Tuesday, 5 July 2011

If It Is Summer, Then It Must Mean That It Is Time to Re-Condition Our Air

It is July 5th and it is going to be a "scorcher" out there. My thoughts naturally turn to the task of re-conditioning the air inside my dwelling. I live in a mid-century apartment building (1960's). My apartment is quite small, which is a plus when it comes to re-conditioning the indoor air. It is easy to get it right without spending lots of money on the ever increasing price of electricity. My options for this air re-conditioning practice include multiple fans, window air conditioners, ductless air conditioners, and free-standing air conditioners - which unfortunately do not have a good reputation for doing the job, but I won't get into that here.
The other option that is open to some apartment dwellers is to install Central Air, a wonderful luxury! Doing that involves all sorts of renovation tricks that I have never been faced with. Here is a picture of Lee Radziwill's former New York apartment livingroom with one cold air vent, high on the wall: please look closely at the upper left part of the picture, you will see the telltale sign of a central air conditioning vent. From what can be seen in this picture, this one vent is supposed to cool the entire room!
The second picture is of an apartment bedroom from Nina Campbell's 2004 book. Like the smaller vent in Ms. Radziwill's former livingroom, this one is also positioned on the upper part of the wall and also overhangs a doorway. Is this significant, do you think?
I have been in newer apartment buildings, here in London, Ontario, Canada, where the builders have combined the air conditioning aparatus in with the ductwork for the heating system: AT FLOOR LEVEL!! Can you believe it? This is builder efficient NOT energy efficient!
Both Ms. Campbell and Ms. Radziwill got it right.

I'm going to look into this and report back in a future post.

Nina Campbell's Decorating Notebook.
Clarkson Potter Publishers; 2004. Photography by Jan Baldwin.

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