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July 02, 2013

Air conditioning condenser unitMany lifelong residents of Los Gatos and nearby communities brush off the heat waves that visit us each summer with “it’s only really hot for 10 days a year, it’s not worth having air conditioning”. 

That was my own bent until this weeklong blast of heat struck.  The first few days, the house can cool down at night.  But after three or four sweltering days, the attic seems to collect the heat and return it into the home such that after a lengthy punishment of warmth, the abode never cools down at all.

Is it worse than it used to be?  

I grew up in Santa Clara and Saratoga, and I remember having triple digit days in summer.  I’m not sure that they were strung together for so many days in a row, though.  I recall the fog getting sucked in quicker than what we are seeing now.  One year I was in a 20 pound plaster body cast, which kept me warm year round.  Luckily, my parents could ship me to my grandparents’ home at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz / Scotts Valley when the temps soared.  It wasn’t needed all that often.

Wanting data, and not just memories, I searched online to see what I could find on the history of Los Gatos’s temps.  What I’d have liked to find is the number of days of over 90 or 95 degree temps here. No such luck.  I did, however, locate a site ( with past monthly weather data for our town.  What I read makes it appear that the weather isn’t any tougher now than we’ve seen in the past.  Have a look:

Past Monthly Weather Data for Los Gatos, CA [California] (“Los Gatos”) : JULY, 1900 – 2012

Old Timers of LG – is it hotter than it used to be?

Or am I the only old holdout without air conditioning who thinks it’s time to break down and get it?