I learned the hard way why air conditioning is so essential in my warm and humid climate

I grew up in the northern Midwest where winters were intense and the transitive seasons in between were always visually distinct.

There was regularly the frustration of energy costs during particularly frigid winters, and many of us got by with wood stoves and fireplaces alongside forced air heating systems.

My father had a weekly ritual where he’d take an ATV into the forest out back, find a few dead fallen trees to haul back, then chop them up to refill our storage area in the garage. As a family of five, we went through a tremendous quantity of firewood, but in the summers and the times in between, we hardly ever had to use air conditioner. It didn’t matter how hot it got outside, most people I knew left their windows open continuously with a few fans running to circulate the natural breeze. This greatly offset the cost of winter energy consumption, but the opposite has become the case in my new climate. We have mild winters down south but the summers are excruciatingly hot and humid. If you don’t run the air conditioner regularly, the risk of toxic mold raises rapidly. It’s simply the environment down here presenting its own source of difficulties. Now the only time of the year when I can safely leave my windows open is during the dry winter season when temperatures hover in the 50s and 60s at the coldest. I had to have a full system replacement on my air conditioner only two years after moving into my current house. The wear and tare adds up to years of abuse that many in other climates never encountered with their central air conditioning systems.

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