Air Conditioning Mania.
Why is the city in love with their AC?
Anyone who comes to Miami is always surprised by the cold inside stores, restaurants, and apartments.
The truth is that air conditioning is a necessity in Miami. Not only does it control the temperature, but it also removes the humidity in the air.
The high temperature creates vapor in the atmosphere and it retains humidity in the air, and as soon as it lowers a little bit, this humidity condensates, creating little drops of water. Just think of a glass of water or beer while you wait for your food at the restaurant… Inside an apartment or a closed restaurant, this humidity can impregnate a wall and destroy an ambient.
The humidity in the air and its molecules also retain microorganisms that provoke allergies, responsible for coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and skin, or worse, respiratory infections. Air conditioning helps dry the air removing these impurities helping those that have allergic reactions to pollen, dust, and other irritants.
Controlling the humidity in an environment:
The easiest way to control the humidity is to always maintain the air conditioning on. There are tools that can measure the humidity in the air, called Hygrometer. The worse thing that one can do is to open the window to “air out” an apartment. Perhaps one can open the window for an hour while cleaning a house, but to maintain the fresh air in an apartment, the ideal is to change the filter of the air conditioner once a month, and to professionally clean the tube at least once a year.
Long Term Vacation
For those who travel and leave the apartment vacant for months at a time, it is imperative to leave the air conditioning on, even on automatic, so that it will turn on when the temperature rises too much, to contain mildew. It is also recommended to spray bleach on the sinks and bathrooms before leaving, to prevent any mold.
It used to be common to use mothballs in empty apartments, but they leave a very strong odor, which is very hard to remove, so they shouldn’t be used. Today, there are small bags (DampRid, or others) that can be hung in the closets that absorb moisture, removing humidity, and preventing staining.
The problem of constantly using the air conditioning is that it consumes a lot of electricity. Many of the new constructions today are built with the conservation concept, and many already use ceiling fans to control the temperature. There should always be a balance between the humidity, temperature, and energy usage.
For those that are not used to the air conditioning, it appears to be an annoyance, but for those that understand its benefits, for health reasons as well as the maintenance of an apartment, it is a wonderful tool!