I Guess I’m an Air Conditioning Moderate

Or something. While this Boston Globe piece arguing against the widespread use of air conditioning will get bashed heavily, I did agree with this part:

When experts look at A/C use in America, they immediately see a spot of illogic: We use vast amounts of energy just to let businesspeople do something they’d probably rather not do anyway. “We are probably overcooling our office buildings by 4 to 6 [degrees] F just so that office workers, particularly the males, can wear their business suits,” wrote Richard de Dear, who is head of architectural design science at the University of Sydney and a researcher on thermal comfort. “The current clothing behaviour is costing us a fortune in energy and greenhouse emissions!”

…Here in America, it probably wouldn’t require such a hard sell. Many female workers already dress for summer weather, and would likely be delighted not to have to huddle in sweaters against the A/C. Among men, polos are already considered appropriate on casual Fridays, and it’s not hard to imagine that most would happily embrace a breezier style for the rest of the week.

I can’t tell you how many times this summer my office has been freezing to the point where I have to leave. This happens in a supposedly green building. Setting the thermostat for 75F wouldn’t be the end of the world. Might even delay said end a little bit…

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8 Responses to I Guess I’m an Air Conditioning Moderate

  1. Physicalist says:

    Agree.
    In the summer: “Bring a sweater b/c the a/c will be on.”
    In the winter: “Pack a t-shirt b/c the heat will be blasting.”

  2. Jim Thomerson says:

    My AC comes on at 78F. Heat comes on at 72F.

  3. Bayesian Bouffant, FCD says:

    My building has thermostats, but tinkering with them doesn’t seem to do anything.

  4. coloncancercommunity says:

    I’m not a man, but I think the idea of wearing a business suit when the heat index is over 100F is akin to the torture we women put up with in our stilettos.

  5. Amen. And can we get stores, malls and restaurants to do the same? i dress for the weather and there is little I hate as much as having to carry a sweater during summer in case the store, restaurant or movie theater has the thermostat set in the 60s.

  6. kaleberg says:

    I’m an A/C fanatic. The heat and humidity in Boston were outrageous. Granted, I have auto-immune problems that are set off by heat, but when the summers started running into October in the 1980s, the Boston area became almost unlivable without proper air conditioning.

  7. hipparchia says:

    i can see why some societies periodically send their menfolk off to war… if you keep them at home they drive gas-guzzling trucks, carry guns, commit random acts of violence, vote republican, crash the economy, and now they want us to keep the a/c on for them too.

  8. Lindsay says:

    If Japan could relax their office dress codes enough that they could air-condition less in the summer, so can we!

    (I hardly think our workplaces are *more* conservative and hidebound than theirs…)

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