long as I wished. She even offered to get me plastic spoon from the deli department so I could eat the ice cream I bought.

    It was tempting.

  • shirley wofford

    My friends and I took the 4:13 p.m. Metrolink to LA this past Saturday. I got to the Claremont station with about a half-hour to kill, before boarding. Standing on the platform, I felt like I was being burned at the stake, and getting back in the car offered no relief.

    The temperature in LA was only 90 degrees, which was some relief from the IE. We had dinner at Philippe, and, after dinner, we walked to CA Plaza where we sat by a beautiful watercourt and saw a show performed at 8:00 p.m., by a San Francisco Hawaiian Dance Troupe–It was so beautiful–and it was free–and, by then, the temperature was very comfortable.

    Coming home, on the 11:30 p.m. Metrolink, we boarded the “Quiet Car”. Metrolink means, “Quiet”, literally–they didn’t announce the individual stops. I am going to opt for a regular train-car next time.

    There are still some good shows scheduled at CA Plaza, before summer’s end, and it “has” to be much cooler in the coming weeks. For those too young to buy senior fare, Metrolink tickets, the $10-weekend pass, for everyone, is in effect.

    [“Burned at the stake” — that’s a good line, Shirley. — DA]

  • Mark Allen

    Last year here in wee Southern Illinois, the central AC sometimes ran 24 hours a day and couldn’t keep up.

    This year when it got up to around 110, I cranked it down the first night to try to get a head start. I awoke to 65 degrees. I was tempted to run a space heater during my shower but resisted.

    Fortunately, when it was 110, there was also only 20 percent humidity, insanely low for around here. (There was also not a single sound of insects or frogs at night. Most unusual. This is also due to the drought.)

    Since then the humidity has returned. For some reason, the AC has decided not to repeat last year’s stunt.

    Today, in August, it hasn’t gotten above 75. Freak show!

  • David, if you want to make lemonade out of lemons, consider that a couple of weeks from now, when all of your central air conditioning friends receive their electric bills, you will still have money.

    Well, unless you drive a lot.

    [I don’t. I do like saving the money and avoiding the impact on the environment. — DA]

  • James Rodriguez

    Didn’t the old homes at the turn of the century have screened sleeping porches where the family slept outside? Does someone have an old picture of one? What year did home ac become the norm?


    [I’ve heard of those. Great idea and very Southern Californian. I don’t know the history of home a/c but there is a book of a few years back on the whole a/c phenomenon. — DA]

  • Dennis

    Hi David,

    How’s life on Grub Street?

    James R. is right. For example, the Gamble House in Pasadena, completed in 1908, has a sleeping porch upstairs, positioned to take advantage of the ocean breeze which wafts in from the West almost every evening. You can probably see pictures of it if you google “Gamble House.”


  • billyjackattack


  • Mark Allen

    I’ve read “Air-Conditioning America: Engineers and the Controlled Environment, 1900-1960” and “Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air-Conditioning.”

    People used to sleep/endure without AC. Didn’t mean they liked it!

  • Jeff Johannsen

    I live in a 1911 Craftsman in Pomona that has a screened sleeping porch, although I’ve never used it as such.

    [Well, if you were ever going to try it, this would have been the week. — DA]

  • Dennis

    Hi David,

    I was expecting some sort of reaction to the “Grub Street” comment.


    [Life is disappointment. — DA]

  • Will Plunkett

    Try staying in a classroom of 35-40 students, with a straining central a/c unit for all the building. Fingers crossed that it holds up until those “cold” winter days. If the school made the hallways really hot, then there’d be no tardy or out-of-class students!