A/C in the summer...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by MissWull, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2010

    In order to try to avoid a crazy electric bill next month...I have a question for you all.

    We tried not to use the a/c...but after it felt like I was in Vegas or Arizona yesterday when I got home (I work 25 miles away and the weather is very different)...I was just melting. So around 10pm after my husband was trying to install something in our bathroom, I look at him dripping with sweat and we both are thinking the same thing...we need the a/c!!!

    Anyway, my parents always used to run their a/c at night, my mom would turn it on around 6p...cool down the house and turn it off, or leave it on until she woke up in the morning at 4a.

    My husband tells me that he worked with this guy who's an engineer, who used to work for an a/c company, and he told my husband the best thing he learned while there was to keep your a/c on all day (he'd keep his thermostat at 79) and that way once it gets past that the a/c goes on brings the temp down and then goes off. He told him that was better/cheaper than getting home when it's like 90 in your house, blasting the air to cool down the house, turning it off in the morning, then repeating that routine.

    I'm worried to leave the a/c "on" all day. I mean we won't be using it every day, but it's supposed to be exceptionally hot this next couple of days. It's currently set at 83.

    How do you all use your a/c units during the summer? This being our first house, and our first time using the a/c in it, I'm worried!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Close your blinds- lots of heat comes in through windows.

    If you are not home during the day, set it at a higher temp for those hours. Set it to a cooler temp to come on about an hour before you get home.
     
  4. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    I leave mine running, and it has been so humid here that it has been going for the past two weeks! can't wait for that bill to come in. I set and leave it, I don't want to have to go outside to "warm" up so 72-75 is good for us.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Our AC is turned on in April and it stays on until October. I never turn it off. My thermostat is set on 78, but it lies since that temperature keeps the house between 70-72. (It's an old thermostat, not one of the digital kind.)

    July and August are always the warmest months, and the biggest electric bills. The bill for June was $90, and the bill for July was $130.
     
  6. newbeeteacher

    newbeeteacher Rookie

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    I think it will be cheaper in the long run to leave your AC 'on' all day especially if you set it at 83 (which is personally too hot for me). In my opinion, it will cost more to cool down a house that is hot like a desert everyday than to maintain a standard 83 all day long.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm im south Florida, so there's not much choice. But, FL Power & Light told me to just leave the a/c on at a steady temperature. I do that and it is easier all around. There is so much humidity here that I think we have to keep our thermostats set lower than people do in other climates.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I'm in Houston, so we only turn the ac off during the 2 days of "winter" in February. LOL. I keep mine set at at constant temperature (about 82) all day, and that seems to work best for me. :)
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I've heard the same thing as your husband. We keep our house at a freezing temp. In fact, I supplement the house ac with a window unit in the bedroom that I turn on at night.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    We actually keep ours at 79 or 78. It's mostly to take the humidity out. I keep all our blinds closed during the day as well. It's so funny to me, when it's nice out we close the blinds & then in the winter we open to get any sun that we can!!! LOL!!!

    We like to spend time in our basement when it's really hot, we don't like to mess with the thermostat, so down to the basement where it's cooler yet!!!
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Our thermostat is set on 70, year round. My dh works in a factory that in some places is over 120 degrees (not kidding). He is in the office, but occasionally has to go in those places. He would flip if the air was anything more or less.
     
  12. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I have AC in my car that I use in the summer, but our city is naturally air conditioned by the fog most of the time :lol:
     
  13. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I have central a/c but I rarely use it...even in sweltering NC! I grew up without it and can't justify the cost. I only run it once in awhile, but especially when doing housework and never at night.
     
  14. LetsDoSomeMath

    LetsDoSomeMath Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I live in Arizona--- it's HOT!! My brother also owns an A/C company here. This is what he told me to do-- and yes, I believe him and I do it.

    Buy a programmable t-stat... During the day when no one is home, you should set it at 80 degrees during the day (we used get home around 5pm here-now hubby works from home and I don't start work for another week) then at 3:00 I set it to 79 and 4pm I set it to 78 (which is here I keep my house).

    The purpose of this is because if you set it at 80 all day and turn the air down to 78 when you get home-- the AC is working HARD to cool the house--- if you have it start to cool the house a few hours before you arrive-- the AC isn't working so hard to cool the house.

