It’s a cool 60 degrees in New York City right now, but in a few weeks time, we—along with the rest of the U.S.—will likely be experiencing the dead heat of summer. Here, that means sweating through your clothes while waiting for the M train, constantly inhaling the weighty stink of garbage, and listening to the city’s elite drone on endlessly about Summer Fridays and their homes in the Hamptons. It also means that it’s time to fire up your window air conditioner, right?

WRONG.

Friends, colleagues, strangers: I’m here to tell you what, in your heart of hearts, you already know. Air conditioners are hurting us more than they’re helping us. Air conditioners are making us weak. “I think my AC is making me sick,” a Gawker Media co-worker recently texted me. And he’s right. It is making him sick. Sick in the head.

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Air conditioning is a blight on society, mostly because none of us are responsible enough to be trusted with it. There’s no reason that you, on a 95 degree day, should have to haul a sweater everywhere you go and yet you do because indoor public spaces have been turned into freezing cold tundras by people who should know better. Sure, you could avoid those overly air conditioned places entirely and stay outdoors, but—oh, is that rain? No, it’s not. It’s the filthy water from someone’s window unit dripping all over you. And by the way? That window unit is poorly installed and could crush you to death at any moment.

So what do you do to stay comfortably cool without air conditioning? You turn to fans. Particularly ceiling fans. Ceiling fans that will keep your apartment feeling mosquito-free beach with a temperate breeze all summer. Ceiling fans that keep your air constantly circulating. Ceiling fans that make a comforting whir-whir-whir sound as you lie on your cold wooden floor and contemplate how energy efficient you’re being.

Can’t install a ceiling fan? That’s okay because an oscillating fan will get the job done, too. Set one up next to your bed at night and you’ll hardly miss air conditioning at all. In fact, you’ll probably THRIVE without it because you’re no longer waking up with a sore throat or an AC-induced crick in your neck.

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Look, I’m not a monster. I realize there’s typically at least two weeks per summer where not having air conditioning is next to unbearable, which is why I’ll excuse it in these select places:

  • Movie theaters
  • Hospitals
  • Malls
  • Restaurants (if they keep it above 70 degrees)
  • The apartment of the person who you’re fucking mostly—but not entirely—because they have air conditioning
  • Any apartment above the third floor (sparingly)

Beyond that, it’s time we become a fan of fans. Embrace them (not literally because it will hurt/rip your hair out), speak words of love into it so that your voice comes out sounding like a robot, poor yourself a glass of lemonade (what I call gin) and enjoy your breezy summer.

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(P.S. Do you have air conditioning? If so, please let me know if I can come stay with you in August.)


Contact the author at madeleine@jezebel.com.

Image via Paramount