My wife constantly uses the air conditioner whenever she’s home

By Quoc Truong   June 5, 2024 | 06:41 pm PT
I prefer a large, ventilated area, yet my wife insists on keeping the doors shut and the air conditioner running even when she cooks, trapping strong food smells in our home.

My 24-year-old wife and I, 26, have been married for just over a year. We are both employed by government agencies, and our earnings cover only our everyday expenses and social commitments.

Luckily, we don’t have to pay rent as my parents have given us a 30-square-meter apartment on the second floor of a building. The apartment is compact, featuring just one bedroom, a joint space for the kitchen and living area, and a bathroom.

Our apartment complex features a reasonably large and airy hallway, and due to our unit’s position above a spacious communal courtyard with trees, it remains relatively cool. Nonetheless, my wife always shuts the doors and activates the air conditioner whether she is just arriving home or already inside.

On particularly hot days, I understand her need for air conditioning, but she turns it on even on cooler days when temperatures range from 18-20 degrees Celsius, running it from when she arrives home until she leaves for work the following day. Meanwhile, I struggle with respiratory issues in enclosed spaces and frequently suffer from nosebleeds if exposed to air conditioning for extended periods.

When I voice my concerns, it often results in arguments. My wife insists she needs the air conditioner on, citing her constant use in previous residences. Understanding her position, I have proposed limiting the air conditioning to the bedroom, emphasizing that we should not become overly reliant on it.

There are many days when I cannot stand the air conditioning and choose to go outside to unwind, only returning when it’s time for bed. I dislike this because my wife prefers to keep the air conditioner set at 18 degrees throughout the night, which disrupts my sleep and regularly causes me to experience nosebleeds. However, as we are a newlywed couple planning for children, sleeping separately is not a viable option.

Additionally, the frequent use of the air conditioner significantly increases our electricity bills.

If this situation persists, especially once we have children, our living costs will become unsustainable. I have repeatedly discussed this issue with my wife to no avail, and due to our modest income, I have opted to take a second job in the evenings, returning home at 11 p.m., to supplement our finances and minimize my time in air-conditioned environments. Despite these efforts, my wife has not altered her habits.

What steps can I take to change my wife’s behavior?

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