Heading cross country by car has its challenges and rewards. The USA is amazing in its variety of scenery and geography, providing endless “ooh’’ and “ah” opportunities, along with varying time zones and climates. On a recent trip, I was surprised to discover a not so obvious challenge to sightseeing – temperature control.
Mountain snow storms and desert heat waves alternated rapidly, putting my car’s heat and air conditioning system to the test. During the afternoon, the air conditioner labored, with outside temperatures sometimes above 100 degrees. At night, frost appeared on the windshield while my numb toes danced, despite the fact heat was blowing in my face from the vents.
Road side motels with simple through the wall climate control systems faced the same challenges. They offered the generic heater and air conditioner combo, forcing me to pick a spot in the middle of the red and blue line thermostat. A hair one way or the other meant a hot sweaty room or a two blanket igloo. Ventilation came from running the fan without the heater or the air conditioner. Considering the vents outside the room were caked with road dirt and debris, I learned that ventilation is sometimes a state of mind. HVAC technical support came in the form of a sleepy front desk person not highly technical or interested. Did I try turning the AC off then turning it on, or would I like another room were the usual technical recommendations.
Arriving at my destination after eight road days provided me a new respect for the beauty of this country, and I look forward to traveling again. But next time I’m taking a HVAC technician and a new car.