The past 12 months have been insurmountable from a number of different angles. Aside from the global health crisis amid an uncontrollable virus, I lost my previous job, watched three family members die, and was forced to move across the country to find new work. I always kept a respectable savings account, but since then I’ve drained it dry. Week after week I find myself living paycheck to paycheck, but at least I’m surviving. And despite leaving my old apartment, the new one isn’t half bad. I actually have a bath tub for the first time in over a decade, as well as a refrigerator and oven that look like they were put in less than a year ago. It’s nice to have high quality features like modern appliances. Unfortunately, the apartment didn’t come with an air conditioner. I had to move to a region that spends most of its year in a prolonged winter season. For many in this area, air conditioning is optional. But for someone like me, it’s not—I need a/c to sleep at night and to stay sane whenever I’m home during daylight hours. At first I bought a portable air conditioner because I thought that they were an upgrade from window units. Unfortunately, they’re extremely inefficient machines. They literally recycle the very air that they cool because the inside of the machine gets so incredibly hot. Window units have this component literally outside, while the cool evaporator is the only portion of the machine that is on the inside part of your window. Therefore they don’t have to recycle cold air to prevent overheating.