Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8095624 times)

cheapass

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18400 on: August 25, 2017, 12:14:00 PM »
Fortunately they didn't fall in love with a new house then decide to keep the old as well.

A guy at work did that with cars.

He buys a Mercedes, wife buys an Infiniti. After a couple of months she decides she likes his better so what do they do? Buy another Mercedes. Kept the Infiniti.... 3 luxury cars, 2 drivers.

The best part? He does financial analysis for a living.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18401 on: August 25, 2017, 12:59:33 PM »
Fortunately they didn't fall in love with a new house then decide to keep the old as well.

A guy at work did that with cars.

He buys a Mercedes, wife buys an Infiniti. After a couple of months she decides she likes his better so what do they do? Buy another Mercedes. Kept the Infiniti.... 3 luxury cars, 2 drivers.

The best part? He does financial analysis POORLY for a living.

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marielle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18402 on: August 25, 2017, 02:40:58 PM »
A girl (29 years old) at work wants to get a Camaro as a weekend car. I'm pretty sure she makes $12 an hour, no more than $13 if there was a recent raise.

She has two older cars and wants to trade one of them in for the Camaro plus get a loan. She's not looking for brand new but something very lightly used, only a few years old. So still $10-15k or more. I've tried to hint a couple things like saying I only buy cars cheap enough that I can pay in cash cause I wouldn't be able to make the payment if I lost my job, etc... I've also suggested a 90s Camaro but she's set on the new styling, leather seats, and a very specific trim. She also has bad credit so she needs to get her dad to cosign. On the bright side, since she's so picky she hasn't found the exact perfect one for months now.

This is the same girl who is currently living with her 6 yo at her mom's house because she lost all of her possessions in a fire (including $20k in sneakers supposedly).

It makes me feel a little less ridiculous for wanting a second cheap car but then I think of this forum and all the facepunches I'd get for having two cars even if both are worth under $5000 total.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18403 on: August 25, 2017, 03:22:37 PM »
...
This is the same girl who is currently living with her 6 yo at her mom's house because she lost all of her possessions in a fire (including $20k in sneakers supposedly).
...

$20k in sneakers!?! Does she have a special pair that drop $100 bills out the back as you walk or something?
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18404 on: August 25, 2017, 06:31:40 PM »
I work for myself now and don't overhear things things at work unless I'm talking to myself... Those conversations are always very mustachian!

This morning I stopped for a doughnut and I overhead one of the cashiers tell her coworker that it's always really busy on Fridays because it's payday. This was met with agreement from several other customers and and expansion to include the first of the month and that it's ever busier if the Friday falls on the 1st of the month! These are just regular old doughnuts selling for a buck. We clearly still have a lot of people to reach.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18405 on: August 25, 2017, 08:14:07 PM »
...
This is the same girl who is currently living with her 6 yo at her mom's house because she lost all of her possessions in a fire (including $20k in sneakers supposedly).
...

$20k in sneakers!?! Does she have a special pair that drop $100 bills out the back as you walk or something?

I know professional guys who collect sneakers. A couple have 150-200 pairs, most worn only worn once, stored in their original boxes.

They rationalise it by saying they're making up for not getting the Air Jordans, etc, they wanted as kids.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18406 on: August 25, 2017, 11:43:38 PM »
My boss told us that her new bathroom turned out to cost less than she had expected. So she had money left in the extra mortgage that she had taken up for the bathroom. She was wondering whether she should use the money to pay off on the loan or whether she would use it to buy a new sofa. I got the impression that the sofa was by far the most attractive option.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18407 on: August 26, 2017, 12:17:43 PM »
...
This is the same girl who is currently living with her 6 yo at her mom's house because she lost all of her possessions in a fire (including $20k in sneakers supposedly).
...

$20k in sneakers!?! Does she have a special pair that drop $100 bills out the back as you walk or something?

I know professional guys who collect sneakers. A couple have 150-200 pairs, most worn only worn once, stored in their original boxes.

They rationalise it by saying they're making up for not getting the Air Jordans, etc, they wanted as kids.

You know, I rationalize that I have 3 pairs is because I have clumb(?) feet and always make a hole on the right foot shoe sole before they are out-used (if they aren't cheap one-season shoes) so I need to be prepared.

Freedomin5

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18408 on: August 27, 2017, 09:57:18 PM »
Chatting with a coworker yesterday about our commuting distances. I have an 8 km, 45 minute bus ride to work, while DH has a 1.5 hour subway ride each morning. I mentioned that I may quit my job in two years (after mortgage is paid off), retire early, and move near DH's work. DH's work provides free housing and free private school education for DD, whereas we currently have to pay for our own housing to be closer to my work and pay for private school for DD. My coworker's response? "But it would be such a waste for you not to work!"

