• I<3HEATPUMPS@lemmy.one
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    7 days ago

    It’s not the AC that are incredible. Modern heat pumps are incredible. They are the best thing since the sliced bread. I could talk for hours about heat pumps. They’re just so efficient.

    Heat pumps - they pump my heat.

    Did I mention I like heat pumps?

      • Phoenix3875@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        Non-native English speaker, but I looked it up the other day and it seems that pedantically an A/C only cools things down and heat pumps can both heat and cool.

        • GissaMittJobb@lemmy.ml
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          7 days ago

          ACs are just heat pumps where they forgot to install the reversing valve.

          Heat pumps running in heating mode are basically ACs that are trying to cool down the outside. The fundamental technology just moves heat from one place to another, leaving one place warmer and one place colder.

          This is also how fridges and freezers work - they have heat pumps that pump out the heat from inside their box and as such make the room they are in warmer.

          • GreatAlbatross@feddit.uk
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            6 days ago

            It’s why it’s so annoying that dual function AC/Water CH don’t seem to exist (or at least, they don’t qualify for government subsidies).

            In the summer, I’d like 3KWH of cooling. And in the winter, maybe 15KWH of heating. But to do that, I have to buy two boxes.

        • offspec@lemmy.world
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          7 days ago

          Yes, an air conditioner is a heat pump with a fixed orientation, what basically equates to a handful of valves to switch the direction of the refrigerant. The actual expensive parts that generate the temperature difference are identical between the two machines.

          • MindTraveller@lemmy.ca
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            7 days ago

            In my country, air conditioners can condition air that’s too cold. Sounds like American air conditioners can only condition in one direction. Our air conditioners do all of the air conditioning.

            • Psythik@lemmy.world
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              7 days ago

              No we have both, and they’re still heat pumps. The direction the heat pumped is irrelevant; the fundamentals are the same.

              • MindTraveller@lemmy.ca
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                7 days ago

                Yes, air conditioners and heat pumps are indeed the same thing. Americans just don’t call the two-directional heat pumps air conditioners for some reason. I guess they don’t believe you can condition air by making it hotter. In my country, we consider heating part of conditioning.

                • nilloc@discuss.tchncs.de
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                  6 days ago

                  We call it HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning), and so do other countries that speak English for a reason. It’s different from heating in that air conditioning can also involve controlling air humidity/quality.

                  Heating gets its own because until reversible heat pumps, it was a separate system that only heated the building (sometimes not even the air directly in the case of heated floors).

            • ironhydroxide@sh.itjust.works
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              7 days ago

              Probably a local nomenclature thing. Heat Pump is the most common name for phase change cooling/heating system. (No matter the medium(s) being heated/cooled)

              • areyouevenreal@lemm.ee
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                7 days ago

                Yet I have never seen a food refrigerator called a heat pump. Air-to-air always seems to be called AC to differentiate it from the air-to-water the UK government wants to push.

                • Claidheamh@slrpnk.net
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                  7 days ago

                  I never see refrigerators being called AC either, and they’re air-to-air heat pumps too. People just call things what they want regardless of the technical details.

                • oatscoop@midwest.social
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                  6 days ago

                  Because at some point society decided to call them refrigerators or AC. The thing *inside the refrigerator or air conditioner" that makes it work is called a “heat pump” – that’s the unambiguous name of the device. Just like the bit inside a car that provides motive force is called the “engine” or the “motor”.

                  The device that uses a heat pump to both heat and cool a building is actually called an Air source heat pump, but since that’s a mouthful most people simply call it a “heat pump” to distinguish it from traditional AC that only works to cool an area. Sure, maybe you get that odd area the calls it something different (my region calls soft drinks “pop”) but that’s not the norm.

        • lemmylommy@lemmy.world
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          7 days ago

          There are also heat pumps that only heat. It takes a second valve or so to enable it to switch directions.

