European Dopers: Do you think this summer will make A/C more common?

I have been reading about the heat wave, and the fact that air conditioning isn’t common over there. Do you think this summer will change that fact?

I live in the very northern US, we only use our a/c maybe three months out of the year, but I couldn’t imagine sweating through June, July and August without it. I have never owned a car without A/C (very important if you have long hair and can’t drive around with the windows wide open all the time).

The house I bought in 1989 was not air conditioned. I was working in a non-air conditiond job at the time, and came home from work hot and sweaty. The first thing I did get central air put in. And having it cool really helps with sleeping.

I’m just curious if this heatwave will change things in Europe.

Might well be, to some extent. In new cars air conditioning is already catching on. Here in Southern Germany in normal years there are only about four to six weeks when you’d switch a/c on and max. one week of ohmygodireallywishwehadairconditioning. Now we are in the third week, at least, of the latter state. People are sitting at their desk glistening, moving as little as possible.

The attitude that air conditioning is wasteful (of energy), hence slightly immoral, will persist, though.

Well, at my company the works council has just won the fight to get AC installed…next year. I work in a fabulous, ultramodern brand new hightech 4-story building which is sheer glass on all four sides… and was built without any AC facilities whatsoever. Even with all the shades drawn and about 20 fans blowing on each floor it’s still been horribly stifling for the past couple weeks.

Our very generous managers have tried to make it easier for us by offering to let us start our workday at 4 A.M. :rolleyes:

I just bought a car with climate control last June. Set the thermostat for 20 degrees Celcius, and the thing does the rest. Magnificent device, and boy, talk about excellent timing, as my last car didn’t have air conditioning. :slight_smile:

My office has aircon too, although it’s a tad flaky. Usually, the temperature is OK.

My house was built in 1934, and obviously doesn’t have aircon. When I come home the temperature in the living room is about 30 degrees Celcius. I have to open all doors and let it air out. I came home at 6:30 PM tonight, and it’s 1:15 AM now. The temperature in the living is still 25 degrees. It’s cooler outside, but the house just doesn’t lose the warmth (it’s a second floor apartment, with buildings on either side). It was built for harsh winters rather than hot summers, and was meant to retain heat rather than lose it.

I could install aircon, but it would cost about $5,000 or so. And frankly, it’s usually not this bad. Normally, we get maybe 5 30+ days a summer, and the rest is 25 degrees tops. Much more bearable. If all summers from now on are like this one, I would consider getting aircon, though.


Why? Because the last time we had tempertures like this [In Ireland anyway] was about five years ago. It just doesnt to be economically sound.

In regards to cars and such, they should definatly have AC, even on a slightly warm day it can be horrible sitting in traffic.

I can understand not wanting to put central air in. If it is that expensive than it wouldn’t be worth it. How common are window units? I think you can get one here for about $250. It would be good enough to cool the bedrooms when you sleep.


There are so few days a year that it is necessary.

Apartments are set up very differently there - mine is in an old Victorian house that has been remodeled to make room for 8 apartments. Window air conditioning units, while they sound like the solution, aren’t. They are not largely available in England and most windows aren’t suitable.

It would be pleasant to go home to a cool flat after work - but after struggling into work on the underground, spending the day in an inefficiently air conditioned office, back on to the underground (which has warmed up considerably since the morning journey) for the journey home, stopping off at the local pub which has perhaps 2 ceiling fans … what’s the point??

I don’t even drink pints when it is this hot - half pint and a pint of soda water and ice makes much more sense.

I’m very lucky in that I’m spending the summer with my father in Oklahoma (high temps but with ac) though I’ve heard from my flatmate how hellish it is in London.

My flatmate had to take my cat to the vet the other day, poor puss was suffering from heat exhaustion. He’s fine now, just not a good environment for an old kitty with the heat.

I don’t see people running out to buy aircon units - too pricy, don’t work with current windows, and not generally necessary.

Many UK residences are also subject to planning restrictions in order to retain the “character” of neighbourhoods; the process of getting local council approval to modify the appearance of your home can be tedious and ultimately pointless.

In southern Germany here (hallo tschild) and I can’t figure out how airconditoning units would actually fit into the windows. We, generally speaking of the population, have large windows that swing open and wouldn’t hold any airconditioner I have ever seen.
I guess central air could be put into new buildings but it would cost so much money and would probably be taxed ;).

I think during heat waves like this (lost 3 kilos in the last 2 weeks) all you can do is sweat it out and take it easy. Although I don’t like to be so hot, I also get really sick when the AC is on full blast and then you go out into the heat. I don’t mind it when it is reasonble and cools down the tempature a little, but I think fans, insulation, and keeping the shades drawn do that.

AC’s can also make it hotter outside:


Nope there’s no point. It vary rarely gets this hot.


This was the hottest summer since 1976 (maybe even hotter), and still it was less than two weeks of extreme temperatures (35+). Forecast for the weeknd is around 25C. Lovely.

Installing aircon for two weeks in a hot year and one or two days in a normal year does not make much sense.