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Old 05-29-2014, 11:24 PM   #21
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Here in Texas, southern exposure isn't a problem. The sun is so high, roof overhang will shade most/all of the wall. And on a two-story house, even if the sun gets to a lower-story window, it is at an extreme angle, so not much direct insolation.

It is the Eastern and Western exposures that are the killers. There the sun will be normal to the surface for many hours of the day. Before they started building all sorts of two-story houses situated every which way, there was thought in how houses were sited, and where windows were to be placed, and where to avoid or minimize. Sort of a passive (anti)-solar design.

In general, houses on a East-West street were the best, as there would be windows to the South and North, looking into your own yard and out to the front, and fewer/smaller windows to the East and West which is towards your side neighbors.

But houses on a North-South street have problems, as windows to the front of the house, and to the back yard, face directly East and West... not good. And the best place for windows sun-wise would be looking at your neighbors, and them looking at you.

For working people, the worst was probably a house on the West side of a North-South street. The near-backyard would be shaded by the house for hours in the morning, while people are at work and can't enjoy it. And then when they come home after 5 PM, the West wall of the house and backyard are like a furnace! Ouch!

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Old 05-30-2014, 12:43 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
My highest bill was $330 for August 2013, for the usage of 2,800 KWh.

My home is a 2-story, 2,700 sq.ft., with a diving swimming pool where the pump runs 5-6 hrs/day. Thermostat is set at 78.

How old is your A/C? Mine is 10 yr old. I do not remember the SEER.

My A/C is around 15 years old. I don't know the SEER. Even though my condo has no west facing windows and only 2 south, it is a 2nd floor unit with garages below. The garages are not much cooler than the outside air. So I have some hot areas below.

My jan electric bill was $20. April was $28. It struck me as odd that April was only $8 more than January. But it makes sense because I doubt that inside gets up to 85 that much in April. But in June, July, and August it's 85 24/7

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" - Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:13 AM   #23
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I lived in Glendale back in the early 70s, and while the day time temps were pretty darn hot, mornings and evenings didn't seem so bad. However, the humidity these days is probably higher.

I would guess that they are now building new homes with foam insulation and much better windows and would imagine the AC costs are much lower compared to the older resales you would find in Sun City.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:39 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
I lived in Glendale back in the early 70s, and while the day time temps were pretty darn hot, mornings and evenings didn't seem so bad. However, the humidity these days is probably higher.
The Phoenix metro area has grown a lot since the 70's and the result is that the night time temperatures continue to rise. All the cement/asphalt and built up areas act like a big heat sink that absorbs the heat during the day and releases it at night.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Packman View Post
My DW is finally considering ER in the next 6 months. We have lived in the Denver area for 23 years and are considering relocating to an Active Adult Community - perhaps in the Phoenix area. I am heading there in the next few weeks to scope it out. While we both want out of the snow belt, I'm a bit terrified of the summer heat in Phoenix. We do like the low humidity climate of the West.
Isn't there somewhere else that would meet your needs without being so hot? The summer in Phoenix sounds hellish to me.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:46 PM   #26
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We lived in Boulder, Colorado for over 20 years and recently spent a few months exploring Tucson as a place to live.

My take, FWIW, is that Tucson is much more livable than Phoenix. There's a limit to the sprawl, a really nice downtown and easy access to hiking and biking trails. The 5 degree nominal difference in summer temperatures might not seem like much, but it does make a difference.

That said, there's no way I'd even consider living there if we didn't have family in the Pacific Northwest as well as friends in the highlands of New Mexico we can spend June through August with. We're avid hikers, cyclists and tennis players, and short of getting up at 5 a.m. to play tennis (the other activities are out of the question) there's just no way to get up early enough for anything but a swim (pool access is helpfu if not mandatory!).

Someone else already mentioned Albuquerque, which has some planned communities. Otherwise I'd think at the very least you'd want to have access to a cabin in the mountains back home in Colorado or check out Silver City, New Mexico or mountain towns in Arizona for a regular summer rental. Being trapped indoors for 4+ months at a time is much harder than bundling up in Colorado's cold, in my view.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Isn't there somewhere else that would meet your needs without being so hot? The summer in Phoenix sounds hellish to me.
Wow, thanks for all of the feedback. My DW lived in Phoenix and Tucson about 25 years ago and thought the summers weren't too bad. I'll still go to AZ and check it out, but maybe we do need to look into other options. I can't really get into the humidity of FL summers either.

We've loved CO for the years we've lived here, but 5 feet of snow per winter and tennis ball sized hail that has wrecked two vehicles and one house roof in the last 5 years has had an big negative impact on me. It's time for a change for us. Gosh, with 50 states to choose from, this shouldn't be too hard!

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