        • Cryophilia@lemmy.world
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          6 days ago

          Colloquially, “air conditioner” often refers to a centralized system with ducting, while a “heat pump” usually refers to a ductless mini split.

        • Captain Aggravated@sh.itjust.works
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          6 days ago

          At least in North America, the term “Air conditioner” means a device designed to cool a room, where a “heat pump” can cool or heat that room. They work by the same exact principle (all the compressing, condensing, evaporating stuff) but a “heat pump” has a method of running in both directions. You could probably contrive one that could run the pump in either direction but I think most use a valve to switch which is the high pressure/hot side and which is the low pressure/cold side.

          I grew up in a house with a heat pump, I currently live in one with an air conditioner and a furnace. When it’s time to replace my air conditioner (or do other heavy maintenance to the system) I’m going to look into a heat pump, with the furnace as a backup heater in lieu of strips.

        • areyouevenreal@lemm.ee
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          7 days ago

          Nope AC does both. What the word heat pumps means seems to vary on where you live. Here it’s mostly things that only heat water for radiators or hot water tank.

          Arguably they should all just be called refrigerators as they all use the refrigeration cycle.

      • PM_Your_Nudes_Please@lemmy.world
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        6 days ago

        Well… Kind of. Heat pumps are a more modern iteration, which can both heat or cool a room. And they’re not like a traditional central AC system, where you have a central compressor and ducts running to each vent. Instead, you run refrigerant lines to each room, then the individual room unit actually does the cooling locally. It’s the same basic principle (using refrigerant to move heat outside, thus cooling the air,) but heat pumps are a more modern take.

        And as an added bonus, a heat pump can also be used as a heater (and be much more efficient than a traditional heating coil.) Because it’s just moving heat around from the interior and exterior, and that can include moving heat indoors to warm the interior. And since they’re just moving heat (instead of using a coil to generate it) they can be over 100% efficient when you’re measuring wattage consumed vs heat produced.

      • I<3HEATPUMPS@lemmy.one
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        6 days ago

        AC is a version of heatpump that cools your house. Refridgerator is a heatpump that keeps your food cool. Freezer is a heatpump wäthat freezes things.

        AC is not the same thing as heatpump. AC is just one application of an heatpump.

        • offspec@lemmy.world
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          6 days ago

          It is the exact same hardware running in different configurations, all that changes is refrigerant flow direction.

          • I<3HEATPUMPS@lemmy.one
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            5 days ago

            That is exactly what I said. I was just trying to say that heatpump is not the same thing as AC just as car is not the same thing as an engine.

            • offspec@lemmy.world
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              5 days ago

              Seems like you’re talking about heat pump (technology) and I’m talking about heat pump (commercial product)

              But yeah, heat pumps (technology) are used in lots of every day places.

    • buttfarts@lemy.lol
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      6 days ago

      Im gonna have a nice long wank listening to this user passionately talk about heat pumps

    • skitlex@sh.itjust.works
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      5 days ago

      We’ve got a ground source heat pump with underfloor heating and cooling since two years. It’s always a comfortable 19-22 degrees Celsius inside (66-72 Fahrenheit) and we’d never want anything else.

    • Ibuthyr@discuss.tchncs.de
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      6 days ago

      Tell that to the vast majority of Germans. They’d rather throw their relatives into the furnace for heating than buying a heat pump. That’s all thanks to far right populism by the way.

      • raspberriesareyummy@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        Keep yourself cool to worsen the problem? sounds like a great plan! /s

        AC users anywhere in the world where temperatures / humidity are in a range that humans can adapt to are morons.

        • freebee@sh.itjust.works
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          7 days ago

          Passive cooling and designing buildings to not overheat during summer in the first place is the way. And phoenix or Las Vegas shouldn’t be much more than a gas station, they’re unlivable hellholes without permanently pumping enormous amounts of energy in.

