• Vaporize or Spend $312 – We Chose the Latter

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    When we signed the lease for our apartment a year and a half ago, we came in knowing that while there was central heating, there was no central air conditioning. We signed the lease in the middle of a harsh Chicago winter, so air conditioning was pretty far from our mind…until the relentless Chicago summer arrived. I’m pretty tolerant to the heat, but there were a few days when it got even too hot for me. Not to mention I tend to sweat profusely (disgusting, I know). When our cats starting panting, I knew it was way too much.

    If you don’t know, Chicago summers are nothing but hot and muggy. Ninety degree days combined with 95% humidity not only gives people bad hair days, but in the summer of 1995, 739 people died due to the heat. Not a good environment to have less than adequate cooling.

    Our only sources of cooling that summer were two undersized air conditioners. One was quite a behemoth, an older hand-me-down from my older brother. It was beige and it meant business, but the truth was that barely kept our dining and living rooms cool. Not only that, it weighed a ton and probably wasn’t very energy efficient. The other one was my dinky air conditioner that managed to cool off my room in my fraternity house in college. That went into our bedroom window, and barely manages to keep that cool. That one is still around.

    We decided that the large behemoth needed to go – its archaic dials, heft, poor energy efficiency, and craptacular ability to cool a room helped us come to that conclusion. Not only that, but I stored it in my parents’ garage over the winter and didn’t want to deal with it anymore. We were in the market for an air conditioner.

    Her looked up how much air conditioner we needed, and it turned out to be about 14,000BTU. We also wanted one that was uber energy efficient and had cool doodads such as timers, climate control, and other energy saving perks. She did the legwork, and even got a 10% coupon for Lowe’s. Serendipitously, the air conditioner we wanted went on sale this past weekend at Lowe’s.

    $312, 14,000BTU, and 105 pounds of air conditioner later, we’re cool cats (I guess so are our cats, natch). Yes, that money could have grown to be a billion dollars in some investment account, but to be able to go to work not drenched in sweat is priceless.


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