living without central air in a 1920's house

Friday, July 25, 2014

I remember it so clearly.  We were walking through Target's maternity section...trying (and failing) to find maternity shirts for me to have handy for when I turned into a beluga whale.  The Mr and I were talking about the house we had plans on buying and ever so casually Mr Prib's says "oh, there's no AC in the house."    ::::silence::::    "What?!"  I shot him a look like he was crazy.  My mind started racing. Staying cool in the summertime is very important to me. I don't like to be moist and clammy (can't believe. I used those two words together. Or at all).   "Are you serious?  I'm pregnant!"    When all else fails and you can't think of anything else to say to get your point across, just mention that you're with child and people should get it.   But all he could say was that he grew up without AC.....his family didn't get it until he was in high school.   What.  The.  Heck.  I guess I was privileged then, because I never once had to sweat it out.

This minor detail was enough to make me second guess whether or not I wanted to buy the house.   There were other defects I knew about, but they were kinds that I could see past or fix quickly,.  AC isn't cheap though.  Therefore I'd probably have to live without it for a good while.  

It felt like eternity before Mr Pribs mentioned that Window AC Units exist.   Thank God.  I had forgotten about those ancient things!    We immediately dropped everything at Target (there wasn't anything good there anyway) and went straight to Lowes where we priced out window and portable AC units.   They weren't cheap, but they were cheaper than having AC installed in your whole house.

Shortly after moving into the house, It didn't take long for me to get sweaty and cranky and demand an AC unit.  We opted for a large that could cool the entire first floor if need be.  This was the best investment of my life.
There are three floors to our house.   Initially we put the AC unit in our living room on the first floor.  The living room is connected to the dining room and both rooms can be closed off, so we thought that would be a good way to keep the main area cool and save money.  
Eventually though we moved the unit upstairs to our bedroom.  We realized that the first floor stays pretty cool without much help from the AC unit.  This is the perfect solution right now.  
The nursery is connect to the bedroom, and both rooms have a door leading to the hallway.  We simply shut those outside doors and the bedroom and nursery can be kept cool!  And not that it matters, but the AC doubles as a noise machine for the baby. ;)

Overall, I don't miss having central air.  And I know with a 3 story house it would be expensive to keep this place cool with central air.
Eventually we will be buying a window unit for the guest bedroom as well as for the finished attic, once we have that area painted and carpeted as needed.  The good thing is that every room has a door that can be shut to keep the air contained to that area...thus saving money.  And the particular AC unit we bought has an energy setting, so once the room reaches the set temperature, it shuts off until the temperature changes.

So if you're considering buying a house that was built in the '20's and the idea of no central air kind of freaks you out, just know that there are ways around that and I'm living proof.  

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