Maybe I should have mentioned that I have two sidegigs in progress, that DH's workplace would likely hire me on, and/or that I have one more sidegig that is currently non-operational because I don't have enough time to do it. But I was so flabbergasted that I simply nodded and smiled like a moron. I still haven't figured out what I would be wasting by taking advantage of free housing (worth approx. $USD12,000 per year) and free education (USD$50,000) as well as saving current rent (USD$18,000). Not to mention the non-financial benefits of shorter travel time to work, larger apartment, quieter neighbourhood, etc.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18409 on: August 28, 2017, 12:23:19 AM »
... I mentioned that I may quit my job in two years (after mortgage is paid off), retire early, and move near DH's work. DH's work provides free housing and free private school education for DD, whereas we currently have to pay for our own housing to be closer to my work and pay for private school for DD.
...

This sounds amazing. Have you run the numbers on doing it now, before the mortgage is paid off?

Freedomin5

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18410 on: August 28, 2017, 06:20:29 AM »
... I mentioned that I may quit my job in two years (after mortgage is paid off), retire early, and move near DH's work. DH's work provides free housing and free private school education for DD, whereas we currently have to pay for our own housing to be closer to my work and pay for private school for DD.
...

This sounds amazing. Have you run the numbers on doing it now, before the mortgage is paid off?

Yes, unfortunately, it doesn't make sense now because there are no good preschools near DH's work. Since we have to be in a more central part of the city while DD is in preschool, I might as well work.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18411 on: August 28, 2017, 08:05:10 AM »
Anyone else hear the craziest things while at work?

Today it was, "Well the commutes gonna be a lot longer, but it was only $100 more per month for a 3 bedroom"

I was chatting with my co-worker Friday.  He and I are both "car guys" but once i found MMM a few months ago, i sold my BMW and got a used honda.  i didn't mention my lifestyle changes to co-workers but he asked about my car and i told him i didn't want to have a 400hp car that was $$$ to maintain and insure, got 10mpg and was absolutely useless in rush hour traffic.

he looked at me like my head was on backwards.  keep in mind he just leased his 3rd luxury car in 7 years (he's had two BMWs and just leased a $70K Audi SUV).  it's also interesting to point out that i know for a fact he makes about 60% less than i do.  oh, and he's single so i am not sure what he's carrying around in that SUV.

Lentils4Lunch

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18412 on: August 28, 2017, 08:00:27 PM »
oh, and he's single so i am not sure what he's carrying around in that SUV.

Dead bodies, for sure

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18413 on: August 28, 2017, 09:49:35 PM »
Coworker apparently just bought a new puppy.  Not sure what, as I try to avoid asking her personal questions, but she got a 'screaming deal' on it.

Same woman who NEVER has any money.  As in, claims she can't afford to eat.  Her lunch most days is a spoonful or two of peanut butter because that's all she can afford.  I know that between she and her boyfriend, they're pulling around $70,000 in a LCOL area. 

Her story last fall was that her boyfriend's dad is a terrible person because he won't let them stay rent free in his rental property. (Seriously, good on dad for kicking them out...)  They now live in an RV in a KOA for $400/month.  And somehow there's STILL no money left over.

She donated $1000 to the Trump campaign while eating peanut butter for lunch.  Because... priorities?

Bought a new vehicle and traded up twice (to a giant clown truck) while complaining about starving.

Started Primerica and tried to convince me to sign up with them.  Um... we get free life insurance through work.  And a pension.  And access to a 457/401k/IRA... you name it.  She's been to two of their conferences in Atlanta, and keeps throwing more money at it.  Thank dog the boss made her stop wearing her Primerica shirts to work and trying to sign up employees... (She's throwing money at Primerica shirts.  I don't think she's even made enough to pay for those, let alone the conference fees.)

She's also upset that her mom won't let her keep horses on her property and/or kick in some cash now and then.  This woman is in her fucking 40s.

I used to just let her talk, but now I have to avoid her.  Everything she says makes me want to punch her.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18414 on: August 28, 2017, 11:52:55 PM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.

How the fuck are they going to pay to feed a puppy if she is existing on a scoop of peanut butter?

Ditto for horses.

Thanks for sharing!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18415 on: August 29, 2017, 07:37:32 AM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.

How the fuck are they going to pay to feed a puppy if she is existing on a scoop of peanut butter?

