Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-29-2007, 12:39 PM   #21
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
My local electric utility company is offering a 15% discount if you agreed to let your air-conditioner to cycle off during peak-demand hours. Is that a good deal?
A 15% discount off of what? All electricity used?

Sure, that's a good deal if you don't need A/C when it's hottest outside.

You'd need to figure out how much that is in savings to you and decide if sweltering during the peak is worth it. It wouldn't for me, but your mileage may vary.

The best way we cut utility bills? Move. When we lived in Houston we had a 2200 square foot home (as small as they made 'em where we wanted to live near my work) and electric rates at 16 cents per kWh. Last year we moved to an 1100 sf home in a town which purchases wholesale power and distributes it for about 9 cents. Between a new, more efficient A/C unit, half the space to heat and much cheaper electric rates, our summer electric bills are about 1/3 of what they were in Houston (about $100 per month versus close to $300 on average).
__________________

__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-29-2007, 12:44 PM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Spanky,
Depends on the execution of the plan.
We have a similar system. If we allow the energy company to cycle our AC during peak loads as well as our water heater (also electric) we get a discount.
In our case, we never notice the difference as they turn off the AC for 15 minutes every X amount of time. It may be per hour or per few hours. Check out the details.
__________________

__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 12:48 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
A 15% discount off of what? All electricity used?

Sure, that's a good deal if you don't need A/C when it's hottest outside.

You'd need to figure out how much that is in savings to you and decide if sweltering during the peak is worth it. It wouldn't for me, but your mileage may vary.

The best way we cut utility bills? Move. When we lived in Houston we had a 2200 square foot home (as small as they made 'em where we wanted to live near my work) and electric rates at 16 cents per kWh. Last year we moved to an 1100 sf home in a town which purchases wholesale power and distributes it for about 9 cents. Between a new, more efficient A/C unit, half the space to heat and much cheaper electric rates, our summer electric bills are about 1/3 of what they were in Houston (about $100 per month versus close to $300 on average).
Yes, 15% off form the electricity bill in the summer months only.

Moving is definitely on my mind since the weather in the Midwest (Minnesota) is less than desirable. It's hard to find a place with desirable climate and yet affordable. Coastal cities in the West, such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, have very mild climate but are so expensive to live there.
__________________
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
"zone" split ac heat pumps
Old 05-30-2007, 11:30 PM   #24
Recycles dryer sheets
nphx's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 285
"zone" split ac heat pumps

I live in AZ and we installed some split air units in the rooms we use most often. Instantly cool/heat a room to comfort when home - off otherwise (you wont convince me on numbers to keep it on all day) . Hardware on self install is inexpnesive from genieac.com but i would recommend having the freon piping done by a pro - i learned along the way and did some car ac work before.
__________________
nphx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 06:29 AM   #25
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
My local electric utility company is offering a 15% discount if you agreed to let your air-conditioner to cycle off during peak-demand hours. Is that a good deal?
It gets my vote. It is only a savings on the electricity on the A/C unit, so its not a huge savings, but every nickel counts. There is some extra wiring, but I don't think I was charged anything additional to install it.

In the 7-8 years I have had it, I can honestly say that I noticed my service was "interrupted" only a couple of times. I had to walk outside and check to see if the red light was on to be 100% certain !

Plus, it is one very, very small way of helping the environment !
__________________
theoldwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 06:34 AM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nphx View Post
I live in AZ and we installed some split air units in the rooms we use most often. Instantly cool/heat a room to comfort when home - off otherwise (you wont convince me on numbers to keep it on all day) .
Interesting !

I saw this type of system on "This old House" once. They are a good solution for Northern folks with hot water heat.

Are they common in AZ ? I thought most folks in that region used evap units ?

How is the cost of operation compared to what you had ?
__________________
theoldwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 08:14 AM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Split air conditioning systems are pretty cool and pretty easy to install. Condenser unit the size of a small suitcase sits outside, small blower unit mounts to the wall inside, drill a 3" hole in the wall to pass the wire/refrigerant lines through, plug everything in and the system self-pressurizes...although some states require a licensed HVAC guy to check for leaks and pressure levels.

Some of them have multiple inside blowers all hung to the same compressor.

Problem with split-airs is that while they're more powerful than a window unit and a lot easier to install than central, they're still pretty expensive. A refurb system with about 12000btu's is around a thousand bucks and a new system with enough kick to cool a small house is closer to 2k.

Really nice option for folks who have central air and need a little 'help' in a hot part of the house or to support a room/area addition.

