Woman with anorexic roommate enraged after she keeps turning off AC during heatwave

Gillian Sisley

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

In a Reddit post, a 23-year-old woman seeks advice after her roommate repeatedly shuts off the air conditioning while she sleeps.

The author, who has a physically intense outdoor job, shares that she comes home sweaty and exhausted from the heat and relies on the AC to cool down and get a good night's sleep. She explains:

“My roommate and I are both 23. It’s been getting into the 90s where we live, so I’ve been turning on the AC when I get home. I also work a physically intense outdoor job so I come home really sweaty and exhausted from the heat. The apartment will stay cool enough for me to fall asleep, but then later on I’ll wake up in the middle of the night completely drenched in sweat. I’ll then get up and find out that my roommate has been switching the AC off while I’m sleeping. This really upsets me, because it’s been making me really dehydrated and tired to begin with from not sleeping well, and it’s been impacting my work.”

The roommate, who is currently unemployed, initially believed the issue was about the power bill. The author continues:,

“When I finally talked to her about it I explained that I’m already very sensitive to heat to begin with, and that because we’re fortunate enough to have AC, I want to enjoy it when I get home, especially after a long day at work, and that the heat is causing problems for me. I even offered to foot some of her share of the power bill if she was really that concerned about it. But then she said that she turns it off because the apartment gets too cold.”

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning suggests that the approach for negotiating the use of air conditioning with a roommate could be to identify and mutually agree on temperature thresholds. According to the Gothamist, setting a temperature range that both roommates find comfortable can help alleviate conflicts about air conditioning usage.

She questions whether she is in the wrong fro what she did next:

“I told my roommate that she should just use some blankets or put a sweater on if it was really bothering her, because the heat is unbearable. She then countered by saying that because she’s in recovery from anorexia she’s really sensitive to cold, and that I’m not prioritizing her needs. I then responded by saying, “I’m sympathetic to your situation, but that is your problem and not mine, and it is starting to have a negative impact on me and we need to find some middle ground here, because I can’t take off my skin when it gets too hot”.”

The roommate didn’t like the sound of this, as the author concludes with:

“She then got extremely upset and angry and told me that I was being ableist and insensitive. I’m kind of bothered by this because I’ve also had struggles with eating disorders in the past. So am I wrong here?”

What do you think?

Is the author justified to demand that the AC be turned on, even though her friend who is struggling with anorexia gets cold easily?

Or is the author insensitive to not consider her roommate’s comfort, and she went too far by asking her roommate to wear warmer clothing?
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