Ditto for horses.

Thanks for sharing!

Buddy of mine, on the phone,  "Hey Paddedhat, you interested in a free horse?"

Me:  I'm not sure if I should be more upset that you clearly think that I'm an Idiot, since you even asked, or that you might be dumb enough to believe that there really is such a thing as a free horse?

Waco neighbor lady had two horses, and no place for them on her small rural lot.  By the time she paid for boarding (just a roof over their heads, nothing more)  food, vet bills, and shoeing, she had over a grand a month spent just so they could stand in somebody else's field, eat and shit. She also had to spend hours a day, before and after work, driving a few miles away to care for the things.  "Great deal" and "free" are not part of the world of horses.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18416 on: August 29, 2017, 08:17:49 AM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.

How the fuck are they going to pay to feed a puppy if she is existing on a scoop of peanut butter?

Ditto for horses.

Thanks for sharing!

Pets are expensive if you take care of them properly.

I kept the free puppy my daughter got and abandoned, because the Venomous Spaz Beast is an incredibly intelligent animal who like all Chihuahuas is probably from outer space. The pup realized my daughter wasn't going to care for her, noticed I was the one who kept giving her kibble, and snuggled me up with a nose in my ear as though to say: "I will be your doggie." Since my daughter wasn't feeding her (as in, would walk right by the crate with the crying puppy to feed herself and then walk right back) and was crating her 24x7 while she went out to gallivant with friends, I stole the pup and introduced her to the world outside the crate.

Between the vet care, the food, the various leashes, flea medicine, collars, beds, and toys that are necessary to keep my shoes from getting chewed, and the obedience school necessary to train the dog to not be a spaz beast, I'm out an average of USD$100 a month. However I adore this little creature. We spend hours a day together walking, interacting, learning tricks, or adventuring. I just took her on a road trip of about 1600 miles and once she got over the car sickness she was the best little travel buddy ever. Unlike my daughter, the little dog woke up cheerfully in the morning, went willingly to whatever activity we had planned, and was either napping quietly by herself or fully engaged in the activities of the day. She wasn't a burden, she didn't whine and complain, and she didn't constantly wander off by herself or pepper me with can-I-have, can-we-buy, and why-can't-I. The little wawa turned out to be a fantastic adventure dog and I'm going to take her with me from now on. Instead of my daughter.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18417 on: August 29, 2017, 08:28:05 AM »
Coworker apparently just bought a new puppy.  Not sure what, as I try to avoid asking her personal questions, but she got a 'screaming deal' on it.

Same woman who NEVER has any money.  As in, claims she can't afford to eat.  Her lunch most days is a spoonful or two of peanut butter because that's all she can afford.  I know that between she and her boyfriend, they're pulling around $70,000 in a LCOL area. 

Her story last fall was that her boyfriend's dad is a terrible person because he won't let them stay rent free in his rental property. (Seriously, good on dad for kicking them out...)  They now live in an RV in a KOA for $400/month.  And somehow there's STILL no money left over.

She donated $1000 to the Trump campaign while eating peanut butter for lunch.  Because... priorities?

Bought a new vehicle and traded up twice (to a giant clown truck) while complaining about starving.

Started Primerica and tried to convince me to sign up with them.  Um... we get free life insurance through work.  And a pension.  And access to a 457/401k/IRA... you name it.  She's been to two of their conferences in Atlanta, and keeps throwing more money at it.  Thank dog the boss made her stop wearing her Primerica shirts to work and trying to sign up employees... (She's throwing money at Primerica shirts.  I don't think she's even made enough to pay for those, let alone the conference fees.)

She's also upset that her mom won't let her keep horses on her property and/or kick in some cash now and then.  This woman is in her fucking 40s.

I used to just let her talk, but now I have to avoid her.  Everything she says makes me want to punch her.
If she doesn't have money for food she sure as hell shouldn't spend money on a new pet. If you can't take care of yourself, how do you expect to care for your pet?

And I googled the Primarica a bit, dealing with MLM is bad but insuring through an MLM seems even worse or is that me being the sceptic?
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18418 on: August 29, 2017, 09:56:21 AM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.

How the fuck are they going to pay to feed a puppy if she is existing on a scoop of peanut butter?

Ditto for horses.

Thanks for sharing!

Pets are expensive if you take care of them properly.
...

I may have been unclear, I was talking solely about sourcing said puppy (free / abandoned / nominal cost puppies are available, like yours), not feeding and caring for them, which can be expensive, and which this individual seems entirely unsuited for. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18419 on: August 29, 2017, 10:53:13 AM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.

