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Air Conditioners

2023-12-04 00:00:00 / episode: 322


When I was a boy growing up in Canada, we didn't have air conditioners. Of course some rich people had air conditioners, but they were the window-mounted style which aren't very efficient. Then there were the air conditioners in the big businesses. But aside from that most people didn't have much connection with air conditioners in Canada.


Hi and welcome to the Les Perras podcast episode number 322. These episodes are a great way to practise extensive English listening and expand your vocabulary. Today's episode is about air conditioners.

Everywhere in Japan

While we didn't have air conditioners in Canada very much, when I came to Japan I was quite amazed, and pleased to find out that air conditioners are ubiquitous here. Just about every household has one or several air conditioners. On the other hand the climate demands it. It doesn't get that hot in the summertime in Canada, or at least it didn't used to. But in Japan it gets quite hot, and coupled with the humidity it means life without an air conditioner would be unbearable.

Many places in America

I think the same applies for many places in America. With the possible exception of the southwest, where it's quite dry, I think you need air conditioners in many, many places across America. Especially in the southern states and the southern Eastern seaboard where it's both hot and humid in a way that's similar to Japan. Once the humidity and the heat reach a certain level you need to have at least a safe room to get into to cool down and THAT necessitates air conditioners.

Not as common in Canada

I mentioned that air conditioners are not as common in Canada but the last 20 years seems to have changed that. Every time I go back to Canada I'm surprised at how much more common air conditioners are. I'm also surprised at how much people use them. Last time I went to Canada in the summer, I found myself feeling quite uncomfortably cool in many public spaces that were indoors. People like to be cold in Canada, I guess. I almost wanted to put on a jacket and it made me think how wasteful it was of our precious natural resources.

Efficient or not?

So are air conditioners efficient or not? I was quite surprised to discover that air conditioners are quite a bit more efficient than heaters are. In fact I found out that they are three and a half to four times more efficient than heaters are. This means that if you really want to save energy you're better off doing it in the winter by cutting down on heating bills. This, coupled with the fact that the hot summers can be quite dangerous, and I feel okay turning on the air conditioner as compared with turning on the heater. If you like listening to English for your extensive English listening then hit the Subscribe button below so you can get more of my podcasts. I’d love it if you made a comment below, too. Tell me if you have lots of air conditioners where you live.