        • Freefall@lemmy.world
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          7 days ago

          I have AC and heating and live in a very human-fiendly climate. I don’t feel like a moron running it off my green power to heat and cool a very well insulated house beyond what the geothermal handles.

          • Cryophilia@lemmy.world
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            6 days ago

            Exactly. You can use a kajillion megawatts to power your A/C, who cares if it’s all renewable. Especially if it’s onsite generated (solar).

          • blandfordforever@lemm.ee
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            7 days ago

            Oh, yeah, I looked at that. I can get a couple hundred watts of panels that will realistically generate about 300 watt hours of power on my balcony on the sunniest days, given that they won’t be mounted at a very good angle. I can have it charge a battery pack that’ll last a few years. Then I get about 90% efficiency if I’m lucky with the inverter. Even at $0.50/kWh, that’s $0.15/day I’m saving or about $50/year if we just assume a cloudless year-round summer. That’ll save me just enough money to buy a new battery when the first one gets old.

            Solar power will get there one day. Its great for many purposes but its still not practical for most apartment dwellers.

          • azertyfun@sh.itjust.works
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            7 days ago

            These won’t even power a small portable AC, if you have a balcony and it’s on the south side and you have enough m² to angle the panel halfway properly, you’ll be lucky to generate 500 W.

            That’s only half the power draw of a small AC unit, and doesn’t even get into the fact that in most places you cannot hook up a solar to your house without an approved inverter with appropriate safety features (otherwise you’d endanger the linemen in case of an outage). Where I live if you still have an old installation with net metering, you also pay a tax based on the inverter capacity (which is good because net metering is bullshit subsidies from the poor to the landowners).

            PV energy is good, but apartments are not a reasonable use-case for it. Residential PV is inherently a tool for privileged house owners, and if PV is to help apartment dwellers it’s through grid-scale renewables and dynamic pricing and/or smart grids that provide cheap power for A/C on sunny summer days.

            • RidderSport@feddit.org
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              6 days ago

              You might not entirely cover the power consumption of an AC, but you can drastically lower the cost of using one by at least partially generating your own electricity. As for the technical aspects I cannot argue at all, as I have no knowledge whatsoever in that regard.

              • azertyfun@sh.itjust.works
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                6 days ago

                It will take years before you make that money back on the investment though, depending on local taxation and electricity prices. And that’s assuming that you have a decent enough orientation in the first place - some people live on the north side of their apartment block!
                Always do the maths on PV for your situation, a 25 year positive ROI does not justify a purchase but a 10 year ROI might.

                We need more A/C to survive climate change, but the solution can’t be “put PV on balconies” because it’s highly situational (not everyone has an adequately big south-facing balcony) and won’t solve your problems if you could not afford the cooling bills in the first place (the only people who consider a 10 year ROI a good investment are the ones with capital to spare on home improvements). As with all personal renewable tech, it’s a cost-saving tool for the well-off, not a structural solution to anything.

            • GbyBE@discuss.tchncs.de
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              6 days ago

              Hello fellow countryman!

              I think you grossly overestimate the power consumption of a heat pump (a split heat pump that is). On the hottest period of the year so far, ours used about 1,75kWh for a 40m² space.

              One or 2 balcony mounted panels (given the right orientation, even with a suboptimal inclination) will easily deliver that much.

              You are however right that most apartments can’t profit much from solar power… The dynamic pricing however can make the cooling really cheap in the summer months. Just switch to non-dynamic pricing before the winter months to get the best year round price.

              • azertyfun@sh.itjust.works
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                6 days ago

                Two panels on the balcony of a 40m² studio? The 2x1m 400+ W ones? I did not even have a balcony when I lived in a studio lol. Anyways if you only require 1.75 kWh that’s less than a euro of electricity even on fixed pricing. I think the real lesson here is that we haven’t had summer yet this year so the AC barely turned on at all.

                I just checked on Hubo, their cheapest portable A/C is 7000 BTU, i.e. 2 kW. That means if you had to use it at full tilt for an hour (not exactly an outlandish scenario in the previous years’ summers), you’d use more electricity in that hour than you’ve had all year this year.

