It’s About That Time: Air-Conditioning Is Showing Up in the News Again

In A/C news on May 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm

A roundup of recent stories that feature air-conditioning:

  • A whopping 70 percent of electricity burned in Kuwait during evening hours goes for A/C.
  • The City of Chicago’s official plan for dealing with global warming includes installing air-conditioning in all 750 of the city’s public schools. That can be expected to generate about a ton and a half of additional carbon dioxide per cooled classroom, to help ensure that the next generation of students will be even more dependent on A/C!
  • “Survey Finds Majority of Canadians Frigid” (The Financial Post’s headline, not mine!) Sixty-four percent of Canadians keep their A/C thermostats below 72 degrees F.
  • From mild New England: “An annual report on the Connecticut environment tells of a worrisome trend: residents used more electricity in 2010 at home than in the three years before that.The increase was due to the sweltering summer, when air conditioning units turned on more often and worked harder. Even those people who used electricity more efficiently most of the year used more during heat waves.”
  • Down in Annapolis, Maryland, the Public Housing Authority has banned window air-conditioners in some public housing complexes because they can block windows meant to be used for escape in case of fire or other emergencies. One response:  “Robert Eades, a public housing activist and former resident, said he plans to seek help from the American Civil Liberties Union. ‘Air conditioning is not a luxury,’ said Eades, who said there are many elderly people and those with disabilities in public housing. ‘It’s a necessity. To be boxed into these houses with no air conditioner is a health hazard.'”
  • According to the Japan Times Online, many Japanese commuters are going to have a hot ride to work this summer: “Fears of unbearable heat this summer for train commuters in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area are mounting for two reasons: (1) Electric power shortages triggered by the accidents at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station may force East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the major operator of commuter trains, to suspend the use of air conditioners; and (2) with the train cars now in use, windows can be opened only partially to let in fresh air even when the air conditioning is off. An expert in railway technologies has pointed out that designers of today’s commuter trains did not take into account the possibility of air-conditioning cuts to conserve electricity.” Because of the company’s commuter trains “were designed on the assumption that the inside car temperature would always be controlled by air conditioning,” windows are permanently sealed.

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