How to stay Cool

So, today you basically cannot turn on the news unless you want to know that we are all going to perish in the heat. Yes, it is hot and yes, we are talking about the weather AGAIN and yes, I am shacked up in my tiny, dark house dreading the fact that I have some errands to run at some point. Fucking errands. Like an RTA situation, and the butcher. Speaking of which, our butcher saved a life this week when he spotted one of the old ladies from the nursing home wandering around, suffering from the heat. He popped her into the cool room before driving her home. Bless.

Our joint is quite cool, but it wasn’t always the case.

On the 31st of March, 1979, an air conditioning system was installed in a house that later I moved into. This would be the house in which we currently live. I know the exact date as the information is stuck to the inside of the linen cupboard.

The installer, Clifford Air Conditioning of Brookvale promised “many years of comfort living,” and I would agree Clifford, that 35 is probably a good innings for a split system.

I was given an early Christmas shock when the system shuddered to a grinding halt a few days before the big day. I was interested to see that Clifford Air Conditioning of Brookvale was still in operation, although had a very scanty presence on the internet.

Mr Woog, who breaks out in panic if the temperature hits the high 20’s, spoke with the Landlord. We got a few quotes, and the installer came last week and put in a spanking new Daikin.

Calm has once again been restored, with Mr Woog going outside, I swear just so he can come back inside and praise the air.

The whole thing got me thinking.


When did air conditioning become an essential?

According to the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association – Australia, it was the early 1940’s. But again, it those Romans who paved the way. Wealthy Romans would have cold water running through their dwellings in an attempt to cool the air.

But it was a Merkin who actually invented the first unit. It was not compact.

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“The first modern air conditioning units were invented in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier. Carrier’s invention was given a patent in 1906, though he called his invention an ‘apparatus for treating air’.” – From A Brief History of Air Conditioning.

I was born and spent my first 5 years in the regional town of Tamworth, NSW. When it was really hot, my Mum would take us to Treloars of Tamworth, the local department store, where we would steal their air conditioning for a few hours, and ride a new fangled device called an escalator.

It was at about the same time that I remember trips in the car, long trips, which was done without the benefit of air-con. You would literally stick to the vinyl seat and scream with pain when you had to alight from the car.

I did better that Neil Diamond though. We lost many a cassette copy of A Hot August Night due to the sun baking it into the dashboard.

Could you live without Air Con?

Do you live without Air Con? If so, get thee to the butchery and cop a squat in the cool room.

(Bottle shops are also very good for this – click here)

  • Tracey

    The refrigerated aisle in the supermarket is also very handy for an emergency cool-down.

    I can live without aircon during the day if I absolutely have to (as long as I have a fan), but at night, if it’s hot I just don’t sleep. When we moved into our current house, we discovered that there was aircon right through the whole house (YES!) except the master bedroom (NOOOOOO!). Which has floor to ceiling windows. And faces west. What the actual f*** is that about???

    • That is some bad design right there!

    • Kazzie

      Oh far out! the mind boggles with the poor designing… I bet ya that was a man’s idea!

  • sue

    I fear we have all gone soft and are cracking the a/c when it hits hi 20s…
    I’m ok with heat – luckily as my work studio is in an old warehouse and has no a/c. currently sweating it up at 35 degrees at my desk. We get by with the help of solo flavoured slushies from the servo across the road!
    Also my inner greenie gets quite worked up at the thought of all the pollution from houses cranking the air con all day

  • Donna

    I can see why a Merkin had to invent air conditioning.

    PS Whatever have you been typing that spellcheck pops Merkin in as the preferential word?

  • Donna

    Am currently living without air con. It hasn’t been that bad in SW Vic but Wednesday’s 36 degrees has sent me to the interwebs to research air units.

    I survived a Cairns summer and wet season – fat, forty and pregnant, with no trouble but I have no tolerance now. I’m getting old or the weather is changing.

  • Erika

    It took me a long time to get a/c…I used to do all the old country tricks (closed curtains, wet teatowel over the fan, wet top, and lots of greenery around the house. Then I moved house, got married and a/c was one of the things spouse insisted on. Canberra’s generally pretty dry, so we have evaporative, and it dumps back into the garden tank. These days, with a health condition which means thermal regulation is poor, I’m turning on the cool air whenever it gets over 25. The dogs certainly appreciate it as well 🙂

    • The pets have not left the house all day unless to piss.

  • Our home is currently being gutted and renovated, and the house we are renting has no air con, and a metal cladding on the western side (???). We are in rural NSW and well into 40*c +. Tomorrow we are going for a drive to town just to avoid the heat again. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard my husband sound enthusiastic about shopping!

  • Lisa

    Mrs Woog – I loved Trelors in Tamworth as a child. The air conditioning was heavenly. Not so heavenly was the drive to Tamworth in a car with vinyl seats and no air conditioning ! Thank goodness times have changed, I will be only leaving my air conditioned house for 1 hour in the morning, to take Miss 16 to singing lessons. Other than that I plan to be on the couch – remote in one hand, cold drink in the other. Loving the #CATH.

    • How fancy was Trelors? #CATH all the way baby. Xx

  • Chris

    I can’t live without it. I blame my mum. When I was growing up the aircon was always on, probably once it hit about 30. When hubby and I moved into our new house about 10 years ago I swore we’d be fine without an AC. We didn’t even make it through the first summer. The same aircon broke last summer and I cannot express the panic it caused. Ha! But hello nice new freezing cold aircon!

    • I start getting a bit hot so I will go outside for a bit and come back in. Sorted!

  • Wistari

    This is the first Summer I have had the A/c running for more than a week or two – like literally every day for the past 4 weeks. I can be smug though, as I have 36 solar panels on my roof. Its weird to think that Im sucking in all that sunlight to spit out all that blissful coolness. At 55yrs Im totally CATH.

  • Can not live without air con. It’s been on non-stop all summer.

  • Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas

    It’s snowing over here…

  • Jen

    Stupid heat….ridiculous humidity…. add in hot flushes… I am the master of #CATH!!!!

  • Those clever Romans. They invented under-floor heating too. ?

  • Lisa Grenfell

    Please explain for I cannot find the long form : what is CATH?
    Many thanks