This week, I made a pretty big mistake. On Monday, I bought this:
It had been a very warm pair of weeks- at one point, the temperature hit 35 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, which for you Americans is about 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Since my apartment and my office are both entirely bereft of air conditioning, I was wholly unprepared for this. One evening last week, it was so warm and sticky that I couldn’t sleep until 2:30 in the morning when a thunderstorm kicked up and started to cool things down slightly.
The portable air conditioner was something that I’d been thinking about on and off for months. At just under three hundred Euros, it seemed like a reasonable sacrifice. I have a fan in the apartment which does great things for making it seem cooler, but it does little to actually cool down the ambient temperature of the apartment. Plus when you hit the power button, those little shark gill looking flaps in the front open automatically, which is really neat. I’m a big sucker for “neat!”
Enlisting the help of Jenny and her car, I got the thing on Monday after work. It took both of us to muscle the thing up into my apartment- it’s big and awkward so even though I could lift it, carrying it for more than a few feet becomes a logistical impossibility. Once it’s out of the box, it has nice little wheels to move it from room to room, though. Once it was unboxed, I set it up in the bedroom, closed the window and the door, and turned it on. And waited. Then I waited some more.
After it had been running for about forty minutes, I went into the bedroom to check on it, and I found that two feet directly in front of it were nice and cool, but the rest of the room was pretty much the same temperature.
The reason for this, as anyone who knows air conditioners will tell you, is because I hadn’t put on the exhaust hose and routed the displaced warm air somewhere else. The exhaust hose that came with this device (not pictured) is wide enough to roll a small honeydew melon through, and this made it difficult to vent the thing properly. If tried running the exhaust hose out of a doorway first, then a window. The hose is so wide that in order to vent the hot air, I have to keep the window open so much that it entirely negates the point of having an air conditioner in the first place. Jenny’s boyfriend Robert suggested duct taping the hose into the window, but that would make it impossible to ever open the window again.
Yesterday, Jenny helped me return the AC to the store. (She’s a very patient friend who is regularly amused by the inability of someone from Florida to cope with the heat.) I had the thing for less than five days, and by the fourth day, the average temperature had dropped about twenty degrees anyway. The weather here just isn’t usually all that hot. I think that’s why this image is so funny:
I think when we hit our hottest days next summer, I’m just going to try putting ice cubes in my underwear or something.