A NORMAL deal is free.  A screaming deal would someone that paid you to take it away, or a puppy that comes with a 10-year repair and maintenance warranty.

Buddy of mine, on the phone,  "Hey Paddedhat, you interested in a free horse?"

Much like a sailboat (one of which I own), and I tell all my friends who start talking about getting one and sending me links to cheap boats asking for opinions, the price of the boat is the cheapest part of ownership.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18420 on: August 29, 2017, 11:21:23 AM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.

How the fuck are they going to pay to feed a puppy if she is existing on a scoop of peanut butter?

Ditto for horses.

Thanks for sharing!

Pets are expensive if you take care of them properly.
...

I may have been unclear, I was talking solely about sourcing said puppy (free / abandoned / nominal cost puppies are available, like yours), not feeding and caring for them, which can be expensive, and which this individual seems entirely unsuited for.

Indeed. The individual in question sounds like she's unable to feed herself, much less an innocent animal.

ETA: In the old days, kittens and puppies used to roam around the neighborhood and pick a free-range kid or adult to follow home. There seem to be fewer such situations now.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 11:24:49 AM by TheGrimSqueaker »
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Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18421 on: August 29, 2017, 01:55:41 PM »
A "screaming deal" on a puppy is free, IMO. I'm guessing she over-paid.
A NORMAL deal is free.  A screaming deal would someone that paid you to take it away, or a puppy that comes with a 10-year repair and maintenance warranty.

Yes, a puppy warranty!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18422 on: August 29, 2017, 01:58:32 PM »
We have a water cooler in the office so everyone can have hot and cold spring water for free.

There is an empty Poland Springs water bottle in the recycle bin.

So I guess someone decided it was worth spending money and disposing of a plastic bottle because they... wanted a different brand of spring water? Or... ?? I can't quite figure out the mindset here.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18423 on: August 30, 2017, 12:18:05 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18424 on: August 30, 2017, 02:48:05 AM »
I'd just like to personally register my disdain for the term "adulting." I don't understand how being a semi-responsible adult (when one is you know, of adult age) became this thing you have to call attention to and be congratulated for. I'm not "adulting" when I go to the dentist or call customer service about my bill, I'm just an adult. I blame helicopter parents who have never let their kids do anything on their own.


That may be part of it. Many young adults (20s me included) are woefully unprepared for adult life. This could be from any number of factors. Helicoptering parents. Almost no life skills taught in schools. Having both parents working full time rather than having one stay at home to teach life skills--many of which are taken for granted by older generations. When you're in your 20s or even 30s and were never educated to do your taxes, find a physician, shop for insurance, etc., it feels like an accomplishment when you did it, because you also had to teach yourself how to do it.

this 100%.

I was a latchkey kid and had to figure a lot out on my own. My dad is an accountant and 66.  Despite trying again and again for help I taught myself how to do my taxes.  Nervous nelly will never retire because he doesn't think he has enough.  Mom owns a profitable company and they have 1mil+ in retirement accts.  Empty nesters too.  They just told me to avoid getting a credit card until after college and cosigned my 30k+ in student loans.  I feel like a productive member of society and therefore adult everytime I figure out how to do something on my own. It might be my favorite verb ATM.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18425 on: August 30, 2017, 06:06:13 AM »


this 100%.

I was a latchkey kid and had to figure a lot out on my own. My dad is an accountant and 66.  Despite trying again and again for help I taught myself how to do my taxes.  Nervous nelly will never retire because he doesn't think he has enough. Mom owns a profitable company and they have 1mil+ in retirement accts.  Empty nesters too.  They just told me to avoid getting a credit card until after college and cosigned my 30k+ in student loans.  I feel like a productive member of society and therefore adult everytime I figure out how to do something on my own. It might be my favorite verb ATM.

Damn, reading this makes my toes curl. The DW and I have had a really good friend, for many decades. She is the daughter of an accountant. Her dad is an uber control freak, who has a giant pile of coin, at least five million, or so, saved for his retirement.  Her little brother joined dad, in a partnership, right out of college, with the understanding that dad would retire, and walk away in a reasonable time frame. Four decades later,  more than twenty years past where most normal folks take a normal retirement, dad finally gives up control of the family firm.  He is still kicking, in his 90s.  Sadly, the son could of started with a big name firm, right out of school, done his time climbing the ladder, made partner, and retired, well before dad finally gave it up. On some level the son is more than a bit bitter about what could of been.  I hope your dad isn't another elderly accountant, sitting at a computer screen sixteen hours a day, during tax season, since he just "can't" retire yet.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18426 on: August 30, 2017, 07:12:47 AM »
A girl (29 years old) at work wants to get a Camaro as a weekend car. I'm pretty sure she makes $12 an hour, no more than $13 if there was a recent raise.

