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PSA: Do Not Put in Your Air Conditioners Yet

Let the breeze in.

4:35 PM EDT on May 20, 2022

As temperatures rise this weekend, so too does the ferocious battle over the efficacy and need for air conditioners in sweltering New York City apartments. Here at Hell Gate, we acknowledge the only truth: Yes, you do need air conditioning.

But a-ha! This consensus elides an even greater point of contention. When should you put in your air conditioner and under what factors should you choose to air-condition. At some point, New Yorkers must make the fateful decision to perilously install their air conditioners, seal up their windows, and enter the "Gloom Box," for the remainder of the summer months. Once this decision is made, it's difficult to reverse (mostly because you're scared of dropping it and killing someone).

The noble A/C makes a brick-bounded New York City apartment livable during the inescapable heat of the summer months. But there are a number of reasons why prolonging these precious moments of a slight breeze and window operability is important. What the A/C provides in cooling, it deprives in terms of sunlight, of which we're already strictly rationed. Their hissing and groaning bounce through the courtyards, and they block us, for months at a time, from the life-giving energies of the sun, and the natural coolness of breezes. Their hum becomes inescapable, and their disgusting droplets find a way to our already humidity-devastated hair while walking down the street.

There is a time and place and necessity for the A/C. That time, I personally believe, is July, August, and now most of September. Others disagree! To me, May may be a time to let yourself sweat a little bit, considering the up-until-now deeply mild spring (after a very mild winter…we could get used to this apocalypse!).

Yes, this weekend, the temperatures will soar into the low 90s, but they will also dip down into the exceedingly comfortable 60s and 70s at night. Soon, we'll return to the pleasantly cool spring we've so far experienced, for which there will be no need for an air conditioner. In fact, the ten-day forecast looks fairly cold for May!

Now, excluding those who need climate control for health reasons (of course, go for it), we advise those who are itching to get those A/Cs in the window to hold off for at least a few more weeks. Think of our beautiful planet—our grid is not yet green, so maybe take a cold shower and post up in front of a fan. Or head to our beautiful, lifeguard-unattended beaches! Or just ride the ferry for a few hours and let the sea breeze cool you down.

It's not time to give in to the cooling darkness of an air-conditioned apartment. For this, the planet and your Con Ed bill will be grateful.

Also, I think my A/C is actually now lodged in the closet and cannot be removed! But this has nothing to do with my broader point. Enjoy the beautiful heat—and before then, watch out for the beautiful terrifying spring storms this evening, whose rainy coolness you would miss out on inside of the aforementioned "gloom box."

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