Author Topic: Insane air conditioner use  (Read 8153 times)

galliver

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2017, 04:09:52 PM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 05:58:28 PM by galliver »

MandalayVA

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #51 on: July 12, 2017, 05:12:42 PM »
With that being said, we have visited Orlando, Atlanta, etc... during the summer months and I honestly don't understand how people down there cope with it..even with A/C.  The humidity down there is overwhelming to me.  May be you 'get used to it' but I'm not so sure. 

I've lived in Orlando for roughly a month, having moved from Richmond, Virginia.  The summer heat and humidity in Richmond is WORSE than Orlando.  Also, Florida almost never goes above 100 degrees.  Richmond is guaranteed at least a collective week of triple-digit temperatures along with 95% humidity in summer.  It's hot here, but it's not nearly as swampy as it was in Richmond.  Thanks to ceiling fans we actually have the thermostat set higher than we did in Richmond, and we're quite comfortable. 
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farmecologist

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2017, 08:45:11 PM »
With that being said, we have visited Orlando, Atlanta, etc... during the summer months and I honestly don't understand how people down there cope with it..even with A/C.  The humidity down there is overwhelming to me.  May be you 'get used to it' but I'm not so sure. 

I've lived in Orlando for roughly a month, having moved from Richmond, Virginia.  The summer heat and humidity in Richmond is WORSE than Orlando.  Also, Florida almost never goes above 100 degrees.  Richmond is guaranteed at least a collective week of triple-digit temperatures along with 95% humidity in summer.  It's hot here, but it's not nearly as swampy as it was in Richmond.  Thanks to ceiling fans we actually have the thermostat set higher than we did in Richmond, and we're quite comfortable.

I always say that you can always add more layers during the winters up here...but there are only so many layers you can take off where it is hot and humid.  :-)


Linda_Norway

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #53 on: July 13, 2017, 02:37:58 AM »
When living in a very sunny place, can you not use solar panels for cooling down your house? At least you are getting sun in the right time of the year to use the solar panels to the max.
And of course people can learn to cool the house in natural ways as much as possible, like shielding windows in the hottest part of the day. Ventilating with open windows at night (if safe enough).

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #54 on: July 13, 2017, 06:26:20 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

I hear you.  Many people seem to believe that Minnesota is up near the arctic circle somewhere (no joke)...but that's certainly not the case!  Especially down here in southern MN.  Summers can be hot and humid..and it seems to be getting worse.  However, it is really only hot/humid a few weeks of the year.  Spring and Fall are really great here. 

With that being said, we have visited Orlando, Atlanta, etc... during the summer months and I honestly don't understand how people down there cope with it..even with A/C.  The humidity down there is overwhelming to me.  May be you 'get used to it' but I'm not so sure.
As an OH native, not all of us can afford the cost of living in California with the jobs that are available... My house that I purchased for $55,000 in Ohio would be a $500k-$750k property in most parts of California.

mtn

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #55 on: July 13, 2017, 07:56:13 AM »
When living in a very sunny place, can you not use solar panels for cooling down your house? At least you are getting sun in the right time of the year to use the solar panels to the max.
And of course people can learn to cool the house in natural ways as much as possible, like shielding windows in the hottest part of the day. Ventilating with open windows at night (if safe enough).

The initial buy-in and the break even for solar makes it difficult for many. It is getting more affordable every day.

Venting windows at night doesn't help when it's 90% humidity though. I drove my car to the train yesterday (2 miles) because I'd have shown up to work soaking wet if I didn't.

EDIT: For the Tesla Roof, I could not make it make sense... Well, ever really. Simply put, the technology is still too expensive when  you consider how cheap energy is. Thanks to our whole house fan in the summer and huge amounts of insulation in the attic for the winter, we really don't have horrible electricity bills. Average combined electric and gas over the past 10 months has been $118.87--and we keep our house a a high of 73 in the summer, and a low of 66 in the winter. So its not like we go crazy with it.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:12:11 AM by mtn »

farmecologist

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2017, 08:05:19 AM »
When living in a very sunny place, can you not use solar panels for cooling down your house? At least you are getting sun in the right time of the year to use the solar panels to the max.
And of course people can learn to cool the house in natural ways as much as possible, like shielding windows in the hottest part of the day. Ventilating with open windows at night (if safe enough).

