The peasant solution to air conditioning


As the temperature has been about 33C for several weeks with spikes up to 40+, it’s quite easy to say, it’s hot. You could even say, it’s damned hot. This is the main topic of conversation these days for those who aren’t able to take the now common double-dip vacations in July & August. I am among this group who is without two vacations and thus during most of the day, I hide inside.

Naturally, when talking to anyone in the villages and you mention how hot your house is, they will always tell you that you absolutely must close your windows completely tight before 09:00 and then open them only after 21:00. There is some truth in this at the masia where the walls are generally of stone and a meter thick all around. But for anything less than that, which is to say, most homes, this, like the idea that cold temperatures are what give you a cold, is absolute peasant idiocy.

I tried it with the house I’m renting in Priorat currently that works a base for tours and a more direct line to wine goings on. Upon returning at the end of the day, the result was a house that, when walking in to it, I was sure I could fry bacon in. This smacks of the same principle as those who believe that by fully covering yourself when it’s hot, you somehow stay cooler. In that case, you merely don’t get sunburned but instead have heat exhaustion. In my house’s case, you have a shitty hot home that doesn’t cool down.

I have however learned that no matter how many people tell you about this grand “secret” to keeping your house cool in Summer and you reply that it doesn’t work, they will always assume that you haven’t closed your windows tight enough. Apparently, there must some windows that you can close but without fully closing them to give you all the benefits of, well, nothing. So, I’m not terribly sure as to where these variably closing windows are, but all I can say is that during the day, you need AC, a fan, and a dog that has no interest in going outside whatsoever.