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Is a fan ok in lieu of A/C in Paris in July?

Is a fan ok in lieu of A/C in Paris in July?

Jun 5th, 2005, 03:49 AM
Original Poster
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Is a fan ok in lieu of A/C in Paris in July?

I have booked an apartment in Paris for two weeks in July. It doesn't have A/C but the rep said she will provide fans and that there a lot of windows. I didn't think it would be a problem as we are planning to spend most of our days in the city. But will we be comfortable at night? Does it get cooler at night?
GodsGift is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 03:56 AM
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Hi GG,

Yes, it gets cooler at night.

Your problem will be how late at night until it is cool enough to sleep.

ira is online now  
Jun 5th, 2005, 05:17 AM
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It's not the heat; it's the humidity.
xyz123 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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A lot will depend on the building, the location of the apartment in the building in terms of the floor, air circulation, north side vs. south side, etc., and then -- obviously -- the weather. We were reasonably comfortable during some relatively warm weather several years ago because even though it was hot during the day, the thick walls of the place we were staying hadn't been heated up over a long period of time, we were up off the street and we weren't on the south side of the building. In an extended heat wave, the bricks, plaster, etc. can warm up to the point where it can become difficult to dissipate the heat even when things cool down a bit at night. Fans can work very well if you're not battling too much humidity and stored heat in the building. Worst case with fans and heat: something that feels like convection cooking.
Flyboy is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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No - it will not be enough. You will simply be blowing a lot of hot air around.

And remember - a lot of places you will go during the day don't have AC either - so you will be sweltering all day - and then sweltering all night.

Every time I have been in Paris during July or August there have been several days over 90 - and without AC rooms simply don;t cool down that much at night. (We found rooms in the hotels WITH AC were only coolish - not really comfy the way we keep them at home.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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But as usual it all depends on what the weather is like when you are there.

We were in Paris for 10 days last July and it was so cool we had to wear coats and scarves (light ones, but still)!

As you have already booked, I say make sure you get the fans, but don't worry about it too much, as there is probably nothing more you can do at this point.

There's nowhere I've been in Europe where the A/C makes me shiver as it does in the US, anyway. Maybe it's because Europeans are more energy efficient?
hunnym is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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~10,000 people died in France during the heatwave of 2003. Enough said.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Actually, I don't see what that statistic about the heat wave has to do with normal trends, that was an extremely hot summer. I'll bet once in history there was freezing weather in July, that doesn't count either.

Look at the weather averages at websites like wunderground.com
Then add in the fact that the past doesn't always predict the future, and most especially, we all have different tolerances for hot weather, especially hot weather in hotel rooms in large cities in July. I would not book a place to stay without a/c in July in Paris, but that's me. I don't sleep well if I'm not comfortable, and I'm not comfortable in most indoor spaces in most cities in the middle latitudes in summer at night without a/c.
Many hotels in Paris that don't have a/c drop their rates in July and August because they know not having a/c is not an incentive for people to stay there.
elaine is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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There are a couple of facors here that need to be developed further. Leaving the windows open is not always an option because the rain comes in.

I don't care if you have a fan or not, closed windows, trapped heat, and high humidity are not comfortable - fan or no fan. Yes, it cools off at night IF you are sitting in the Luxenbourg Gardens or strolling under the Eiffel Tower, but inside a building on a rainy evening is a different story.

Another major reason I want air conditioning is the noise factor. Even if the windows can be left open, street noise is often a factor. Possibly the apartment will be on a quiet side street, and this is a moot point. But one fact is certain: If you have air conditioning, you know you will be comfortable all the way around.

Finding it in an apartment is rare. If you have obligated yourself, you will just have to tough it out.
bob_brown is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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It depends. If your apartment is in the tree-shaded 7th or 16th, where there is usually a decent breeze at night and the streets are wider, it won't be so bad unless it exceptionally hot (2003 summer hot). Both of those arrond. are generally quieter at night than other parts of town. In the Marais, it might be more of a problem--the streets are narrower and don't have as many trees, heat and pollution are more tightly trapped there, and it's (generally) a noisier neighborhood.
Even if it does get hot, a cool shower at night before you go to bed should help you relax. Also, check with the owner about sun and shade in the apartment--hopefully the bedroom gets afternoon shade. If it gets the sun in the afternoon and evening, it will be warmer at night.
For rkkwan et al, we lived through six summers in Brussels, including the summer of 2003, with no air conditioning at home or work. Sometimes it was less than pleasant, but unless one is elderly or otherwise very sensitive to heat, life without airco isn't that bad. It's nice if you have it, of course.
So far, this summer is not setting up to be a repeat of 2003 (by this time in 2003, it had already been unseasonably hot for weeks), so fingers crossed, it won't be that bad.
BTilke is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 09:38 AM
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Let me elaborate a little bit more.