The initial buy-in and the break even for solar makes it difficult for many. It is getting more affordable every day.

Venting windows at night doesn't help when it's 90% humidity though. I drove my car to the train yesterday (2 miles) because I'd have shown up to work soaking wet if I didn't.

Yep - Everyone seems to always mention the temperature.  However, it is high humidity that makes  things uncomfortable.  It sounds Cliche but I can handle the 'dry heat' down in Utah/Arizona (within reason) much better than 'wet heat' in the SE states.




mtn

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2017, 08:15:13 AM »
When living in a very sunny place, can you not use solar panels for cooling down your house? At least you are getting sun in the right time of the year to use the solar panels to the max.
And of course people can learn to cool the house in natural ways as much as possible, like shielding windows in the hottest part of the day. Ventilating with open windows at night (if safe enough).

The initial buy-in and the break even for solar makes it difficult for many. It is getting more affordable every day.

Venting windows at night doesn't help when it's 90% humidity though. I drove my car to the train yesterday (2 miles) because I'd have shown up to work soaking wet if I didn't.

Yep - Everyone seems to always mention the temperature.  However, it is high humidity that makes  things uncomfortable.  It sounds Cliche but I can handle the 'dry heat' down in Utah/Arizona (within reason) much better than 'wet heat' in the SE states.

For the sake of the discussion I'll bring this up--when we go on vacation, I program our AC to be set at about 83 for most of the day, but for 15 minutes at 3PM, 15 minutes at 9PM, and 30 minutes at 7AM it is set at about 64 to control the humidity. I should really get a dehumidifier.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2017, 08:32:01 AM »
When living in a very sunny place, can you not use solar panels for cooling down your house? At least you are getting sun in the right time of the year to use the solar panels to the max.
And of course people can learn to cool the house in natural ways as much as possible, like shielding windows in the hottest part of the day. Ventilating with open windows at night (if safe enough).


Venting windows at night doesn't help when it's 90% humidity though. I drove my car to the train yesterday (2 miles) because I'd have shown up to work soaking wet if I didn't.

I believe opening windows will actually make everything even worse. Not an AC expert, but I've read that basically when you turn your AC on, it has to work a crap ton extra humidity out of your house. At this point my windows are going to be closed until September unless I accidentally set something on fire in the kitchen (which happened this last weekend actually....)



I walk a mile every day for work. I'm definitely sticky and damp by the time I make it to the train station.

gardeningandgreen

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2017, 09:51:41 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

Not just the Northeast uses heating oil it is actually quite common in the Midwest. My house has heating oil and for us to convert it to natural gas would be several thousands of dollars and it would never pay for itself. So we keep the heating oil which is pretty cheap right now because it directly tracks diesel prices(it is non road taxed diesel). We did however add a TON of new insulation and keep our house pretty cool in the winter and warm in the summer so our heating and cooling costs are pretty low and will be lower this year!

galliver

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #60 on: July 13, 2017, 10:48:30 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

Not just the Northeast uses heating oil it is actually quite common in the Midwest. My house has heating oil and for us to convert it to natural gas would be several thousands of dollars and it would never pay for itself. So we keep the heating oil which is pretty cheap right now because it directly tracks diesel prices(it is non road taxed diesel). We did however add a TON of new insulation and keep our house pretty cool in the winter and warm in the summer so our heating and cooling costs are pretty low and will be lower this year!
Interesting, I never encountered it in IL or IA bit of course I haven't been to every house :) I was remembering over or more posts from people in MA, VT, or NH citing oil costs of hundreds per month! Compared to our NG heating of a small, poorly isolated house in IL that seemed huge and awful!

Now in SoCal our heating cost is...whatever bf's space heater runs up when he works from home, and our AC runs...maybe the equivalent to ~3 weeks continuous, per year? Barely a blip on the bill. But rent is 1.5x-twice the Midwest equivalent...

