UNEXPECTED WEATHER?

You can’t expect the weather … except … you really can. It’s unexpectedly hot around here. But it’s summer, so this unexpected heat wave was entirely expected and is completely normal.

The electric company apparently didn’t expect it and have gotten quite hysterical about the whole thing. You’d think it was their homeowner customers who created this emergency by our derelict over-usage of electricity. It’s not the mall which refrigerate the entire space to 65 degrees when it’s 100 outside. Oh no, never the commercial customers.

Meanwhile, it’s freaking HOT and the humidity is up there too. A couple of days ago with this weather visible on the map and the television meteorologists getting all excited, National Grid swung into action. It has been a pretty dull weather period, more notable for what isn’t happening (rain) than what is, namely muggy, gray days during which it looks like rain, but doesn’t.

National Grid started sending out (pardon the pun) heated warnings.

I got the first two via email, then two more via early morning robot calls.

Turn down your air conditioning to 78 degrees! Avoid high bills! Don’t stress our power grid. (Subtext: We need all the power to keep malls at 65 degrees. You homeowners are not big customers, so you can sit at home wheezing and sweating.)

If I turn the A/C to 78 degrees in this house, the humidity will turn our home into mold city.

72-MAR-Superstition-Sunset-New-011316_415

In the spirit of coöperation — and in hopes of not getting an electric bill that will knock me off my feet — I turned it up to 75 degrees. This is an older house without central air. Just window A/C. and even that, not in every room. We don’t cool rooms we don’t use much. Which is, to put it mildly, not as efficient as we might wish. It’s all we’ve got and summer is short. Our A/C units are less than two years old, so this is as good as it will get here.

By the time evening rolled around, the house was disgusting. We were disgusted.

Sticky. Hot. Everything was damp, especially us. The dogs wouldn’t sleep on the sofas, preferring the hard floors where it’s cooler. They’ll go outside only if threatened. Even so, they were throwing us dirty looks which hadn’t been washed this century.

By nine in the evening, I looked at Garry and said “How hot are you?”

“Bad,” said Mr. I Love Summer. “How are you doing?”

“I’m miserable,” I said. “I was thinking — damn National Grid. I can’t breathe!” I have asthma. The humidity was making my lungs work a double shift.

I turned the air conditioning to a more breathable 73. After an hour, air returned to the house.

I’m betting the people who write electrical usage “guidelines” are not sitting and sweating in their houses. I bet they have central A/C set for their personal comfort. They are not sweating out the heat wave. I know power is an issue, but so is quality of life.

Flash message for guideline issuers: OLDER PEOPLE TOLERATE HEAT POORLY.

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That’s right. You get older and your body is not as efficient at regulating core temperature as it was in youth. Those of us with other physical stuff, like arthritis, asthma and heart problems? Our ability to tolerate days of sitting in heat and humidity is dangerous to life and the continuation thereof.

I’m sure I’ll get the bill for this mad, crazy need to breathe. The bill alone might give me a stroke. Right now, I don’t care. I just want some air.

DAILY POST | UNPREDICTABLE?



Categories: Humor, Seasons, Weather

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. I keep mine on 80 because my house isn’t going to get any cooler when its blazing hot outside anyway (And the thermostat is in the hot hallway, so that reading is actually deceiving, though I like telling people I set it on 80 anyway just for the looks). Mecca shuts the AC down a couple hours before the store closes and doesn’t kick it back on until a couple hours before we open. It’s always fun to watch the newbies bitch during their first summer on overnights…

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    • It must get nice and steamy by the wee hours. But we know the A/C is NOT for employees. It’s for customers. Workers? Screw’em.

      If I set the A/C to 80 here, you could fry eggs on Garry and my hoary gray heads. But we have individual window A/C, and the thermostats are not exactly accurate any time of year.

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  2. I’m fortunate to live in a state where the temperature is rarely extremely hot for long but well remember years of hell in South Australia as the summers grew hotter and out tolerance to them decreased. At least that was dry heat. I’ve discovered I don’t do humidity well. Our house was not air conditioned so heatwaves sent us running to shopping malls, the movies or relatives with air con. Night time was the worst as it was too hot to sleep so I feel for you both. I hope it cools down for you soon and yes don’t be martyrs. If you need your air conditioning on at a comfortable temperature then have it and nuts to the electricity company. There will be a price to pay but your health comes first.

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    • Thank you. We have it at a normal level tonight and at least we aren’t wheezing and sweating. I understand the problems of energy, but it seems to me that the people who get really whacked with power costs are — as usual — those at the bottom of the financial heap. The older I get, the more I resent it. Yes, we will pay, but at least we’ll breathe in the interim.

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  3. I hold my breath when I open the electric bill in the summer, but screw it. I refuse to suffocate with heat in my own house. On with the A/C.

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  4. Very well said, Marilyn. This house in Natick is circa 1889, with no a/c . I have tickets at the local movie theater for 3 back-to-back films today. Frankly, I don’t even care too much what’s playing (after Ghostbusters) as long as the air conditioning works. (And at the price per ticket, it better well work splendidly.) Think cool thoughts. Best, Babsje

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  5. Regulating temps in a 2-story house is difficult too — if I set the downstairs thermostat at 78, it can get up to 90 upstairs! I made an adjustment to the vents this year that has helped — but it will always be hot upstairs!

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    • Heat rises. One of the little things we learned in school, then promptly forgot. This is a two-story house — and we live up top. Which means, it’s always significantly hotter up here than downstairs — where nobody lives. There isn’t even an A/C unit down there because it rarely gets hot enough to need it. We do keep a dehumidifier running, but the A/C goes in only if we have guests.

      But baby, it’s HOT up here. And sticky. Well, it was. Now it’s more or less comfortable. I’m sure I’ll get the bill.

      Like

  6. Me and you both! I went to the grocery store the other day and it was so hot, the walk across the parking lot to the door, I couldn’t breathe! I sure do miss my Rick! He would drop me off at the door!

    Like

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