Willfully violating the second law of thermodynamics

Photo: AC unit in the bedroom.

So I gave in and bought an AC (UK: aircon, UK: air conditioning) system for my bedroom. I had a couple of nights of 80F+ (that’s 27C in sensible units) with high humidity that served to convince me I valued good sleep over an occasional indulgence in additional energy consumption.

I fitted a unit to my bedroom window, sufficiently rated for the bedroom, and actually also able to take the humidity/temperature edge off the rest of the apartment…while not being so excessive that I feel tremendous guilt at the energy consumption – let’s not forget that much of the US lives in the stone age and gleefully digs up non-replaceable coal for power. I am fortunate that a large amount of the North East’s power comes from nuclear (not “nucear”, but actually nuclear) and hydroelectricity – courtesy of the Quebecois Canadians.

Phase change-based heat pump technology hasn’t really changed a lot since it was first invented for refrigeration, although the overall efficiency of air conditioning systems has increased somewhat in the interim. My entry level system cost under 150USD (UK: 75GBP) and comes with a remote control and all of that jazz. It’s not as quiet as the documentation might have you believe, but it is able to extend my AC coverage from the office, car, and into my home also.

All those years growing up, we’d criticize the “Americans” for having “their” AC systems, in our naive British sense of the world – one in which a hot day or a “torrential storm”, or even a “lot of snow” has some meaning many of those in the outside world quietly (or not so quietly sometimes) laugh at. Well, if that makes me one of “them”, so be it. I am now actually able to sleep without lying for hours in a sauna.


One Response to “Willfully violating the second law of thermodynamics”

  1. It’s been pretty warm here in Ithaca too, but I refuse to buy AC! Through judicious use of opening and closing windows and blinds, I find I can keep the temperature just about bearable.

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