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gardeningandgreen

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #61 on: July 13, 2017, 10:54:39 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

Not just the Northeast uses heating oil it is actually quite common in the Midwest. My house has heating oil and for us to convert it to natural gas would be several thousands of dollars and it would never pay for itself. So we keep the heating oil which is pretty cheap right now because it directly tracks diesel prices(it is non road taxed diesel). We did however add a TON of new insulation and keep our house pretty cool in the winter and warm in the summer so our heating and cooling costs are pretty low and will be lower this year!
Interesting, I never encountered it in IL or IA bit of course I haven't been to every house :) I was remembering over or more posts from people in MA, VT, or NH citing oil costs of hundreds per month! Compared to our NG heating of a small, poorly isolated house in IL that seemed huge and awful!

Now in SoCal our heating cost is...whatever bf's space heater runs up when he works from home, and our AC runs...maybe the equivalent to ~3 weeks continuous, per year? Barely a blip on the bill. But rent is 1.5x-twice the Midwest equivalent...

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I live in northern Minnesota so maybe a Minnesota thing? Our heating bill last year for a 1100 sf very poorly insulated home was around $150 a month in the coldest months. Were hoping that all the insulation will bring it down under $100 depending on gas prices for the year. It is an odd thing to have to plan for because I have to get 250 gallons of oil usually 2 times a year.

mtn

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #62 on: July 13, 2017, 11:18:09 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

Not just the Northeast uses heating oil it is actually quite common in the Midwest. My house has heating oil and for us to convert it to natural gas would be several thousands of dollars and it would never pay for itself. So we keep the heating oil which is pretty cheap right now because it directly tracks diesel prices(it is non road taxed diesel). We did however add a TON of new insulation and keep our house pretty cool in the winter and warm in the summer so our heating and cooling costs are pretty low and will be lower this year!
Interesting, I never encountered it in IL or IA bit of course I haven't been to every house :) I was remembering over or more posts from people in MA, VT, or NH citing oil costs of hundreds per month! Compared to our NG heating of a small, poorly isolated house in IL that seemed huge and awful!


In various small towns around Champaign and Bloomington, I've seen and/or heard about people heating their house with wood, propane, oil, and with methane sourced from a methane well on their property.

Obviously that is not including the "normal" ways of natural gas and electricity.

Kaydedid

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2017, 03:07:33 PM »


... (seriously, why the fuck would anyone choose BLACK to go on their roof?!)

We got a dark brown metal roof because it made sense for our area.  Less then 2 weeks/year total with a high over 85F so the AC effects are minimal.  It helps a lot with roof snow loads.  Snow loads can be a big deal around here, and it's a huge pain with 2-story roofs.  Combine dark color with metal and a decent pitch and the snow just falls off on warmer days.

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Linda_Norway

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2017, 06:21:31 AM »


... (seriously, why the fuck would anyone choose BLACK to go on their roof?!)

We got a dark brown metal roof because it made sense for our area.  Less then 2 weeks/year total with a high over 85F so the AC effects are minimal.  It helps a lot with roof snow loads.  Snow loads can be a big deal around here, and it's a huge pain with 2-story roofs.  Combine dark color with metal and a decent pitch and the snow just falls off on warmer days.

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Just don't stand under it when it happens to fall off. Here in Norway we have small racks on roofs to prevent the snow from gliding off onto people's heads.

paddedhat

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2017, 07:44:23 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive
instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

This is and isn't true, depending on exactly where oil pricing is at the moment, and what the alternatives are.  Fuel oil has an enormous amount of BTUs per gallon, so it isn't a linear comparison to do things like switch to propane, which has 40% less heat value per gallon.  At the moment, here in the mid-Atlantic, natural gas and propane are really low cost, due to the success of fracking. During the Clinton administration, oil was way cheaper than most other options here, as Russia flooded the market with crude. Currently, living in an area not served by natural gas, oil is a pretty reasonable choice for me. Propane and electric wouldn't be much cheaper, neither would installing a wood pellet stove.  Coal and firewood would be a bargain, but they are a messy PITA.  We currently spend roughly $2K a year to heat a 1450 ft. house with solid masonry walls, and no real insulation in the ceiling. I should be able to reduce that by half with improvements to the structure.

