Do you really need air conditioning?

Do you really need air conditioning?

Join the conversation and vote below

It's that time of year again when people dust off their air conditioning units and switch on central air. Supporters of air conditioning say it's a necessity of modern living, especially as climate change sends temperatures soaring to unbearable limits. It keeps us cool and more productive. But critics say air conditioning has made us soft and heavy use contributes greatly to humanity's carbon footprint. Our weakness for cool air just exacerbates climate change. What do you think? 🆒

The Votes Are In!

This is silly. Nobody should go to to bed and wake up a sweaty, hot mess. Have you lived in New York City during August? It smells like hot garbage. Imagine that smell permeating your apartment! Some people are also incredibly sensitive to heat, including the elderly, and air conditioning can be a life-saver when temperatures exceed 90 degrees.

But beyond the fact that air conditioning simply makes life more enjoyable, especially in an era of record temperatures, this is about productivity. Offices without air conditioning are uncomfortable work environments, and nobody wants to work in a hot, smelly cubicle as you gradually pass out from heat exhaustion.

Or what about schools? Studies show academic performance nosedives when hot temperatures soar and schools without air conditioning have higher instances of interruption during warm months. Unlike most developed countries in Europe, most of the U.S. lives and works in hot and humid areas, where air conditioning is a necessity.

Is anything more enjoyable than a blast of cool air on a hot, muggy day? Heck no. Air conditioning is amazing and essential during the dog days of summer. Think of all the fun activities and things we can do during the summer that we used to avoid before the advent of air conditioning. 

Everything from shopping to recreational activities have been improved by air conditioning. One of the original reasons folks flocked to the theaters in the summer was because of air-conditioning. Air conditioning is life! 

Air conditioning is unnecessary and entirely an American luxury. People in Europe think Americans are dumb for using so much energy and money to artificially cool everything. It wrecks the environment, it costs money and it's not a need, but a want. Air conditioning accounts for 5 percent of U.S. electricity use and carries an annual price tag of $11 billion for homeowners.

Karen Heller says air conditioning has "made Americans greedy and silly," but more importantly, completely distorted how we socially interact with people during the summer:

“Being in air conditioning most of the time in the summer reduces your tolerance for heat,” he says. Culturally, “there’s been an impact on neighborhoods and communities, resulting in much less outdoor social interaction.”

A life without air conditioning is a life without stress. It lets you appreciate the little things, and makes the summer more enjoyable. Saying no to air conditioning is a great way to help the environment and reclaim your life from artificial summer activities. It's all about living your best life. 

Living without affords its own strange luxuries. True, life is harder, but also more sensual. Stern loves the freedom that heat bestows to reclaim summer as a slower season. “If you’re living without air conditioning, you can’t do stuff,” she says. “It’s enforced relaxation and stupefaction.”

Plus, let's be realair conditioning is sexist. Temperatures are set for men, and women are forced to freeze to death, while contributing greatly to climate change.

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