Air conditioning in the southern United States is almost a requirement, depending on where you live. We just had a window unit in our living room go out a few days ago, and yesterday I got the replacement unit put it.
This has really made me think about what life must have been like in these parts of the country 100 years ago. How in the world did people survive in 100F+ heat without air conditioning? I've got a few thoughts on this, and will put together another post later on how to do it ... although I don't think anyone will give the false impression that it would be nearly as comfortable as having a/c available.
I grew up in central Texas without an air conditioner, so I've got a few ideas. I'm also doing some research on what people did 'back in the day'. So, for all you frugally minded folks in the south, stay tuned for what to do to reduce your electric bill this summer and keep the a/c down to a minimum.