Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Great Debate


Hi! Did you know it's hot? And did you know we have no air conditioning? And did you know that our bedroom is upstairs--you know, where heat rises to--and has heat-absorbing stone walls and west-facing windows that allow all that fabulous (HOT) afternoon sun to stream in?

Yeah. Not so much with the sleeping this week.

But this is not about MY misery*! Oh no! Today, we shall have a reasoned and carefully considered discussion regarding heat. Specifically, humid heat vs. dry heat.

Now. I feel I have some valid arguments for both sides in this matter. I have personally experienced both REALLY HOT dry heat in the form of the hellish heat island that is Phoenix, Arizona, and not-so-hot heat with the bonus of stifling humidity both here and in New Orleans. There is no doubt that even a dry 115 degrees is just too hot, and truthfully, nothing except glorious energy-sucking air conditioning will make it better. But you know what would make it worse? Humidity. ANY humidity. And so I always come down on the side of hotter-but-drier, personally.

When it's hot AND humid, your body tries desperately to cool you down via the sweat evaporation method. Except the sweat doesn't evaporate. Which just leaves your clothes damp, your face dripping, and your general disposition less than sweet.

Also, damp towels don't dry when it's humid, they molder. And let us not even SPEAK of the horror that is my hair.

So! Now that I have inflicted my own opinions on you, tell me, poppets: Would you rather deal with a dry 115 degrees, or a humid 95 degrees? And why?

* Of course it is. Lemme just lay it out for you all succinct-like: THIS SUCKS AND I AM MISERABLE. Okay, all done now. Thank you for your attention to my whining.


Phoo-D said...

I'll take the dry heat any day! It is so humid here that all the windows are fogged this morning and the deck is dripping with dew. Ugh.

dognutmom said...

We have to have the heat then ... there isn't a third option ... no excessive heat?

Okay, well, then I would have to go with dry heat. I'm in SE PA and we have a lot of humidity. Sometimes it is so thick you can cut it with a knife. It presses on the skin, relentlessly. Doesn't let you breathe.Sweat drips into your eyes so that you can't see. Feels like it is sucking the very life force from your being.

In case I wasn't clear, summer is my least favorite season.

Marcy said...

As far as my personal comfort level goes it's always a matter of the toilet paper test; when the toilet paper is damp and useless I'm officially miserable.

I'm just glad to have trees and green space around me in this weather. I always stop to think how awful it must be in crowded urban areas especially when the air quality deteriorates.

Anonymous said...

The humidity kills me....well it would if I stayed out in it. I do not know how you do not have air conditioning. I would honestly be dead already. My lungs aren't set up to breath water laden air. I would have to be a fish to enjoy all the water in the air. Beth

word verification 'filkelo'

jailbreaker's wind instrument

sweetbird said...

I would happily deal with dry heat in the hundreds over even the 80s with humidity. The humidity here in NC kills me - I feel like I'm constantly sweating, even when I'm not, and my glasses are perma-fogged.

Give me the dry heat of the West coast any day of the week.

Chiot's Run said...

I prefer dry heat. Although at 90 it's much cooler here than the 110 humid weather I grew up in South America. I don't mind the heat as much if I can be in the shade.

Thankfully we have central air, something I don't ever want to live without. Worth every penny it costs, especially since we work at home and are sitting by computers that churn out even more heat all day long. Not to mention the humidity isn't so great for all of our expensive cameras & other equipment.

Mayberry Magpie said...

Get a window unit for your bedroom. It will make you so much happier to sleep in the cool air. Lest you wonder how much I value cool air, I just paid a $429 electric bill for the month of June to keep this huge-ass house below 70 degrees. Kate complains incessantly about the cold, but I get cranky when it's above 70, which is, um, nearly every day in Oklahoma.

And, I DAMN the humidity. I CURSE its existence. I ran 7 miles this morning in 79 degree weather (not bad you would think) but the humidity was hovering around 80% and I thought I was going to die all alone on a deserted country road.

Now you know why I desperately want to move to Colorado. The hottest it ever gets on the mountain is 95 (and that's rare) and with humidity below 30%, all you have to do is sit in the shade and you're fine.

Oh, and I've been to Scottsdale in the summer once. I thought I was in hell. Will never go back. Anything over 110 (it was 114 when I was there) is CRAZY.

Daisy said...

I hope Cubby is surviving the heat and not making you any more miserable. Humidity kills. My boy (now 18) had asthma when he was young; humidity + heat sent him into misery in the form of an asthma attack.


It may be hotter here in Hell (Bakersfield, CA); but we're not barbarians. We have air conditioning - the most wonderful invention man ever made.

Hope you endure.

FinnyKnits said...

Yeah. I lived in Phoenix for one very hot, very scary summer and it's not pleasant when the thermometer reads 120 and all the planes are grounded at the airport because their engines won't start in the heat.

But, I've also been to South America, the Midwest, Hawaii and Western Europe where it gets hot, humid and horrible.

Humidity ruins everything. Because even if you can find A/C, you find yourself getting pneumonia because your clothes are suddenly damp yet cool. Gross.

So, I guess I'd take 115 dry heat over 95 + humidity. Because I guess I'd rather be baked than poached. Ew.

Just Me said...

Dry heat is better if it isn't TOO dry. There comes a point that you would kill for the slightest hint of moisture in the air.

Haley said...

I guess I'd take the dry heat. But I would much prefer to live somewhere really really cold. Like northern Canada or something. I hate when it gets above 65 degrees.

P.S. Does Cubby mind the heat? I know some babies have trouble sleeping when it gets too hot.

inadvertent farmer said...

Then again it can rain most of the summer and you can be cold AND damp...just a thought...

Not that here in the NW we know about weather like that. Kim

rls said...

I've actually ever experienced dry heat... (*sobbing, since most of the posters here seem to prefer it*)

Jen said...

I'll take dry heat any day. Humidity is awful!
And you forgot to mention the joy of nursing a baby in hot, humid weather. Having another person snuggled up to you when you're already sweating buckets is sooo much fun ;)

Anonymous said...

I prefer temps in the low 80s with reasonable humidity. I remember that New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania heat (lived there for nearly 10 years and traveled on business). One summer when I was painting my living room (I didn't yet have AC)--I got up and started painting at 4 am, stopped at about 8 am, and spent the rest of the day at the pool.

When I moved to Seattle, the summer weather was a huge, huge, huge relief!