      • Metz@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        I can barely afford food. a solar array is super luxury. plus i don’t have place for it anyway.

    • anivia@lemmy.ml
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      6 days ago

      Or get solar on your roof. Usually when it’s hot enough outside to need AC, then that means the sun is shining

    • Psythik@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      That’s fucking nuts; the only time my power bill gets anywhere close to being that high is for three hours a day in June and July (34¢/kwh). For most of the year it’s only 9¢/kwh.

      Don’t know how other countries do it, but in the US the home energy sector is highly regulated. Probably one of the only things we do right; but we soon as lawmakers try to propose similar regulations to healthcare and the internet, suddenly it’s “SoCiAlIsM”

    • Dkarma@lemmy.world
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      6 days ago

      Or, you know, buy a solar array. I hear it’s windy in the UK too. 🙄🙄🙄🙄

  • Freefall@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    How is AC being a game changer surprising?? When it is hot I see my contacts in the UK sitting with icepacks in their laps or with fans all around them spraying themselves with water. Imagine if the whole room was just a tolerable temperature, it isn’t hard to picture. Seems odd.

    (Yes I get it just isn’t a thing there and they have buildings older than time itself…but still…)

    • CreativeShotgun@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      I just got hit by beryl, it is hell on earth here right now. Now power for two days so far with temps arouns 90-95 f andn%100 humidity. Sleeping is now considered a water sport and no ac in sight.

      The worst part? You cant cool off even with a fan, there’s too much humidity forntour sweat to evaporate and cool you. I wish i at least had cold drinks

      • PM_Your_Nudes_Please@lemmy.world
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        6 days ago

        Yeah, some parts of the US recently experienced something called a wet bulb event. Basically, that’s a phenomenon where the heat and humidity are both so high that your body’s natural cooling mechanism (sweating) stops working entirely and people will overheat simply by being outside. No amount of shade or cool drinks will help, because your body’s primary cooling mechanism has been defeated.

        Basically, sweat works by evaporating. When water evaporates, it takes heat with it. This allows sweat to cool you down as it dries. To be able to accurately determine what the temperature feels like, you can’t just use a regular dry thermometer. You need to use something called a wet bulb thermometer. This is basically a thermometer with some wet cotton wrapped around it, to simulate sweat. As the wet cotton dries, it creates a more accurate gauge of what the ambient temperature feels like, the same way sweat cools you.

        But a wet bulb event is when the wet bulb thermometer reads above 95°F. At that point, it means the cotton isn’t drying fast enough to cool a person down. At this point, the temperatures are dangerous even to fit and healthy individuals in the shade with fans and cool drinks. Because a breeze won’t even cool you down when it’s that hot outside; A fan will actually heat you up even faster, because the air is adding heat faster than evaporative cooling can remove it.

          • PM_Your_Nudes_Please@lemmy.world
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            6 days ago

            Nah, true wet bulb events are pretty rare. With a wet bulb event, you overheat even while sitting still in the shade with a breeze. Because again, you’ve reached the point where a breeze is actually warming you up instead of cooling you down. They’re becoming more common nowadays due to global warming, but they still only happen occasionally. Again, a wet bulb thermometer will typically read significantly lower than the ambient temperature, because it’s being cooled by evaporation.

            At wet bulb temps in the 90’s, construction crews start delaying, school athletics aren’t allowed to practice outdoors, cities start setting up pop-up cooling centers for the homeless, etc… Even the army limits outdoor work to 10 minutes per hour, because the risk of heat stroke is too high. Wet bulb temps above ~87 are rare, so when it reaches the 90’s emergency management crews go into full blown crisis mode as people start getting heat exhaustion just from walking around the block.

