We need to reduce the solar incident radiation...
We have no air conditioning. There are days it's downright uncomfortable and you're walking around shirtless and sitting by a fan because even warm air flow is better than no air flow.
There are a lot of cold showers and cold drinks consumed. I have to say though, it's only seemed to be 2 or 3 days at a stretch and then a storm or cold front comes in and breaks it up. So is it unlivable? No. Is it uncomfortable? Sure.
If it were my house, I'd definitely have caved and had AC installed; and if I had it, I'd most likely abuse it more than I should. If I'm honest with myself and asked "do I really need to have the AC running right now?" I'd have to say, I could count on 2 hands the number of days this year where the answer was yes (although, I did make it through without it, so is that even true?) vs. just (ab)using it because it's there and 18C is comfortable in summer.
When I build a house, it's definitely having geothermal heating/cooling to take the edge off.
... and a dehumidifier takes the edge off too. Dry heat is a lot easier to suffer than wet heat.
I have a $50 AC in my bedroom, that I'll turn on at night to get to sleep. That cost maybe $10/month in electricity.
I don't see how the upfront and maintenance cost for something like geothermal can ever breakeven in a place where you only need to use it for a few days a year in one room. Do you?
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Those who didn't die were also far less productive. In many climates, living without air conditioning means spending much of the day simply surviving the heat, not getting anything done.
This includes the American south, much of the midwest, Tokyo, China's larger cities (especially toward the south), Indonesia, the Middle East, and Australia.
Developing regions, especially in Africa, Central and South America, the Philippines, and Australasia also tend to strongly favour aircond. It's not just a comfort thing -- computer and office equipment, and even paper, are difficult to maintain in hot and humid environments.
These are also the latitudes and climates in which the bulk of the world's population, much of it still underdeveloped, still lives. If the story of "an advanced Western standard of living for all" is to be borne out, A/C will be a large part of it.
Usually when it gets above 24/25 C we start to really put on the air conditioning. And below 20 C we put on the heat. A/C is generally important for not only cooling, but reducing humidity so your body's sweat actually does something useful.
I've lived in houses around here that didn't have A/C and it's pretty dreadful in the summer. You basically don't do anything during the day, and it's too hot to really sleep comfortably. Even fairly poor people usually end up with at least one room with A/C.
This isn't true for all of the U.S., the Pacific Northwest (e.g. Seattle) and Northern California tends to not have air conditioners because it doesn't usually get hot enough.
Quite a bit of the U.S. is at the same latitude as North Africa or the Middle East, the northern-most bits get maybe to Belgium? So even with the temperature gradients that ocean currents and global air movement affords, we get total sun that's more like areas of the world people associate with being "hot".
Having been to Europe numerous times, I notice most public areas, cars, buses, trains and offices seem to have A/C. So I'm sure you spend more time in it than you may realize.
I'm pretty sure we don't put our heating on here in Edinburgh until October when nights are probably getting to be well below 10C.
Mind you for me 10C is "comfortable", 15C is "warm", 20C is "hot" and 30C means I'm on holiday somewhere hot where I can go capsizing to stay cool.
However, I went to university and stayed in centrally heated halls of residence, which I didn't find warm. However, when I returned home for Xmas it felt like I had been shipped to Siberia - I was dying of cold! I remember being pinned to the bed by a pile of blankets as I desperately tried to stay warm at night.
Some corners of Athens are disgustingly unbearable. Tall buildings, narrow streets filled with parked cars. The entire thing is a dust, smoke and heat trap. Temperatures feel 10 degrees warmer in those corners. Not to mention it smells horrible.
That's the reason some houses have not AC in the south of Europe but all the offices have.
Don't underestimate the thermal power needed for just one additional degree in a typical American house with poorly insulated windows, walls and doors.
We don't put the AC, we open the balcony door and the air current is enough.
In winter, we reach at most 5C, we don't put also the heating. Some neighbors have it very high and in our apartment the temperature is 20-21C.
We tend to use AC if the outdoor temp is above 30C, so most days November to April.
It gets to above 45C here, which is pretty horrible without AC.
The insanity boggles my mind.
I had to go out and buy a sweater and thick trousers to sit in the office while it is 32C/90F outside.
The school had a campus wide steam heating system to deal with the winters, but according to what I heard they were terrified to ever turn it off because parts of it were approaching 100 years old. So, all summer long the heat was running on low in the same buildings that were being air conditioned.
you also have to strip down to a single layer as soon as you walk in the door, and put all the damn clothes back on if you want to go outside, or you start pouring sweat. what's wrong with keeping everything on but your winter coat?
being from southern california you see this stuff for what it is -- people going insane from shitty weather. it should be 73F everywhere, inside and out, all the time.
unfortunately, it's getting hotter and hotter here, too. eventually we'll be insane also.