    1. Lowers your AC bill
    2. Saves wear and tear on your AC unit.

    In the summertime- our electric bill pushes $400 (we have a big 2 story house). During the cooler months (which thankfully in Arizona, we have more cooler months than hotter months) are AC bill is closer to $80-
     
  15. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2010

    My programmable thermostat is set at 77 for most of the day. I have a dog with a LOT of hair, so I don't want it to be any hotter than that when she's home. It gradually cools down throughout the evening and eventually reaches 72, which is how I like it when I sleep.

    Living in Texas, you can't NOT have the a/c running all the time.
     
  16. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2010

    Great, thanks for all the replies. 83 degrees is way too hot for me as well, I'd rather have it at 72, BUT I don't want to pay for it to be that temp! Eeek.

    LetsDoSomeMath: OMG! I nearly fainted when I read about your $400 electric bill!!! That's exactly what I'm afraid of happening. My husband is like, well we'll just see what the bill is next month and I'm like ummm NO, I want to know beforehand!

    It's supposed to be 100 degrees the next couple of days, then drop back to the 80s by next week. So for now, we'll only be using it for a couple of days...but with all of this being new to me, I'm just nervous to even use it for a few days!

    I think maybe we'll set it for a certain temp when we're gone, and then see if we could set it for a cooler temp right before we get home. I'll have my husband play around with it. Thanks so much for your guys' responses!
     
  17. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I think try to run things that will make it warmer in the morning or towards evening ie the dishwasher. The dryer we have the vent closed in there & just close the door.

    Also try to close some of the vents in rooms you're not using as much. Like our basement we generally have them closed because it's cooler in the basement already & when your try to heat it, it's still cold. We did by a space heater for where we do sit, not that we are using it.

    We keep ours pretty warm...considering some people... it's enough to take that "ugh" feeling out & be able to be comfortable.
     
  18. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Oh! Good idea to close the vents in the rooms we don't use as much. :) I'll do that when I get home. Luckily our washer & dryer are in the garage, so that doesn't generate as much heat. And since none of us felt like standing in front of the stove, it was cereal for dinner last night! Hehe.
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Closing the vents also "pushes" the air to other rooms, if that makes since. I close like the entry way vent & one of the bathrooms because the door is usually open unless someone is in there & the vent is behind the door... so I figure it doesn't do any good in there.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    We don't have it on all day or all throughout the night. We turn it on when we pretty much can't take it any longer in the afternoon & turn it off after a few hrs. We have fans running too.

    At night, I sleep w/ the window wide open & the fan on (all night).
     
  21. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Oh yes, I have ceiling fans in every room and they make a huge difference. I had a nice breeze off the pond yesterday and made a huge mistake and turned the a/c off. Boy it was brutal in here this morning. Wont' be doing that again any time soon, although it was nice to have some fresh air.
     
  22. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Our air condition is set at 75 and is on all day and all night. It normally turns itself off about 9:00 at night and we open up the house, then sleep with windows open and ceiling fans on. Our electric bills are about $450 a month in the summer and about $275 in the winter...everything in our house is electric (we don't have gas lines here).
     
  23. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    My boyfriend and I live in Tampa and we don't ever turn our a/c off. I'm not home during the day, but he is. When he wakes up he turns it to between 75-78 depending on how hot it is outside.

    The a/c gets dropped to 68 when I go to bed at night and is that way until he gets up (usually around 10a.m.).

    We keep all the blinds shut, use window fans…… (can you tell we like it cold?)

    We pay for it though. Our electric bill for June was $225.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Last night, my husband opened the upstairs windows when he went to bed. When I went up, a couple of hours later, the railing on the stairs was wet from the humidity--ummm, that's why we have on the air conditioning on in the first place. This morning, when I came downstairs, the blinds on all of the back windows were wide open and the sun was streaming in! Grrr.... I don't need it cold in here, but would like to not break into a sweat going up and down the stairs!
     
  25. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

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    I live in Vegas so we have no choice but to run a/c. Ok, I suppose there is a choice but it doesn't feel like it on days like today when the temp. is 110+! We've had to replace/repair air conditioners a couple times the first 4 or 5 years we lived in this house. Wear and tear from the hot temps and running a lot I suppose? :confused: The air conditioning people who come out always give the same advice... to keep the air on throughout the day and use the programmable thermostat to change the temp as needed. Since we've started doing that we haven't had any repairs needed, knock on wood. I have no idea if that coincidental or due to following their advice but I'm not taking any chances!

