General Question

flo's avatar

Why are air conditioners rare in Europe, at least in some parts?

Asked by flo (12381points) 1 month ago

As asked.

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22 Answers

Yellowdog's avatar

The climate is cooler.

You can take the heat better in Europe than in the U.S. because it used to never get as hot. So they are used to NOT having air conditioning.

In the States we are used to Air Conditioning. So we are less likely to tolerate slightly uncomfortable temperatures. We have Air Conditioning because we have such high temperatures.

Because we, in the States, are used to NEEDING air conditioning, we can’t take even slightly uncomfortable temps as well. We’re used to having air conditioning all the time.

Folks in North America and fairly okay parts of the world weather-wise, pray or send positive energies/thoughts to those suffering record highs in Europe. Must be Hell there.

ragingloli's avatar

Because before global warming really set in, temperatures were low enough to be mitigated by simply opening the windows.

zenvelo's avatar

Building and housing design in many parts of Europe predate widespread availability of air-conditioning. Things were designed to allow for airflow without overheating the building.

I was in Paris in the summer of 1976, when it reached 104 Fahrenheit. One could go into well insulated buildings and get relief. And many of the sidewalk cafes took advantage of shade under arcades.

MrGrimm888's avatar

When I lived in Germany, we had a car with no A/C. Couldn’t even sell the damn thing, once we moved to SC. It was a two door Ford Escort. I remember almost having heat stroke, in the back seat like 1,000 times.

kritiper's avatar

The climate is cooler and I would suppose the electrical rates for such extras are quite high.

JLeslie's avatar

The same reason they are rare in the northern most states of the US. They don’t feel it’s necessary because of the climate, or the buildings are old and air conditioning wasn’t in houses when the house was built.

It’s a big expense for a few days of very hot weather. Although, I will say, when I lived in Michigan most of my friend’s argued it didn’t get hot enough where they lived to warrant an air conditioner, and I looked at them like they were crazy or had amnesia. It got plenty hot in the summer. This was back in the late 80’s. Most of them have houses with air now.

flo's avatar

How about other parts of the world where it’s getting way hotter that it used to? It,s France that’s in the news it seems.

JLeslie's avatar

If it keeps getting hotter more people will be getting air conditioning. 3 of my friends in desperation one summer bought window air conditioners for their houses that didn’t have air.

ragingloli's avatar

And what better proof for global warming could there be for the general populace, than regions that never used them before, now starting to buy them in desperation?

flo's avatar

@JLeslie What does houses that don’t have air mean?

Yellowdog's avatar

@ragingloli It could be that they are just wimps.

@flo Houses without air can’t be lived in. If you try, you will be unable to breathe and will die.

MrGrimm888's avatar

My A/C was out for like two weeks. It was absolutely miserable.

JLeslie's avatar

Without air, meaning without air conditioning. I have a few friends in Michigan who in their 20’s owned houses that didn’t have AC, but eventually they all bought an air conditioner during a heat wave.

Yellowdog's avatar

Even here in sticky, humid-as-hell, dogbreath Memphis

I stayed at my great grandmother’s house one summer night during a fire department strike, when my parents were in the hospital.

The house was built in 1904., before air conditioning, but with an attic fan, window fans kitchen fans, and portable electric fans, Because it was built in the era of fans, the ceilings were 10’-6” (3.204 meters) which is lower than older homes, before the era of fans).

It was also the anniversary of the death of Elvis, So the radios were all playing old Elvis songs, It was hot, but I took a bath in a big, old clawfoot bathtub, and slept with a fan blowing my mind as I took up the ambiance of a moldering old house on a hot, sticky summer night.

I wouldn’t mind just a few hot nights like that, without A/C if the house was appropriate.

flo's avatar

But how about fans? Fans are great aren’t they, esp. paired with buckets of icy water. or similar. https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-fans/
AC eats up a lot of elecricity, bad for the environment.

flo's avatar

…The oscillating ones are great aren’t they?

Yellowdog's avatar

No. they’re not,

I want the air blowing on me all the time. Others in the room can get their own fans.

JLeslie's avatar

I hate a fan blowing on me. Fans are mostly just moving hot air if it’s hot. Air conditioning blows cold air. Big difference.

flo's avatar

You can have the fans all the way at the top corner or cornes of rooms so you don’t feel the blowing feeling, and still get the cool air effect.

flo's avatar

https://tinyurl.com/y4hglhth

@Yellowdog I can’t argue with ’‘I want the air blowing on me all the time’’, but they’re great for preventing lectrical fires for eg.
https://eta-safety.lbl.gov/safety-alert/dont-overload-power-strips
https://powerlines.seattle.gov/2018/05/01/national-electrical-safety-month-overloaded-circuits/
@JLeslie ’‘Fans are mostly just moving hot air if it’s hot.’’? I’ve never had that experience and never heard that. If it’s too hot and I’m passing by a fan I’m in heaven for that period of time.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo The fans do have a cooling effect, I’m not saying they don’t. The movement of air help evaporate any perspiration on you also, adding to the effect. Air conditioning air is blowing at a much cooler temp than a fan.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie Oh I thought by ’‘Fans are mostly just moving hot air if it’s hot.’, you meant that they’re ineffective for cooling air.
I’ll stick with the fans, no down side.

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