For the most part, we are very comfortable in our home on the island because 10 months out of the year we have some type of breeze flowing through the house. My husband constructed our home to take advantage of the wind by putting in many tall louvered windows which allow for greater circulation. We have 4 ceiling fans; one in the kitchen (a must), one over the computer area (another must), one in the bedroom (an absolutely necessity which I will get to) and one upstairs in my "craft room".
In allowing for wonderful ventilation, there is one area however that is a "dead area." We have one wall that divides the living room/kitchen from the bedroom. This wall blocks most of the breeze that we would get from the living area and even though we have 6 windows in our bedroom, when the wind dies down or it is just a "gentle" breeze, that room is the hottest. So, the ceiling fan is just perfect.
Some people on the island (mostly newcomers) have air conditioning for various reasons. One individual has a health problem and needs the added relief it provides so that he doesn't overtax his system. Another couple is here once a month, on average, and it is very difficult to acclimate oneself to this heat if you only spend a week at a time here before returning to the air-conditioning of the U.S. Some people have a unit only in their bedroom, and some of the islanders are included in this group. A few stores, over the past few years, on the Cay have air conditioning. Not so much for their customers (which we appreciate in the heat of the summer), but to also keep the groceries they stock fresher.
Heat here affects many things, not just humans. For instance, do not buy large quantities of band aids. Over time they lose their effectiveness and the sticky part ends up, well, not sticky anymore. Rubber bands are another problem. Over time they become brittle and lose their elasticity. Medicines can deteriorate much faster and it is an absolute must to keep spices in your freezer! I have had packages of dry onion soup in the package turn to liquid over a short period of time - and the package is sealed and in a Zip-Loc bag! Bread molds faster so it, too, must be kept in the refrigerator. Vitamins in the form of gel capsules are not a good thing to get because they turn to goo in a very short period of time. Elastic waistbands - well, eventually they lose their stretch and not necessarily due to weight gain!
I am very glad to be able to live where I do not have to have air conditioning. I find that when I am in an air-conditioned room for any length of time, my sinuses start plugging up. Even when I return to Florida for visits, I find that after a few days sealed up in an air conditioned house takes its toll. I want to throw open every window and let the fresh air in. But, alas, this is not possible because people now have security systems on their windows which preclude them from opening them!
I have always liked my house open with the fresh air circulating through and even when I lived in Florida I would hold out to the last moment before I would turn the A/C on. Once I made it to the first of July!
For you see, when we have rain and wind and rough seas there is nothing to do but inside work or, failing that, lay around and read. Poor us!