It’s strange that I never really thought of Australia, particularly Melbourne, as having extreme or highly varied weather. Sure, I knew it got really hot in summer, and pretty darn cold in winter, but somehow it never really clicked that it changed that much between the seasons. It took my friend from the UK coming to visit in order for me to realize, yeah, this isn’t exactly normal for everywhere else in the world.
My friend even told me that in England most homes don’t even have heating and cooling. Well, most places do have heating, but not cooling. Whereas in Melbourne, it’s vital that commercial buildings and even homes have both heating and air conditioning systems. The weather just changes so dramatically and so suddenly. It was strange to me that a home wouldn’t have a need for an air conditioner, but the more I thought about it I realized it must seem strange to my friend that in Melbourne a cooler wasn’t just a luxury, but necessity.
When I think about it, I’ve never lived in a house that hasn’t had ducted heating and cooling. It just became a requirement. While some people think they can get through the summer without a proper cooling system, making use of the classic twelve-dollar standing fan from Kmart, realistically, you’re hard pressed to do anything but suffer on those 40-degree days when you don’t have an air conditioner.
So, statistically, more and more people are installing heating and cooling systems, and ducted heating and cooling systems cost a lot, especially if you’re looking to get one installed in the middle of summer. The demand is just so high.
I know that I am just so lucky to live in a home that came with heating and cooling. Some of my friends have it terribly, they barely have a functioning air conditioner, and some only have temperamental radiators or portable space heaters in the winter. Sure, it means that they just love to spend time with me when the temperature hits above 30 or below 10 but I also feel like it just isn’t fair.
It shouldn’t be solely up to the landlords to decide which houses get heating or cooling and which ones get neither! Especially in a climate that changes as much as Melbourne does. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can really do, except have my friends round whenever it’s too hot or too cold.
Today especially, it’s been 34 degrees for the fourth day in a row, sometimes I’m so tempted to move somewhere it doesn’t get so hot, like England.