Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Say hello to my little friend.


We've had a very cold August in the Bay Area, lots of overcast days where the sun wasn't visible until noon, if then. That means very little in my apartment, which gets the afternoon sun and faces an enclosed terrace that shuts out any cooling breeze. I finally decided to get a portable air conditioner for the place late last month after suffering through two summers here, though I should say that usually the major suffering only lasts for a handful of days each year.

Yesterday, the cool wave ended. It was 98 degrees in San Francisco and over 100 in Oakland. My sauna like apartment would have been completely intolerable except for the new air conditioning unit, and even it only could keep a very small area cool. On the days when I've used it this month, it could usually cool down my entire living room when used for about an hour before the sun went down. Yesterday, it was on by the mid afternoon and stayed on even after I went to sleep, and could only keep a very small region cool. Getting up from my chair to go to the kitchen or the bathroom, I could feel the heat all over the apartment and it stayed hot until well after midnight. I woke up at 3:30 this morning and finally the rest of the apartment was tolerable.

Today, the forecast says it will be in the mid eighties, which is hot for Oakland but not record breaking like yesterday. The thing is, the forecast for yesterday said it would be in the mid-eighties as well, so we'll see what actually happens. Tomorrow it's supposed to be back to a high in the low seventies, which as a native son is the kind of summer day I really like, though some will complain it is too cool in the morning. I do a lot better in cool temperatures than I do in hot, and I always have. My new little investment, which to my nerdy eyes looks like a robot from Star Wars, meant I actually had a chance to get some sleep last night, so it's already paying off big time.

6 comments:

susan s. said...

Hello, Matty's little friend! Where did you come from? I'd be interested in meeting one of your siblings!

BobManDo said...

Matty Boy, If your R2 unit is not vented to the outside, than it is nothing more than a dehumidifier: ie, it removes water from the air but does not lower the actual room temperature. In fact, the unit will raise the room temperature by an amount related to the wattage of the unit. This is my understanding... correct me if I'm wrong.

Matty Boy said...

Susan S.: My little friend was found on Craigslist under portable air conditioner. He cost $150, a lot cheaper than a new one.

Bob M.: You are correct about the venting. This picture is not actually MY little friend, but a picture of the same model found on the Internets. My little friend does have a honking big vent that looks like a giant bendy straw. Even so, the heat in my apartment is not just coming from the window where the sun comes in, but also it's leaking some from floors below mine.

ken said...

Well, I can tell which side of the hills YOU grew up on. 95 is a beautiful summer day, as long as the humidity is bay-area normal and you're not actually doing manual labor. 100 is getting a bit warm, but it's still OK.

Matty Boy said...

Yes, I know people who come from places where 95 is normal and 100 is a bit warm. They are usually called by the collective noun "terrorists".

susan s. said...

Or they live in the Central Valley of California. It really gets hot over there.