Let's face it. Most of us Americans are less tolerant to heat than most Europeans. I'm sure there are more French living in places with no A/C than there are Americans doing the same. It may take 38C a week to kill a Parisian, but probably a lot less to kill the OP, or make his/her stay very miserable.

But anyways, I admit that my reference is not the most relevant; however, I do think A/C is needed for a pleasant trip because of humidity, noise, etc...

I was in London 4 summers ago in May, staying at a 2* hotel with no A/C. Sure, I survived using a fan and took 3 showers a day. But I asked myself, why subject myself to this?

[And last week, when I arrived in the UK, it was 13C and I wore a jacket. So, what do I know... ]
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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You might luck out and be only moderately uncomfortable, but to answer your original question, - No, a fan is not a sufficient substitute for A/C in Paris in July.
Seamus is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:05 AM
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>I'm sure there are more French living in places with no A/C than there are Americans doing the same. <

Population of the US is about 300 million. That of France is about 60 million.

I should think that the number without AC is about the same.

ira is online now  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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Nobody can answer this question because it completely depends on what the weather is like during your actual stay. It is not one temperature in Paris every single year, every single day in July. On top of that, as others said, it depends a great deal on the layout and construction of the building and, in particular, the bedroom.

I've been in Paris during July quite a few times over the last two decades, and I would say 80 pct of the time, it was not hot enough at night that it would bother me without AC. I have also been there during some of the notorious heat waves of the last few years, and even though I was in an apt. with a fan, it was terrible for some nights. It was merely uncomfortable, not life-theatening (and people that die during intense heat waves, in Paris or any other city, are usually the elderly or others at special risk, not healthy younger people).

Sometimes it gets cooler at night, and sometimes it does not -- at least not noticeably. Unfortunately, the times when it does not are during the intense heat waves.

Since you have booked this apt., all of this is rather beside the point now, isn't it? There is nothing you can do about it. Anyway, lots of Parisians are in the same situation, of course, so you will survive. At least the apt. is providing fans, that's better than nothing.
Christina is online now  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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HI--I think you will probably be warm in the apt but if AC had been a priority for you, you would not have booked it. Everything depends on what you are accustomed to, and what you consider "comfortable". For me, lack of AC in Paris would have been a dealbreaker even though we live w/o AC here in New England.
socialworker is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Well, I need to be more careful in my exact words in a thread like this. I meant to say more people in France live without A/C than in the US proportionally, in areas with similar climate. Not exact numbers, but ratio. In similar climate.

I don't think that's questionable.

But what I mean exactly is that most Americans are used to having A/C in areas where it can get relatively warm, even for just a few weeks. Or people who live in such places will head out to places that are cooler. For example, many homes in New England do not have central A/C. I lived there, so I know. But still I know plenty of people getting window A/C units for perhaps just one room, for those few nights in the year that requires it. Or they head to Maine, Cape Cod or the islands where it's cooler than in the city of Boston.

But the OP is going into Paris. In a apartment with no A/C. What choices do he/she have if it gets pretty warm? Buy a window A/C unit and put it up? Abandon Paris and head to the beaches? Are those options?
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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We visited Paris in the summer of 2003, the big heat wave. It was very hot. The hotel we booked said it had AC, and it did , but only on the top floor, so we were very hot. I reccommend AC. Sure this summer may not be as hot as 2003, but I would not want to take the chance. I don't thinkk a fan would help much.
travelatte is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Ask the apartment owner about getting in a portable a/c unit. You'll probably have to pay for it, but it will be more than worth it in terms of creature comfort.
Underhill is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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It seems like all the helpful observations may be moot in this case. The OP says he/she has booked the place and if I understand, from what others here have previously said, an apartment requires a hefty (non-refundable?) down payment. So unless he/she is willing to lose a lot of money, it does not sound like there is any alternative....That is why I said, that if AC had been a priority, the apartment would not have been booked.

OP--original poster, ie the person who initiated the query....
socialworker is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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FIrst, what is an OP??

I live in Saudi arabia. It is really really hot here, and we have A/C going all year round. It's already 120 F during the day. I am tolerant to it being a little warm, but I'm worried about my kids sleeping comfortably.

Thanks, everyone, for your candid replies. I do have the option of cancelling, although it would be costly and embarassing. My husband thinks we should just bite the bullet.

GodsGift is offline  

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