Thursday, August 20, 2009
Big, super exciting studio news! We finally installed an air conditioner up here in my attic studio. I tried to delay the inevitable for as long as possible but this week's heat and humidity overwhelmed me.
In the six years we have lived in this house we have never felt the need for AC or even a fan. Our house is old, has thick walls and there are a lot of shade trees surrounding us. The house is also located on a rise, at the opening of a valley, and so it is just a bit cooler (and that includes cooler in the winter too ;)) here, plus we usually have a good breeze through here too. I like having windows open to catch the breezes and also at night the house cools down and retains that coolness for a good part of the day. There are usually a few days each summer though, when it is really, really hot and we are pretty uncomfortable from the heat and humidity. We all walk around grumbling and debating about buying a few fans at least. Usually though, by the time we decide to do that, the intense heat passes and we forget about buying more appliances.
All bets are off with the attic though! Last year when we finished the space we splurged and spent a small fortune on foam insulation which was a very good decision. Instead of the 200 degree temps up here before the renovation, it now only gets to about a hundred and twenty on a hot day. heh. Last summer I only worked in the studio in the mornings while it was fairly cool from the night, but this summer my schedule is a bit less predictable. It is VERY uncomfortable in the studio in the afternoons and especially if I have the lights on over the easel. ICK! So last week, before Doug left to go out west we decided to install a window unit. Good thing because we have had a bit of a heat wave since then!
So even though it is kinda like a nice cool heaven up here now, I am trying to use the ac VERY minimally. My own rules are that I leave the windows open all night and then only run the ac when I am up here working and if I am actually sweating. The space cools off pretty quickly once the ac gets started and I have yet to set it lower than 68. Ooh and it has a remote control! I thought a remote was totally ridiculous at first but now I do admit to sitting at my desk not four feet away from the ac and using the remote to turn it on AND enjoying the sheer laziness of that!!!
And Doug and I were remembering how back when we lived in Philly, it was pretty much a necessity to have air conditioning. Of course we couldn't afford one though and I recall buying a used, smelly crappy old window unit from a guy (who was probably fencing them) for like $20, which promptly broke down in the middle of a very hot July. Glad our situation has changed since then and that we can buy a new one (with a warranty!), yet there is still a little part of me that feels a bit guilty about the indulgence and also about further expanding our carbon footprint.
But I gotta work and it is pretty dang nice to have a relatively cool space to do that in.....