Also, just for the record, I HATE evaporative (swamp) coolers. I live in the perfect region for one and for low cost, minimal cooling...they're just okay but bring a lot of problems with them. Every house i've looked at that had a swamp cooler installed had mildew and mold issues, rusty ducts, some dry rot. You have to leave a couple of windows open to prevent over humidification of the interior air. And its only a 10-15 degree drop in temperature and thats if you're sitting close to the blower. Not that helpful when its 105 degrees out.

Compared to the super high efficiency air conditioners available today, i'm not sure the much narrowed cost savings is really worth the problems.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 09:53 AM   #28
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 347
One more thing about swamp coolers. They are a breeding ground for Legoinella disease. The bug likes 70-90 degree water and dirt. Both of which are found in large quanities in a swamp cooler. The only way I'd use one is with a chlorine puck from a swiming pool in the water basin. Of course then you get the fragrance of chlorine through your house.
__________________
USCG regulations say you have to go out. They don't say anything about coming back.
USK Coastie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 10:42 AM   #29
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
We have no air conditioning in our home and we don't need it.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 11:23 AM   #30
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Also, just for the record, I HATE evaporative (swamp) coolers. I live in the perfect region for one and for low cost, minimal cooling...they're just okay but bring a lot of problems with them. Every house i've looked at that had a swamp cooler installed had mildew and mold issues, rusty ducts, some dry rot. You have to leave a couple of windows open to prevent over humidification of the interior air. And its only a 10-15 degree drop in temperature and thats if you're sitting close to the blower. Not that helpful when its 105 degrees out.
WOW

Thanks for that info. I'll remember that if I ever move to a dry climate !
__________________
theoldwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 11:35 AM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Quote:
We have no air conditioning in our home and we don't need it.
I thought it got hot in Minnesota in the summer. Why don't you need AC?

I'm sitting here in front of a fire right now. It rarely gets above 60 degrees outside.

Quote:
if you agreed to let your air-conditioner to cycle off
So they put a radio-receiver on the power to your air conditioner, and cycle it on and off? Does the receiver verify that it is indeed turned off when they turn it off?
__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 11:39 AM   #32
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldwizard View Post
WOW

Thanks for that info. I'll remember that if I ever move to a dry climate !
We use a swamp cooler. It works great when it stays below 95. For us the month of July is a little painfull durring the day. But our nights are ussualy 70, which cools the house down to 60.

In Wyoming a swamp cooler was perfect day and night. In Colorado it is a little underpowered.

I find the humidity in the house to be Ohio like on a 70 degree day. I find it a little refreshing from the skin cracking dry colorado weather. I do give my guns an extra coat of oil durring the summer.

My year long total utility bills add up to $900/yr (heating, cooling, electric and gas)
__________________
rw86347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 11:42 AM   #33
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I thought it got hot in Minnesota in the summer. Why don't you need AC?
We live by Lake Superior, a big natural air conditioner. It is about 50 degrees right now. For all I know, it could be 80 in Minneapolis.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 11:49 AM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
We live by Lake Superior, a big natural air conditioner. It is about 50 degrees right now. For all I know, it could be 80 in Minneapolis.

You guys need to move south...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 12:34 PM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Quote:
Lake Superior, a big natural air conditioner
IC, same idea here. Average summer and winter temps differ by less than 10 degrees.
__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 04:33 PM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
You guys need to move south...
But no farther south than Oklahoma...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 04:34 PM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
You guys need to move south...
But no further south than Oklahoma...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 05:44 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
But no further south than Oklahoma...
Actually, I was thinking Minneapolis...but no farther further more.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2007, 07:02 PM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Spanky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,046
Minneapolis does get hot and humid in the summer months. I can tolerate the heat but not the humidity. I know a few guys who actually would touch it up. They said they enjoy natural air instead of air-conditioned air.
__________________
Spanky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2007, 08:20 AM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
We live by Lake Superior, a big natural air conditioner. It is about 50 degrees right now. For all I know, it could be 80 in Minneapolis.
Right on the mark Yes, large bodies of water are great temperature moderators.
__________________

__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Saving strategy devo Young Dreamers 11 05-01-2007 07:22 AM
have the money. . . now what? marriedwell Hi, I am... 27 03-02-2006 08:48 PM
Don't waste your money rebalancing REWahoo FIRE and Money 48 07-08-2005 12:38 PM
Money Saving Sites terry1156 Other topics 8 02-11-2005 08:09 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:27 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.