In late October, it's time to rip off the sealing tape and bring in the units without dropping them on an innocent foot or to the pavement below.
The two bedroom air conditioners need only cross from the closet to the window. It's the monster dining room air conditioner that has been stored in the basement that elicits the most grunts and groans as it travels up a flight of stairs, through the kitchen to rest and catch its breath in front of the window.
It wasn't always like this. When I grew up in the second floor cold water flat upstairs from grandma, we didn't even have screens outside our windows. We had these sliding screens that adjusted to the width of the window and let in a hot summer breeze through about ten inches of metal panels.
When I was nine, Dad surprised us all with a Lasko electric oscillating window fan. On sweltering summer days I'd sway to the left and right to stay in the modest breeze.
When we moved to our house across town, Dad brought home fans that filled the windows. His concern was whether to face the fan to draw the inside air to the outside, or to face it in so that it stirred the room with a fresh breeze of outside hot air.
Dad worked outside as a carpenter all year. He'd spent a few years in the Fijis, so he was just fine most of the time without air conditioning. After I got married and moved out, my folks put an air conditioner in the living room. By that time my new family was living in a second floor attic apartment. My new wife picked out a cooling unit that served our three rooms well.