As we roll into mid-June the temperatures are starting to rise. This old house has an abundance of windows and can offer some considerable airflow (aided, no doubt, by our location in the wind farm). We deploy a series of fans - both ceiling fans and floor models - as well as blocking out light to prevent solar heat gain, as we've discussed here before.
All of this works well until temperatures rise up into the 90° territory with its accompanying humidity (at no point in the Midwest is it ever a dry heat...). Then the central air needs to come on.
However, like so many things, the age of the house and the intermittent nature of its improvements have an impact on what is needed to cool things down. My grandparents lived their lives in the downstairs of the home, and as such the ductwork upon which the central air relies to distribute its cooling goodness feeds only the downstairs and a couple of select spaces upstairs. Since heat rises, this gives the upstairs region of the home the potential to be very warm indeed by the end of the day.
As such, we continue (for the short term, at least) to be plagued by these:
Window AC units are noisy, and of course block off a chunk of the window in which they are placed. Still, at the moment it's either that or enjoy the sweltering heat and humidity of a 90+ degree day.
And as I write it, it seems more than a little extreme to use the term "plagued" to describe an implement that, while not perfect, functionally keeps the house comfortable to live in through the summer heat. It makes me think of stories my Grandma Marie would tell about summers in which, at times, everyone slept outside because that was the only way to get comfortable.
I suppose the downsides to the window units are slightly more tolerable than having to bed down in the back yard...