Well…this sucks. It’s been 6 days in my home since our air conditioning unit decided to give up the ghost and call it quits. Parts had to be shipped, home warranty estimates approved plus a holiday weekend = almost a week with no air conditioning. Average temps have been low 80’s, not unbearable but not remotely comfortable either. I know what you are thinking, stop whining and suck it up right? Allow me to explain.
I spent much of my childhood on a tropical island. No air conditioning to speak of but a nice cool breeze constantly blowing through a home which was built to circulate airflow. I’ve also been overseas in some of the most austere environments which man can endure with no access to climate control for months at a time. I have endured “the suck” and know what it’s like to live in a home which isn’t set to a comfortable 68 degrees, but this is different. This time it’s my home in modern suburbia, a home which was not built for maximum airflow and a home in which my family resides. Instead of tile floors and concrete walls I have thick carpet and drywall. The only saving grace is that I have a basement, a nice cool place where I’m currently sitting and typing out this post.
This last week got me thinking about what I would have to do to my home in a total grid down scenario, a case when the AC would be off with no hope of ever coming back. The first thing I would do is tear out the carpets and stack them in rolls int the basement. Although we have the windows and doors open it’s starting to smell a bit musty in here, the carpets and furniture are soaking up the air and saving it for later (and that’s a bad thing). Once the carpets were out I would make sure to open all the windows in order to maximize airflow, good working screens would be important to keep the critters (read: mosquitoes) out.
A few more observations from my small taste of SHTF:
– As uncomfortable as it has been we have started to get used to the AC being out, I’m quite sure given enough time it would not even be a factor.
– Having a basement is simply amazing, you can feel the temperature difference immediately as you descend the stairs to the lower level. It really does make all the difference in the world.
– We’ve spent quite a bit more time outside on the patio cooking over the fire pit or on the charcoal grill. Cooking in the kitchen is simply unbearable as the heat collects and makes things miserable. I need more firewood for sure and actually now that I think about it, cooking outside is pretty fun.
– Not SHTF related, but keeping up to date on our home warranty continues to pay off. A new AC unit would have cost me $3k, instead it was a $60 deductible.
– Lots of hardcore dudes online make comments about SHTF and wanting it to happen but do they really know what they are asking for? When the lights go out and life as we know it changes forever things get pretty inconvenient really quick. It’s one thing to prepare for SHTF but it’s another thing to live through it. I wouldn’t consider what I and my family has had to go through over the past week a true SHTF event, but it has been a small taste and honestly it’s been a litte bitter.