Why no A/C?

Jul 14th, 2003, 08:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 71
Why no A/C?

I'm curious as to why no A/C in London. Not even on the tube?

I've been to California and see why they don't use a lot of A/C along the coast but since London is so humid, 75 can be uncomfortable.

I imagine there is some cultural basis for it.

I was reading the memoirs of one of my relatives who went to London and all over Europe in the 50's. Even in the 50's Europe was still decimated and recovering from WWII.

I was wondering if they just were so deprived of luxuries for so long during the recovery period after WWII that they never saw the need for a/c when other things were so much more important.

Or are they so used to their climate that 75F at 100% humidity feels cold to them-hence no a/c and no ice?

Anyone have any ideas?

violet2 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 640
I think the age of buildings and facilities has something to do with the lack of A/C in London. The Underground was begun in the 1800s. Retrofitting is a huge undertaking.

Your theory may be right as well. Other examples are the undersized appliances that are traditional in the UK and Europe. Another factor is cost--electricity is expensive, appliances are expensive, etc. in the UK.

For what it is worth, things are slowly changing. A/C is more standard in upper tier hotels, shops, and restaurants than it once was in London.
KidsToLondon is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,647
I can't answer your question explicitly, but as with most things, I imagine it's the money. London has a fairly moderate temperature, and it's always more of a decision to put in AC for places like that where it isn't really needed that frequently.

I live in Wash DC which has got to be a zillion times more humid than London, and I don't even need AC here when it's 75 so I don't feel a need for AC at that temp--85 and over, okay. I used to live in California on the coast for a long time and never had AC there because the temp was moderate as well as being less humid, so I do notice the difference. I don't think of London as that bad at all, although the tube itself can be awfully hot. I agree it is more humid than some other cities farther south, though.

Right now I checked the weather and London has only 46 pct humidity, whereas Washington DC has 64 pct and Paris is 27 pct--so it's in the middle.
Christina is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,618
My impression is that Europeans (and I'll include the British and Irish here) are much more energy conservative than we Americans.
This is a generalization, but more of them are willing to drive smaller cars, more willing to have chillier homes in winter (as in, that's what sweaters are for), more willing to have warm rooms in summer, especially when the summer season is a short and unpredictable one, more willing to have darker hallways in public buildings. We Americans have some wonderful traits, but energy conservation isn't our strong suit.
elaine is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,247
In addition to energy conservation, on the tube it is impractiical in most instances due to a heat exchange problem. A/c produces heat and tunnels can become over heated resulting in fires, etc. !
I'm not really that smart! I had read as article a few weeks ago while looking for tube info.

jody is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
I watch a lot of BBC garden shows and the "rank and file" gardeners keep reporting that things are definitely hotting up, esp. in London and southeast UK. Trees are budding earlier each year; flowers bloom earlier and longer; Mediterranean-climate plants are doing surprisingly well and plants that enjoy a "traditional" English cool and wet climate are showing signs of stress.
Living without airco (as we do) isn't so bad IF you can open your windows and catch a breeze. Too many new buildings, though, are like riding the ICE train in Germany--you're sealed in and were designed based on the "old" cooler climate, rather than the new, hotter one. When a heat wave hits, it can be unbearable.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 11:00 AM
Posts: n/a
Sorry, but I live in the DC area myself where is is, as was stated, very humid. But anyone who thinks that London, known for its often 100% humidity which is also known over there as FOG, cannot be just as sticky as DC..well....
Jul 14th, 2003, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 71
I don't know the answer to your question either, but I'm assuming, like here in Chicago where I live, the housing is just so darn old! I moved last year from the DC area, from northern VA, and could not believe that as hot as Chicago is during the summer, I could not find a condo or apt. with AC! Even the newer rehabbed units BOAST of having central AC. Being from the south, I still have a hard time adjusting to living without AC. When I travel abroad, I make sure I have AC, or I travel in the fall/winter. It just goes to show that you tend to demand what you're used to.
teachersue is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Aug 13th, 2011 05:22 AM
Nov 7th, 2008 01:23 AM
Aug 28th, 2003 03:46 PM
Aug 23rd, 2003 06:26 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:04 AM.