Why I Hate Air Conditioning & Even Think It’s Bad For Your Health!
It’s hot and so humid here in Pennsylvania, and most people in my town think I am crazy for not having central air conditioning in my home.
Having lived in the mountains of Vermont for most of my adult life, air conditioning was never an issue. While it was warm during the middle of the day, mornings and evenings were cool and comfortable.
Here in Pennsylvania, it’s pretty hot. But I find places with air conditioning too chilly, and after a long cold winter wearing layers of clothing, I relish the summer heat!
Here’s why I hate air conditioning, and even think it’s bad for our health:
1. I want to wear my cute summer clothes. Finally, after being cold straight through April, I get to dress in sleeveless tops and dresses and wear sandals! Why do I want to go into a building that is so chilly and I feel like I need a sweater or a blanket draped over my legs? I carry a sweater in my car just in case I need it to ward off the cold in a supermarket or restaurant–even when it’s 90 degrees outside.
2. I want to enjoy fresh air inside my home. Houses are closed up all winter long, and if you have central air, you continue to keep your house closed all summer, too! I like to open windows in the evening and early morning and smell the fresh air, which also reduces indoor air pollution (studies show that indoor air is often more toxic than outdoor air). Admittedly, during the day I have to close the windows and blinds on particularly hot days, but I like to be able to keep my home open and fresh for at least some portion of each day.
3. I need to feel the heat to eat for the season. I am a firm believer in eating seasonally, and when I am in a cold building all day, I get confused about what foods I want to eat. This time of year, I love to eat cooling foods like cucumber salad, melon soup, gazpacho, peaches sliced with cream, steamed green and yellow beans, zucchini pasta, and fresh-made vegetable juices. For protein, I find myself drawn to tofu, fish, or perhaps deviled eggs. It seems unnatural to eat heavy proteins and foods that create heat in the body this time of year. Summer is a great time to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables that are so prevalent during the summer months, and heavy pasta dishes, meats, and stews are unappealing if we allow ourselves to feel the heat.
4. I love showers! In the winter, I prefer baths, but at this time of year, I am taking three showers a day (quick ones, in an effort to be eco-friendly!). I love taking at least one cold shower a day as well, usually right before bed. Another reason I love taking so many showers is for the opportunity to try all the wonderful products we are now selling in our store (sorry for the shameless plug!). Our rainwater bar soaps by Farmaesthetics are pure luxury. These 100% natural herbal soaps are handmade in small seasonal batches for the purest shower experience around. My current favorite is the moisturizing aloe and lemongrass bar. If you prefer body wash, Acure’s ultra-hydrating coconut and pumpkin wash smells incredible and is super moisturizing.
So, perhaps even if you do have an air conditioner you’ll try turning it off for a and join me in soaking up this heat! Soon enough it will be time for making soups and stews and wearing scarfs and sweaters.
Suzanne, Certified Holistic Health Coach
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I like the way you worded your article here. You think like me. I dislike chilly weather.
I live in beautiful North Florida. I hate when people have their AC too cold. I work in an office where the AC is constantly cranking even when its a beautiful day. It’s just pure insanity. All the people who drive around with their windows up and car AC running shows me that the insanity is epidemic
Agreed. And the humidity where I live is good for the skin, too.
I thought that until I hit peri-menopause and my bedroom temp was 85 degrees!!!!
I’ve thought about this before. I spent time in India where we had open-air rooms and ceiling fans but no A/C. It was very interesting how our bodies acclimated. I definitely have had a theory that no ac can be really healthy too … seems like it’s good for our bodies to be acclimated to the current weather (within reason).
However, I also think it’s possible to find a happy medium without completely doing away with ac. I grew up in GA with my dad leaving it off in the mornings until the heat of the day, then turning it on at 78, 77 if everyone was especially hot that day. Now I live in PA, and I think it’s possible to run it at a reasonable temp during the hottest parts of the day, while turning it off once the cooler breezes kick in later and opening up windows. That gets you through the really hot periods without completely insulating you from the effects of summer (in my experience, 78 degrees indoors at the height of summer leaves room to feel a little warm still).
I’m a big believer in taking advantage of the “neutral” months as well — mid spring and fall — and not running anything, having windows open as much as possible. I’m also a big advocate of getting as much sunlight and outdoor time as possible during the months that provide it (especially in the north where we lose our beloved sun for so many winter months). Taking a walk on a hot day with a bottle of water in light clothing allows you to take advantage of sweating out toxins in the open air, and this means you can also have a reasonable amount of ac on at home too.
Anyway, just my thoughts in response. I agree that we should be physically in sync with the season (esp sunny seasons), but I do think even those with a/c can strike a healthy balance. Air conditioning need not mean frigid temps.