Staying Cool Without AC in Kingston

stay cool, sky writingIt’s something I’ve written about in the past, so I will apologize in advance for sounding like a broken record.  For both financial and environmental reasons, my household has gone without the modern convenience of air conditioning. I’m not going to sugar coat it, as the hot and humid conditions as of late have made me reconsider, which lead to some research as to what folks used to do before air conditioning was widely available.  To some, it might seem uncivilized to take a suit jacket off at a formal social gathering, while the image of families sleeping out on a fire escape in New York City doesn’t seem safe in this day and age.  Even so, both activities are illustrated in TreeHugger’s historical account of how we used to stay cool before the advent of AC.  Air conditioning was initially deployed to large businesses such as theaters, which made staying cool a luxurious, social and entertaining affair.  Nowadays though, if you’ve got an air conditioner installed in your house, chances are you’re less likely to move on those dog days of summer.  For the rest us us, this week’s question asks:

How do you stay cool without using an air conditioner?

  • A combination of these methods. (100%, 55 Votes)
  • Swimming, splash pad, cold showers, etc... (45%, 25 Votes)
  • Good bye oven. All food cooked on the BBQ. (33%, 18 Votes)
  • More freezies, ice cream, and gelato, etc... (24%, 13 Votes)
  • Use of shade, blinds, shutters, and awnings. (13%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 118

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I’m not trying to demonize air conditioning, however too many people have become wildly addicted to this comfort.  There’s certainly a time and place for AC, but for the most part we can do without it.  The problem is, a lot of us have forgotten how to.  Thinking back on when I was a kid, we used to hang out in our basement on hot days, take a dip in the pool, and make our way to Mac’s for an ice cold Froster.  Nowadays, my wife and I employ most of the options listed in this week’s poll, although we’re still on the lookout for a safe and clean outdoor watering hole in the Limestone City.  If you’ve got a line on a great swimming spot along Kingston’s waterfront, please pass along the details.  Otherwise, I’d love to hear other ideas from Kingstonians who are staying cool without AC.

Special thanks to juliatenney for today’s photo of a sky writer high above Sydney, Austrailia.



  1. Duke Smythe July 12, 2010
  2. Harvey Kirkpatrick July 12, 2010
  3. RyanThomson July 12, 2010
  4. @ToddLamothe July 14, 2010

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