Saturday, November 7, 2009

More on The Determinism of Air Conditioning..


Thank you for your prompt, detailed, interesting and most educative response.

Of course, here in Russia there are a lot of "single-family dwellings." We call this type of houses "частный дом" = "a private house."
Those may be built either of bricks (usually three brick layers thickness of the walls) or of rather thick wooden logs.

The walls in Russia MUST necessarily be very thick, while the inner space should inevitably be rather tightened and crowded, in order to keep the house warm and to save and protect the inhabitants from THE FROST.

My words "for obvious reason" meant that it is the climate that plays the crucial role in all this matter.
Because nobody in Russia would ever make a hole in the wall to install a cooler (air-conditioner).
It is absolutely unimaginable.

You Americans have been concerned how to ensure the cooling of your SPACY rooms, while we Russians have always been concerned how to keep warm inside our SMALL rooms.
For the same reason the Russian house normally has only one ground floor (plus the subterranean basement shelter), without any second storey.

Yes, of course, I know what is Sawzall.
The point is that one could hardly make a hole through a Russian brick wall three-layers thick with such a tool.
Or through a wall of hard massive logs 14-18 inch thick.

By the way, when watching American movies on TV, I feel always surprised to see how easily the police (or the indruders) can burst through into the American house.
A couple of kicks would usually seem to be enough to break the door.
In Russia, one should blow at least an anti-tank grenade, or something of the kind, just for the same purpose.





Very interesting. My first thought after reading your note was to wonder if you are as worried about global warming as we are in the U.S. – probably not.

I gather that your "private houses" don't even have heaters only and no air-conditioning units. I should perhaps mention, then, that the house came with an air-conditioning unit. It is installed outside because it is noisy. It is perhaps four or five times the size of the one I have in my study. I let my wife set that as she chooses, but as I said, she likes the house much warmer than I do. It might not come on unless the temperature in the house gets above 80.

The weather here in San Jacinto has gotten cooler the last few days. I have a thermometer that shows inside as well as outside temperature. Outside it is 52 (degrees Fahrenheit) as I write this (at 08:20 in the morning), but inside (at least inside my study, it is 70).

My local newspaper provides the weather forecast for several important cities in the world including Moscow. I see that today your high temperature will be 48 degrees and the low 37. We may have a few days like that in San Jacinto, but not many. We are expecting a high in San Jacinto of 75 and a low of 51.

I looked back at my thermometer. At 08:32 it has warmed up another degree outside.

However, you can't generalize about all American weather from Southern California. This region is considered one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S. because of the weather. You mentioned watching American movies. Have you seen Fargo? That takes place in North Dakota where the weather is closer to what you are used to.

I worked with an Engineer who came from South Dakota. He had always planned on moving back there after he retired, but then he watched the movie Fargo and it reminded him of his childhood; so he changed his mind and stayed here in Southern California after he retired.

As for me, I have lived in Southern California for my entire life – aside from 13 months spent in Korea.

1 comment:

Michael Kuznetsov said...


I feel a bit confused with one phrase of yours:
"I gather that your "private houses" don't even have heaters only and no air-conditioning units."
So, I am not sure if I understand you correctly that you may suppose a Russian house to be without a stove. Eh?

In Russia, there cannot be even imagined a house without this or that heating device.
I did not mention this fact because it seemed to me "too evident" to speak of.

In the Russian village "private house" there is most frequently the famous "Russian stove" that is stoked with firewood.
Less frequently with coal.

The urban "private house" can be heated also with the gas heater which makes water boil in a boiler and then the hot water circulates along the tubes around the house.

In the towns with big urban "blocks of flats" there are usually several giant boilers, each of them heating a whole region of the town with a great number of big multi-storeyed houses. We call this "центральное отопление" = "the centralised heating".

I understand the "air-conditioning" only as the "cooling."
Maybe I am wrong?
If you mean that your air-conditioner can also heat your home, I don't know.

Yes, some times, for the state of emergency, we can buy a little portable electric heater in our shops. But it can be used only for a short period of time for it is too expensive to heat the room during several winter months with the electric device.

What is "very hot" I remember from my own experience, as a young sailor. Once in India in the late 1960s, when our merchant ship was staying in an Indian port, our ship's "air-conditioner" appeared to be suddenly broken.
Oh, it was terribly hot!
We could not normally work or sleep.
Although it was most inconvenient, yet it was not mortally menacing.

But if, God forbid, the heating would have suddenly failed during the Russian Frost -- that would be not simply inconvenient.
That would mean for you only one end -- DEATH.

Of course, in case if you have not got enough crates of Vodka to survive the bitter frost :-)

You, Lawrence, can easily guess that we Russians care little, if at all, about the cooling. We have no such problem in Russia.