I Survived a Summer Month Without Air Conditioning in St. Louis

True story, first-world problem.

Just over a month ago, the air conditioning in my condo stopped working. I barely noticed it at first, as it was a relatively cool May at that point, but it was soon clear that the internal fan was just circulating room-temperature air.

A repairman dropped by the next day. After taking a look at the AC unit and hearing how old it is (15+ years), he delivered the bad (but expected news): It needed to be replaced.

What I didn’t expect was (a) how long it would take to find a company to replace it, (b) how long it would take that company to get the new unit and be available to replace it, (c) that due to new safety standards, both the AC and the air-handling unit would need to be replaced, and (d) how much it would cost.

So what followed was a literal month without central air conditioning. Fortunately, I was really lucky, because the weather continued to be uncharacteristically cool for nearly the entire time. As a result, I spent many days and nights with the windows open.

There were a few days where the temperature slipped into the 90s, though, and I was worried about my cats overheating. So I bought a “portable” AC unit (a huge misnomer, as they’re big, heavy, and they need to be connected to a window to exhaust the hot air). It helped out in my office room on a number of days.

I found myself getting in the habit of checking the weather multiple times every day, something I hardly ever do (usually I just walk onto my balcony to see what the weather is). I also think my body must have adapted somehow, because I went from needing to keep my condo at 68 every night and 72 every day to 74 at night and 75 during the day. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it really feels like my body adapted to the change out of necessity.

A few days ago, some folks from Galmiche Heating & Air spent 7 hours installing the new AC unit and air handler (I snapped some photos in the middle of the process). They did great work, and everything is working better than ever now, just in time for the real heat of summer.

Overall, I’m really grateful for the entire process. It’s certainly not ideal, but the weather was incredible most of the time, my game-night friends were forgiving of the heat, my cats were troopers, and my body adjusted in such a way that I don’t need to keep the temperature so low. Plus, now my condo is augmented by a brand-new air conditioner.

Have you ever gone through anything like this in your home (not just AC)? How did it go?


2 Responses to “I Survived a Summer Month Without Air Conditioning in St. Louis”

  1. Joe Pilkus says:

    Growing up in Philaselphia, I remember 8ne particularly cold winter and when the heat went out due to an emergency situation in the city, the whole family slept in my 10′ x 10′ bedroom. My room was chosen, quite cleverly by dad because unlike the back room which my two brothers shared or my parents Master bedroom in the front of the house, my room had only one external wall, thereby the interior walls proved an effective way to insulate the area and maintain the heat, provided by a small wall unit. We endured it for two nights, which is hardly a struggle, but I do remember how much we laughed with every sound and utterance as five of us tried to sleep in a relatively small space.

  2. Amanda DuVall says:

    July of 2016 in Northwest Florida. I’m 7 months pregnant and my AC goes out. I also have 2 dogs and a cat that all like to sleep on you or right beside you at night. My husband is out of town so all I can do is call an emergency repair guy. They can’t help me until late the next morning. A cold shower and a box fan helped me get through the night.

    It was easier than September of 2004 when we got hit with Hurricane Ivan. I was living in Destin, FL at the time. We were out of power for about 3 weeks and didn’t have a generator. It was the only time I was grateful to be at work. The mosquitoes and the heat were almost unbearable (temp was around 86ish.)

    Glad you got a new AC!

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