MrMoogle

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2017, 07:55:04 AM »
AC is out at work.  I think I'd rather have insane use than this.  It doesn't help that I'm right next to a server.

marielle

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2017, 07:59:02 AM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive
instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

This is and isn't true, depending on exactly where oil pricing is at the moment, and what the alternatives are.  Fuel oil has an enormous amount of BTUs per gallon, so it isn't a linear comparison to do things like switch to propane, which has 40% less heat value per gallon.  At the moment, here in the mid-Atlantic, natural gas and propane are really low cost, due to the success of fracking. During the Clinton administration, oil was way cheaper than most other options here, as Russia flooded the market with crude. Currently, living in an area not served by natural gas, oil is a pretty reasonable choice for me. Propane and electric wouldn't be much cheaper, neither would installing a wood pellet stove.  Coal and firewood would be a bargain, but they are a messy PITA.  We currently spend roughly $2K a year to heat a 1450 ft. house with solid masonry walls, and no real insulation in the ceiling. I should be able to reduce that by half with improvements to the structure.

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I live in the south so it doesn't get too crazy cold, but I still barely use my heat. Most days I don't turn it on at all in the winter.  It can get in the 20s or in the teens occasionally, I'll use heat those nights but never above 65 or so. Electric blanket FTW!

ArviK

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2017, 08:05:00 AM »
Once upon a time I worked as a electrician in a manufacturing plant. Plants office manager asked me to overlook one of their open office rooms, there was something funny about it's ventilation/heating. That is what i discovered:

At the beginning, when building was constructed, that room had standard ventilation like all other rooms. Hot/cold water heat exchanger hidden in ceiling that cooled/heated air. Fast forward some years, people change in the office and knowledge, how to change temperature setpoint was lost (i never found control panel). People wanted to control temperature, and big electrical air conditioner was installed.

Sadly, ceiling ventilation and air conditioner had different temperature setpoints. Thus they fought each-other. One of them tried to cool and other tried to heat. Resulting temperature was not what workers wanted, thus they had electrical radiators besides their desks (apparently cooling ventilation won).

In the end there were three different heating systems in one office. A fragile peace between three systems.

paddedhat

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2017, 01:27:44 PM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Oh, you would love Florida. We head down every winter and hear from neighbors about failed attempts to properly bulletproof RVs that were left for the summer. A summer where the climate makes every possible attempt to turn anything of value into a mold colony.  People do everything from running the AC all year, to leaving dehumidifers on the counter, draining in the sink, to running fans. Mostly it's a success, but it's pretty ugly when it all goes wrong. Nothing like driving 1000 miles+ south, while looking forward to a nice relaxing winter and finding that the interior of your motorhome is black and fuzzy. Sometimes if you're really lucky it's infested with roaches too. Sweeeeet.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 04:24:39 PM by paddedhat »

Trudie

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2017, 03:11:36 PM »
I know this isn't nearly as common as the people who run AC constantly, but I have pretty bad allergies, and my area has a lot of allergens. Most days during the spring when it's nice to have the windows open, I can't open them.  Luckily our winters are pretty mild, so I can open them then.

Our household is also held hostage by allergens.  Even when it's down to 68F overnight the house has been sealed up all day and we insulated it so well that we have to keep the air conditioning on to sleep comfortably.  My husband's allergies are so bad that he went to the allergist 2 weeks ago and did the skin test, came home with a Dr's note that he's not allowed to mow the lawn.  Even with daily allergy medicine, nightly showers (for everyone in the household)  to get off the pollen, and weekly vacuuming, we need to keep the windows closed to keep the pollen out so it's "only" a 3-4 month problem instead of trapping the pollen in for a year-round problem.  On the upside: he's a good candidate for allergy shots, is starting them today, and it should only be ~$3000 for 3 years of allergy shots which should give him 20 years allergy-free.  Are the allergy shots cost effective vs. 20 years of Allegra and air conditioning?  Maybe not, but worth it in quality of life.