    • Retrograde@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      The other thing in the UK is that screen doors and windows are non-existent so if you want to open them for fresh air you’re inviting all the bugs in as well

      • Dkarma@lemmy.world
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        6 days ago

        They don’t even have screening? Guys wtf get a hardware store that’s worth a shit.

        • lud@lemm.ee
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          6 days ago

          I wish we did in Sweden as well. Parts of the country has a fuck ton of mosquitos during summer.

          Inward opening windows are unfortunately not uncommon which makes screens a pain.

          Newer windows can usually do that fancy flip trick and a bunch of other fancy stuff though.

          • Ibuthyr@discuss.tchncs.de
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            6 days ago

            Inward opening windows are the standard in Germany and nearly everyone just buys a cheap bug-screen set that you can simply wedge into the window frame. They cost like 20€ a pop. There are all kinds of solutions for this.

    • pumpkinseedoil@sh.itjust.works
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      6 days ago

      My house always is cool anyway - it’s well-insulated so heat doesn’t come in unless I open a window, and I open the windows every evening when it’s cool outside.

      Air conditioning would just waste energy and increase humidity

        • The Menemen!@lemmy.world
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          6 days ago

          Yeah and that is my problem with them. I often get a sore throat when in airconditioned rooms, especially in smaller rooms. But it is not as bad as it used to be. Don’t know if my body changed or the ACs became better.

        • pumpkinseedoil@sh.itjust.works
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          6 days ago

          Oh? My workplace has one of these that you fill with water that then cools the water and very slowly sprays it into the air, mixed with air of course. Works well to make the room cooler, but even in the manual it says that it shouldn’t be running all the time because the increased humidity can cause mold.

          So which kind of air conditioning are you using?

          (and even when it decreases humidity the other reasons still stand)

          • gmtom@lemmy.world
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            6 days ago

            That’s not air con, that’s a swamp cooler. Air-conditioning works by the same mechanism your fridge does. And the cool coils condense water vapour in the air, thus reducing humidity.

            • uis@lemm.ee
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              6 days ago

              Air-conditioning works by the same mechanism your fridge does.

              Boiling-cold)

            • Dkarma@lemmy.world
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              6 days ago

              Haha holy shit…they thought THAT WAS AC?

              This right here is the bare minimum as to why education is so important.

              • Jax@sh.itjust.works
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                6 days ago

                Just so you know, there are places where people live differently from you.

                Would you expect the same level of knowledge about keeping a house warm at the equator? Because I’d argue you need to better your education if you do.

              • pumpkinseedoil@sh.itjust.works
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                5 days ago

                I’m living in an area where AC is completely unnecessary. About +15°C in warm summer nights (that’s when I open my windows to let fresh air in), +30°C peak but all houses here are well-insulated (they have to be because of winter).

                Of course it’s different in the USA, you have higher temperatures and don’t insulate your houses (a well-insulated house keeps its temperature: it stays warm in winter and cool in summer).

      • MutilationWave@lemmy.world
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        6 days ago

        Lots of places in the US don’t even get to a comfortable temperature at night. Right now I’m in Pennsylvania which is pretty far north and the lowest it’s going to get tonight is 80F with 80% humidity. It was 100F today with the same humidity. I actually got sick at work from it.

        • fuck_u_spez_in_particular@lemmy.world
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          6 days ago

          Honestly, for me a reason why humans shouldn’t live in such places. For the Europeans here (that have not much clue of weird American units):

          80 F = 26.667 C

          100 F = 38 C

            • fuck_u_spez_in_particular@lemmy.world
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              6 days ago

              Over night, with 80% humidity? Are you sure? I’d be close to hospital with that temperature without some kind of AC, or at the very least ventilation… (I’m sensitive to heat). And sleeping with that temperature even with ventilation is going to be very uncomfortable and not relaxing…

              Also we’re talking about lows, so this is likely not the temperature inside when there’s no AC, more like 30+C

            • HelixDab2@lemm.ee
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              6 days ago

              Temperature is absolutely a problem. Without getting too deeply technical, a heat index above 99F/37C is dangerous even for healthy adults. Las Vegas this week has seen temperatures up to 120F. The forecast today is for a temperature high of 118F/48C (low of 90F/32C overnight), with a relative humidity of 8%. That works out to be a heat index of 111F/44C.