    We have two units. The upstairs unit only turns on from about midnight to 6 am. The rest of the time it is set to 80 and rarely kicks on. The downstairs unit, on the other hand, gets much more use. It is set to go down to 78 degrees when I wake up in the morning for about an hour while I get ready. Then it turns itself back to 80 until my husband gets up a few hours later. When he gets up it is back down to 78 until he leaves. Then it sets to 80 again. The last two setting are to 76 when I get home and back to 80 around 11pm. The weekends are set differently. This seems to work well for us and it keeps the house a comfortable temp when we're here and minimizes wear and tear on our units. I also think it keeps our bill down because the units are never running for more than 10-20 minutes at a time where as they used to run for hours at a time when I'd just turn it on hot days.

    Sadly our bill is still about $300 in the summer (sometimes it is more like $350+ in July) but that is down from when we first moved in. I do think having 2 units raises that cost quite a bit though. I don't even want to think about the bill that is coming next month after the ridiculous temperatures we've had recently! :eek:hmy:
     
  26. yarnwoman

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    We are in Southern Ca and last year the Sept bill was $350.:dizzy: That was way more than my pocketbook could handle. The bill had steadily climbed from June $150 to the Sept bill. I sat down and tried to figure out what to do. I heard what others have said: set the control at 78 and leave it there. So that's what we are doing. So far the June and July bills have been half of what they were last year. We have fans on and close the curtains.
     
  27. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I keep mine on all day. It's set pretty high during the day, but it's better because the house cools easily at night. If I leave it off, then I would have to run it entirley too much to make it comfortable at night. I have not had it set at an uncomfortable level all summer and my electric bill has been under $100 every month.
     
  28. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    It was 116 today ...AC is a must in AZ :)

    I look at it like its my winter. I dont turn on the heat EVER so if I have to have the AZ on for 3-4 months its ok because the rest of the year I have close to perfect weather.
     
  29. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Have you checked to make sure your dry venting is clear all the way out of your house? Sometimes that is a hidden cost builder.

    I live in an area where AC is a necessity. We, like many, leave the house at a constant 78/79. It works for us. We have energy efficient windows with some kind of tinting in them. We also have extremely effective insulation. We know that in the summer we are going to get clobbered and in the winter it will be easy, even opening our windows, just the opposite of people with brutal winters.
     
  30. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Where do you live in Arizona that you have more cooler months than hotter months? I'm in AZ and I run my A/C nine months out of the year.



     
  31. yearroundteach

    yearroundteach Companion

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    The company that installed the newest unit comes out once a year to do a "check up". I assume their checking the vents but to be honest I don't know.

    We also have tinting on our windows. They aren't energy efficient though. Just not a cost I'm will to take on right now due to other projects. It is definitely on the list... someday :) Yes the winters do make up for the higher bill in the summer. It is extremely rare that we ever turn on heat. Typically we just have to turn on the fireplace for a month out of the winter at the most. Results in a slightly higher gas bill but nowhere near the summer electric bills!
     
  32. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    It's been in the 90's here but the real killer is the humidity.

    Our upstairs ACs (window units) are new and have efficiency settings. They stay on all the time. We have one on either end of the floor. They both stay at 72 all day, but they only run when needed. When we go to bed, the one in the bedroom goes down to 68.

    Downstairs we have an old AC that doesn't have an efficiency setting. If you turn it on it runs constantly and it is old so it is very noisy. The upstairs ACs keep the house at a decent temp and the cool air sinks downstairs, so we only run the big one for short periods of time to cool down the house or if we are cooking or something.

    Our electric bill is the lowest on our street, according to the electric co. graph.
     
  33. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I switched all my lightbulbs to the new efficient, cooler kind. I use ceiling fans in whatever room I am in.

    Don't forget to leave doors to rooms open at least a little - so the air conditioner can pull the hot air out of the rooms.

    Use your oven judiciously. Even though my toaster oven is less efficient (not well insulated), it heats up quicker so I use it when I can.
     
  34. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    I guess I've never really given it much thought. We keep our thermostat on 74. Upstairs we keep it on 78, but we rarely ever go up there. I turn on the bedroom ceiling fan at night, but the AC always stays on in the summer. Of course, it's not always running. I don't think we have a crazy electric bill. We are fortunate to have a lot of energy saving appliances; new windows; good insulation.

    I'm not sure what we do in the winter. We just keep it on whatever is comfortable. I don't like it toasty, and neither does he.
     

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