Similar situation at my house.  We don't keep the house super cool, but we close it up at night.  If we had to inhale the pollen that is all around we would not sleep well at night.  We've tried several times, but it's just not worth it for us.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #71 on: August 22, 2017, 03:19:07 PM »
In Texas in the summer, there's no such thing as insane air conditioner use.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #72 on: August 22, 2017, 04:07:53 PM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

LOLOLOL

As a Southeastern native, I am shocked that people would choose to live where earthquakes and mudslides and wildfires are a constant concern, along with an insane real estate market.

I love the humidity here. When I'm out in CO, my nose bleeds from the dryness and the residents all look desiccated to me. Yes, your house can grow mold if you don't run the A/C but that's mainly if you keep everything shut up (which is what you'd do if your house was vacant). We keep windows open and fans running at least 2-3 months of the year. AC runs from Jun-Sept. Open windows in late Sept through Oct and again late Mar through May.

DangleStash

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2017, 01:37:16 PM »
Heat/AC are 2 of the basic comforts that I don't like to be wasteful with, but I do like to enjoy...

I'm always warm, so I'm completely comfortable with the house around 66* in winter.  Wife, not so much.

Last month I had my 2 window air conditioners (8k and 12k BTU I believe) running a decent amount.  Bedroom was on ~75% of the day (only way to get it cooled up there, insulation going in next month) and the downstairs is only when we are home.

Based on our prior bills, using the AC a decent amount to keep the place comfortably cool adds $30-$40 per month depending on the weather.  I can't imagine heating/cooling the place when we're not there though.
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dycker1978

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2017, 02:44:34 PM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

I use mine, a little bit when it his 35-40 deg c.  But that is a handful of days here is Saskatchewan.  We also keep our heat at about 15-18 even when it is -40 outside here.

MrMoogle

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2017, 02:53:44 PM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

I use mine, a little bit when it his 35-40 deg c.  But that is a handful of days here is Saskatchewan.  We also keep our heat at about 15-18 even when it is -40 outside here.
There were different building materials then.  Drywall does not work with humidity.

kimmarg

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2017, 08:02:27 PM »
As a CA native I am somewhat shocked and disgusted to hear that there are places out there that are so humid that black mold will grow if you don't climate-control a building. Gross! Remind me why people chose to settle places like that to begin with?

Because you can run AC/heat full blast in a McMansion there for the price of Bay Area housing? ;) That's what I'm guessing, anyway. (No malice, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived a while in IL-Chicago and Champaign, now in SoCal and hate it.)

Apparently many places in the Northeast use heating oil which is freakishly expensive instead of natural gas or electric even? Every geographical location is inefficient in its own way...

Not just the Northeast uses heating oil it is actually quite common in the Midwest. My house has heating oil and for us to convert it to natural gas would be several thousands of dollars and it would never pay for itself. So we keep the heating oil which is pretty cheap right now because it directly tracks diesel prices(it is non road taxed diesel). We did however add a TON of new insulation and keep our house pretty cool in the winter and warm in the summer so our heating and cooling costs are pretty low and will be lower this year!
Interesting, I never encountered it in IL or IA bit of course I haven't been to every house :) I was remembering over or more posts from people in MA, VT, or NH citing oil costs of hundreds per month! Compared to our NG heating of a small, poorly isolated house in IL that seemed huge and awful!

Now in SoCal our heating cost is...whatever bf's space heater runs up when he works from home, and our AC runs...maybe the equivalent to ~3 weeks continuous, per year? Barely a blip on the bill. But rent is 1.5x-twice the Midwest equivalent...

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I live in northern Minnesota so maybe a Minnesota thing? Our heating bill last year for a 1100 sf very poorly insulated home was around $150 a month in the coldest months. Were hoping that all the insulation will bring it down under $100 depending on gas prices for the year. It is an odd thing to have to plan for because I have to get 250 gallons of oil usually 2 times a year.

