Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Do You Need Air Conditioning In Cambridge?

Do you need air conditioning in Cambridge?  If you’re asking that question in the summer of 2009 the answer is No! I haven’t even taken the fans down from the attic.  But this summer is exceptional – usually we do get a few stretches of hot and humid weather.

Perhaps a fan will do in lieu of air conditioning in Cambridge

Perhaps a fan will do in lieu of air conditioning in Cambridge

But this is New England after all and you have to wonder – is air conditioning essential?  More and more buyers seem to think so. Me?  I’m not a fan (no pun intended!) of air conditioning at home.   It simply was never that common around here – nor should it be – the Northeast summers just don’t justify it.  My parents have never had it and as an adult I’ve had a/c only once in a condo I owned for just one year.  I’m not a fan of heat and humidity so I completely understand air conditioning’s allure but can’t justify the expense myself – or the lack of fresh air.   But to each their own – and if the house of my dreams happened to come with central air I’m sure come July or August I’d be delighted to be cool.

One of my new pet peeves is that newly constructed condo buildings in Massachusetts have been awarded various “green” certifications despite having air conditioning.  There is nothing green about home air conditioning in the Northeast.

Air conditioning at work or in public buildings is another story.  In the A/C temperature wars at work I’m firmly in the camp of colder-is-better. A/C in a real estate office that houses 50+ agents and even more pieces of office equipment is essential.  Energy dollars spent for the benefit of many people rather than a few makes all sorts of sense.

It seems that more people – in the interest of the environment and their pocketbooks – are foregoing air conditioning.  Today’s New York Times Home section had an article “The Unchilled Life” about this trend.  Several of those interviewed live in much hotter parts of the US.  Luckily for us in Cambridge, our older housing stock is often designed in a way that promotes natural cooling:

“Houses built before the 1960s, when widespread use of window air conditioners began, tended to incorporate many of the elements that make it easier to stay cool: higher ceilings, alignment of windows to facilitate cross-ventilation, more windows on the north side of the house than the sun-exposed south, and a large covered porch to shield the sunniest part of the house.”

There are some great tips in the article for surviving the hot days and nights sans A/C.  Read more tips for staying cool here.

In addition to the article about air conditioning or the lack thereof, today’s NYT Homesection had articles on the Brimfield flea market, a spread about a fabulous renovation of a lake house in New York, and a piece about a garden in Norwich Vermont.  Though it’s a bit slimmer nowadays, if you’re at all house-obsessed the Thursday New York Times is a weekly treat not to be missed.

In the end my method for dealing with the hottest of days is to spend plenty of time in my air conditioned real estate office in Cambridge. Stop on by – we’re at 171 Huron Ave in Cambridge.

Categories: Living Here

  1. Del Weinstein

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