Tuesday, June 09, 2009


When I lived in HK, my then-youthful body was quick to acclimatize to its crazy-humid climate and extremely warm temperatures. After a very tough first summer, I was able to handle the 90%+ humidity and 30+ Celsius temperatures without fainting or having a breakdown.

That was then. Now, my aged old body isn't quite so quick to adjust to new environments with different climates. The Vancouver humidity, though wonderful for dry skin, is causing me to break out in random rashes. The warming temperatures (a paltry 22 Celsius with some moderate humidity) have been sufficiently contrary to my previous Alberta weather experiences to render my body unable to deal. Yes, I am overheating.

Now, I'm not saying that it was always cold in E-town. On the contrary, from our 15th floor apartment, we used to get a pretty good dose of sunlight during the summer months, and our place got ridiculously warm there too. However, we had the luxury of air-conditioning, so there was a reprieve from the heat (except for those several weeks when the A/C was busted).

Not so much with our Van pad. Our current abode, though sexy and stylin' and very urban, is surrounded by windows. These aren't dinky windows, either; they are large 5.5' x 4.5' windows with southern and eastern exposures that tend to really catch those rays. And of the 13 windows, only 4 will open. And only by about 3". You see, we have casement windows, a structural legacy left behind by the corporation that once existed where we now live. I suppose the windows were a safety precaution to prevent a depressed office worker from leaping to his/her demise. Regardless, the condo-conversion-engineers did not tinker with the original frame of the building, and so our windows are what they are.

As the temperatures have been rising, so too has my discomfort. We've resorted to opening every window, spiders be damned, just to try to cool down. Unfortunately, on days like today when the breeze just didn't blow for a good half of the day, having open windows was no different from having closed windows.

So, we considered a few options. The first was a portable air-condiitioner. I explored this option to death, but it turns out that for giant casement windows like ours, portable A/C units aren't very pragmatic. We would have needed to hire a plexiglass/plastics dude to come and custom fit our windows with plexiglass panels, and then we would've needed the same dude to come and drill out a custom-sized hole for the exhaust pipe of the A/C unit to fit through. Then, we would have needed to glue or velcro the plexiglass to our window frame, resulting in much alteration/damage to the frame (which would have surely pissed off our landlord).

The second option was to buy an oscillating fan. We (meaning I) did some extensive Google researching and discovered that a certain NOMA Tower Fan (with a remote) was on sale at Canadian Tire, and that this fan was quite highly-reviewed by others who have bought it. We rushed out to our nearest Canadian Tire, nearly walked out empty handed (thanks to the salesperson who had no idea what she was talking about), located a sole unclaimed fan in a random part of the store, and rushed to the check-out before someone could wrestle this seemingly last unit out of our hands.

When we got home, our first priority was getting this tower fan set up and operating. The fan has been blowing ever since, and now I'm not so miserable to live with (ask Hubbs). This sleek and chic unit moves a good amount of air, and not only has an oscillating feature and 3 speeds, but can ionize our air (and once I figure what that is, I might even turn that function on!). ;) It also operates by remote control, which I think might come in handy at some point.

Anyway, things are fan-tastic now, although the big test will come in the afternoon tomorrow when the sun gets all invasive in our living room again. We'll see how our little Noma holds up to mondo heat and light.

For tonight, though, I will finally get a comfortable sleep, something I've been missing for the past few evenings. And tomorrow (and the next day, and the next), I will park myself squarely in front of the fan to keep from overheating, until such time that my body gets used to Vancouver's definition of summer.


~Rain``` said...

I don't cope well with heat either. Finally, we installed A/C in our place. After three summers of +30C summers and a west/east exposure, we had enough. Hopefully the fan works well for you. In my opinion, if you can keep your place cool without A/C, it is better in the long run, economically and environmentally.

tejanamama said...

do they not have a/c in a place with windows that don't open all the way? A fan would NEVER do it for me lady. they also have a/c units that are freestanding now. i would SOOOO invest in that asap if i were you. screw being uncomfy. i like it chilly when i sleep and sweating at nite is the worst!!!! :( GL!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

@Rain - Well, I would think that esp. with a little one around, you'd need some A/C. Otherwise, I could imagine her fussing from discomfort. Heck, *I* fuss from discomfort ;)

@Tejanamama - No, older buildings in Van seem not to come with A/C. The portable free-standing units would work except that my windows require those custom plexiglass inserts to be fitted, so that the tube from the portable can fit through them to blow out the hot air. It's too expensive an option to consider, plus it would damage the windows.

Night sweats are the worst, and our bed is very very warm! No wonder my sleeps have been brutal as of late, eh? That also explains my b*tchy demeanor ;)

tejanamama said...

I think I'd rather be in a newer building! I mean the place is uber sexy and nice, but shit girl...gotta have the AIR!!!!!! Living in texas most of my life, it has NEVER been optional! lol. Im suprised central units werent put in!!!! Older buildings usually have the space in the ceiling allowing the update to be incorporated. Shit, I would be willing to have lower ceilings (i am short anyhoo! lol) in exchange for the a/c!!! Sorry chika. Many sweaty nites in your future :(