Latest from Columns

Photo 16903019 © Skypixel |
Photo 51372886 © Thinglass |

A Service Story

May 16, 2024
Photo 210659396 © Freemanhan2011
Illustration 9227645 © Ashestosky |
Photo 161233010 © Jamesteohart |
Photo 43963025 | Business © Choneschones |
ID 214678919 © Michael Edwards |
Man Sweating Dreamstime L 214678919 644fc34542361

The Rant: Imagine No AC

May 1, 2023
Sound alarmist? No more so than those who want to put diapers on cows, and do away with meat and backyard barbeques. Our favorite realist returns to a favorite theme.

It seems like the green movement's ultimate aim is to eliminate air conditioning altogether. In fact, environmentalists have written books about eliminating air conditioning. So what would a world without air conditioning look like?

No Air Would Start a Northern Migration

If there was no air conditioning, the sunbelt would quickly depopulate.  No one wants to sweat out a Texas summer the way our forefathers had to.  It was General
Phillip Sheridan in the 19th century who said if he owned hell and Texas, he would rent out Texas and live in hell.  Hell is exactly what sunbelt summers would feel like without air conditioning. 

No matter how expensive the green lobby and regulators make our industry, it will continue to exist. 

An old proverb about the Carolina low country before the days of air conditioning was, “In the spring a heaven. In the summer, a hell.  In the fall, a hospital.” This would apply across the southeast and southwest United States.

No Air Would See Productivity Plummet

 Productivity would suffer dramatically.  People do not work as well when it’s hot

and miserable. They slow down. We might even change the way we work, opting for Spanish style midday siestas so that little to nothing gets done in the afternoons.

 No Air Would Mean Security Bars on Every Window

If the outdoor ambient is in the triple digits and there’s no air conditioning, windows will stay open to draw the precious relief of a summer breeze. It is hard
to be safe when every window is open. Thus, security in this world would require bars on every window.

No Air Would Reduce Home Affordability

Without air conditioning, building designs would change. We would build thicker walls with more mass. We would design buildings to be open to summer wind patterns. Homes would cost more and more people would be priced out of the home ownership market.

No Air Would Mean the Nation is Less Healthy

The greens love to talk about the risk of death from rising global temperatures. The truth is, more people die from cold temperatures than hot. Well, at least they
do when we have air conditioning to allow people to escape from the heat. Without the ability to escape into air conditioned buildings, there would be more heat strokes. Those old enough to remember southern buildings before air conditioning will remember the smell of mildew permeating a building and the associated health problems mildew brings.

No Air Would Turn Hospital Stays Into Nightmares

Imagine being sick in a hospital without air conditioning. Disease would flourish. People would sweat from heat, not just fevers. The indoor environment would be less sanitary since windows would need to be open for fresh air.   

No Refrigeration Would Reduce Food Options

If there would be no air conditioning, there would be no refrigeration. Food would have to be sourced locally so it could get to market quickly. The fresh produce found year-round in every grocery store would disappear. Meat producing animals
would need to be slaughtered locally just before sale or else salted and preserved like our ancestors would do.The farm-to-table concept nominally utilized by trendy restaurants would become true: local farm to table with choices limited by the season and location, and affect every household.

 No Air Would See An End to Computers

Integrated circuits and computer chips are manufactured in clean room environments. This requires air conditioning. Special air conditioning systems are used to cool many mainframe and mini-computer systems. All of this goes away if air conditioning goes away. 

No Air Would Mean the End of Many Pharmaceuticals

Much of the biotech world requires special air conditioning in the production of pharmaceuticals and refrigeration in the storage and preservation of them. Take away air conditioning and you take away much more than clean air.

No Air? No Way!

Air conditioning is here to stay. Environmental zealots who live in bi-coastal areas with moderate summer temperatures may advocate for the elimination of air conditioning and regulators may try to make it difficult and more expensive for manufacturers, but air conditioning and refrigeration will never go away because of all of the consequences listed above. This means that air conditioning technicians and contractors will always have a future. No matter how expensive the green lobby and regulators make our industry, it will continue to exist. As long as contractors maintain margins, the burden of an increasing cost structure will be borne by the public while the profits are reaped by the industry.

 To stay ahead of the game, you need the power of a business alliance, like the Service Roundtable, HVAC’s most affordable business alliance.  Learn more at or call 877.262.3341 for more information.

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.