              Where I am, today’s high will be 82F, but humidity is sitting at 90%, which is a heat index of 92F.

              You can also look at wet bulb temperatures; at a certain point, your body can’t cool fast enough through evaporative cooling, and you’ll die from heat.

              • The Menemen!@lemmy.world
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                6 days ago

                I lived through dry summers around 40°C without ACs without a problem my whole 40+ years of life. But 30°C with a high humidity is a different thing. Much comes down to being accustomed to things though naturally. I have friends who grew up in southern China who get problems when the heat is dry.

                But people live in areas that get 35+°C every year for several month since the beginning of humanity itself.

          • Captain Aggravated@sh.itjust.works
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            6 days ago

            So you’re trying to say most of North America is uninhabitable? I’m in North Carolina, the temperature and relative humidity were in the 90’s yesterday. It’s July.

            • fuck_u_spez_in_particular@lemmy.world
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              6 days ago

              I mean it’s thanks to modern technology not uninhabitable, but we’re “wasting” a lot of energy to make it habitable, and this is getting worse in the future, because of climate change. I couldn’t imagine living somewhere where, I can’t get out (of AC cooled buildings) because it’s too hot.

              • SuddenDownpour@sh.itjust.works
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                6 days ago

                25º during summer nights either already was or is going to become normal around gigantic areas of the world. Getting all Indians to just live anywhere else is never going to be plausible.

                • fuck_u_spez_in_particular@lemmy.world
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                  6 days ago

                  I didn’t say it’s realistic to move that much people around the globe, it did grow like that historically, but I do think, that migration because of this is becoming a sociodemographic and political problem in somewhere near the future. And is already somewhat in areas that are less wealthy and instable politically (e.g. northern Africa).

              • The Menemen!@lemmy.world
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                6 days ago

                People live there for many thousand years now and most of the time without ACs. It is defintly inhabitable. We “waste” the energy to make it comfortable.

                Considering the energy we “waste” to make most of Europe inhabitable on the other hand… And here it really is about “inhabitable”, because without heating we couldn’t live in e.g. Germany.

                If we only lived in areas where it would be comfortable without heating and ACs we’d have to kill of 90% of humanity.

                • fuck_u_spez_in_particular@lemmy.world
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                  6 days ago

                  True, there’s a lot of heating necessary to make life comfortable in Europe (but also in USA btw. probably even more, because I’d say the standards for insulation are better in Europe, and temperatures are more extreme more in the center of the continent).

                  But it’s absolutely possible to live without (most of) the heating, by:

                  • Using passive solar energy (even in the winter) + good insulation
                  • Clothing! There are ways to help with heat too via evaporation chill though (I’m just sitting here with a cooling west, because I easily overheat, and that makes my life quite bit more comfortable in summer without AC, even or especially outside)

                  Though as you correctly notice, the combination of high temperature and humidity is what potentially creates a dangerous climate for life, even with things such as cooling wests in “low” high temperatures (within 30-40C), because evaporation chill stops working, so there are times and places, and these times and places will get more frequent where humans can’t survive outside (without some serious technological counter-measures) while with cold temperatures you can always wear (somewhat specialized) clothing.

                  Evaporation chill does work even with quite high temperatures, but at some point (and I do think there are places that reach that point), the quite effective human cooling system is not able to catch up anymore (I think somewhere around 50+C IIRC).

        • pumpkinseedoil@sh.itjust.works
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          6 days ago

          Damn, I didn’t expect it to be that bad outside of the southern states.

          I’m currently getting ~30°C peak but about 15°C at night. We only have a few nights every year that reach 20°C. Austria.