... is coming our way.
It's been creeping toward us all week and promises to descend into the Pacific Northwest by Sunday. I'm more than a little freaked out -- five straight days of 90-degree highs (as weather.com says).
Now I'm decently hardy; I used to play tennis in this kind of heat for my high school team (typical temps for the start of the school year in the Midwest) and I spent two years in Texas, where it was still this hot in November (try getting in the mood to do your holiday shopping when people are wearing clothes more appropriate for beach barbecues than winter wonderlands). In both locations, though, you are pretty much guaranteed an air conditioner in your house if it was built after 1990 -- no builder would design something without one. Our place, on the other hand, does not have this luxury; most homes in Seattle don't, and in the recent near 90-degree days we've had, getting work done at home has been feasible but miserable.
So yesterday, I headed to Home Depot right after the store opened to pick up a portable air conditioner (we would have gone with a cheaper window unit except that the homeowners' association for our neighborhood forbids them and will fine us more than the cost of said appliance if they catch us with one). When I called beforehand to make sure Home Depot actually had the model I wanted in stock, the person who answered the phone told me that there were 96 of them on the premises at the beginning of the previous day, and that more than half had gone out the door by closing time. So I'm glad I went when I did; today's chances of getting anything look grim.
At the same time, we really didn't want to have to buy a single-room unit as we already have central heating and could have a full-sized air conditioner hooked up to the system, which over time is a better investment. But that would require around $2,000 up front, summer is halfway over, and we'll probably have only one more heat wave before it cools down for good. Plus the likelihood of getting the job done in time for the imminent broiling is very low.
So I guess all this is to say that I'm feeling rather ambivalent about our purchase -- it was certainly justifiable and it was the best solution after D and I did the cost-benefit analysis (a fine on the cheaper window unit would end up putting us over the cost of the portable one), but I still wish it felt less like we were having unnecessary money wrung from our sweaty hands. Whoever prices portable air conditioners must be in cahoots with our homeowners' association.
Would you tough it out sans climate control? Apparently these folks have tried it. They have my admiration, but I just can't bring myself to follow in their footsteps.
1 day ago