Yea Heating oil is pervasive in the Northeast and it's stupid expensive. I've compared the cost to Natural Gas in Colorado Springs where I have family and It's about 4 times higher. That's accounting for the various sizes of houses and therms vs gallons of gas.  I don't understand how you get through winter in MN with only 2 tanks of 250 gallons. In Northern New england I was running about a tank a month for Dec, Jan, Feb. (at a cost of $700/tank - ouch!)  for a 1100 sq ft rental. Now on propane with heat pump and down to 600 gallons/year for 1600 square feet.

Ann

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2017, 08:18:26 PM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

Buildings were designed differently.  My apartment allows no cross breeze whatsoever.  I also suspect people had different standards of BO hygiene.

dycker1978

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #78 on: August 25, 2017, 07:10:51 AM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

Buildings were designed differently.  My apartment allows no cross breeze whatsoever.  I also suspect people had different standards of BO hygiene.
Will a dehumidifier not work?  It would be much less expensive then a AC compressor to run.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #79 on: August 25, 2017, 07:34:14 AM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

I use mine, a little bit when it his 35-40 deg c.  But that is a handful of days here is Saskatchewan.  We also keep our heat at about 15-18 even when it is -40 outside here.

As the prior poster mentioned, building materials were different. House design was also different. Windows were placed to achieve maximum ventilation. Even if we aren't trying to cool our house, we still have to manage the humidity or our building materials will warp. Wood is especially bad about that. I imagine in the past, people just had to replace these things more often.

In the deep South, many houses had kitchens separate from the house so it wouldn't heat up the building with the cooking heat. Also, people had sleeping porches that they used in the summer. These things do not exist anymore now that we have central air conditioning.

It's also worth noting the south is now hotter than it used to be - many more days over 32 C/90 F than in the past. That's partly due to global warming and partly due to many more paved surfaces that absorb heat all day and release it at night.

Regarding a dehumidifier, those produce heat while they run so they would make it even hotter inside.


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farmecologist

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #80 on: August 25, 2017, 08:23:05 AM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

Buildings were designed differently.  My apartment allows no cross breeze whatsoever.  I also suspect people had different standards of BO hygiene.

How far back we talking?  Caves stay cool in summer...


GuitarStv

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #81 on: August 25, 2017, 09:13:16 AM »
For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

Buildings were designed differently.  My apartment allows no cross breeze whatsoever.  I also suspect people had different standards of BO hygiene.
Will a dehumidifier not work?  It would be much less expensive then a AC compressor to run.

A dehumidifier dumps hot air out into any building or area that they're running as a byproduct of removing the water from the air.  That might not be desired on particularly hot days . . . especially since you can't open a window to cool things down while running a dehumidifier (or you just let all the humidity back in).

FWIW - dehumidifiers are about as energy efficient as window unit air conditioners, and they function in almost the same way.

galliver

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #82 on: August 30, 2017, 06:07:50 PM »
Every time I see this thread pop up lately, I read "Insane HAIR conditioner use" and wonder what that might be.

For all those complaining about humidity, what was done prior to the invention of AC?  It is not needed, but a comfort that we want. 

In addition to different building/city design, the pace of life was different. I remember reading that NYC would often kind of shut down in August due to the heat. I'm sure such a privilege was more common to the richer and whiter elements of society, but even so...I don't think life in Phoenix skipped much of a beat even when it passed 120F this summer, except the flight cancellations. Now that AC is available, we don't really see heat as a reason to change our behavior.

PS this was a pretty good summary of some different architectural features that have become less common: http://mentalfloss.com/article/16842/life-air-conditioning Might help anyone looking for a less-AC-dependent home!

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Insane air conditioner use
« Reply #83 on: August 30, 2017, 06:13:42 PM »
Hmm, we run our air conditioner all the time during the day in the summer.  We are not connected to the power grid but rather have enough solar on our RV that it can run the A/C and charge the batteries, so why not?

It is currently 94 degrees outside and 72 in our RV.   It does tend to make me hide inside the RV though.