She has two older cars and wants to trade one of them in for the Camaro plus get a loan. She's not looking for brand new but something very lightly used, only a few years old. So still $10-15k or more. I've tried to hint a couple things like saying I only buy cars cheap enough that I can pay in cash cause I wouldn't be able to make the payment if I lost my job, etc... I've also suggested a 90s Camaro but she's set on the new styling, leather seats, and a very specific trim. She also has bad credit so she needs to get her dad to cosign. On the bright side, since she's so picky she hasn't found the exact perfect one for months now.

This is the same girl who is currently living with her 6 yo at her mom's house because she lost all of her possessions in a fire (including $20k in sneakers supposedly).

It makes me feel a little less ridiculous for wanting a second cheap car but then I think of this forum and all the facepunches I'd get for having two cars even if both are worth under $5000 total.

If she's still living at home, then her Dad should be the one to receive a facepunch for co-signing for her (if he does indeed do that).

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18427 on: August 30, 2017, 07:54:00 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

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cheapass

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18428 on: August 30, 2017, 08:39:54 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

By that logic, you should just leave the oven on all day so it doesn't have to heat up from room temperature when it's time to make dinner.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18429 on: August 30, 2017, 08:52:18 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

By that logic, you should just leave the oven on all day so it doesn't have to heat up from room temperature when it's time to make dinner.

Yeah, but then the air conditioner you left on all day has to work harder because of all the extra heat... ;-)
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18430 on: August 30, 2017, 09:09:15 AM »
I never turn my car off, that way it is at optimal operating temperature from the moment I drive away, saving gas.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18431 on: August 30, 2017, 09:24:25 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

By that logic, you should just leave the oven on all day so it doesn't have to heat up from room temperature when it's time to make dinner.

Not quite the same logic, actually.

When our AC was out for a couple of days, it took about 3 days to get the house back cool. Why? Because everything in the house was hot. The couches, walls, floors, beds, tables, everything was over 90*. So the air was cooled, but the things were not.

It doesn't take very long to heat 5 cubic feet of air. It takes a LONG time to cool/heat a lot of things, and air.

I'm not saying he's right--but he has a valid, though mis-led point.

Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18432 on: August 30, 2017, 09:47:26 AM »
Carpooled with a few co-workers to lunch last week (there were 6 of us) and one woman suddenly realized her Ford Explorer had six seats and offered to drive. She didn't know how to access the back row of seats because she had never used it. Single lady with a small dog driving a giant SUV with a third row that she had so little use for that she's literally never had anyone seated there.

RidetheRain

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18433 on: August 30, 2017, 09:54:44 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.
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RWD

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18434 on: August 30, 2017, 10:15:38 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

Agreed. Even in non-ridiculous areas it's probably good practice to set a maximum reasonable temperature than to turn it off entirely.

The point though is that if it's more efficient to turn it off entirely then it's also going to be more efficient to raise the temperature threshold while you're out rather than leave it flat.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18435 on: August 30, 2017, 10:24:19 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

Agreed. Even in non-ridiculous areas it's probably good practice to set a maximum reasonable temperature than to turn it off entirely.

The point though is that if it's more efficient to turn it off entirely then it's also going to be more efficient to raise the temperature threshold while you're out rather than leave it flat.

Good point. There is an optimum temperature threshold, just gotta find it.
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bender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18436 on: August 30, 2017, 10:57:54 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

Agreed. Even in non-ridiculous areas it's probably good practice to set a maximum reasonable temperature than to turn it off entirely.

The point though is that if it's more efficient to turn it off entirely then it's also going to be more efficient to raise the temperature threshold while you're out rather than leave it flat.

Good point. There is an optimum temperature threshold, just gotta find it.

What kind of temps are we talking?  90+?  Is the fridge in direct sunlight?  The argument that it takes less electricity to keep an entire home cooler does not make sense unless you're leaving the fridge door open.  I think it may be time for a new fridge.

Also the argument about keeping maintaining a consistent indoor air temp all summer is a myth.  It's much better to only run it when you're at home.  Modern AC units can efficiently cooling a place down very quickly.


RidetheRain

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18437 on: August 30, 2017, 11:06:47 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

Agreed. Even in non-ridiculous areas it's probably good practice to set a maximum reasonable temperature than to turn it off entirely.

The point though is that if it's more efficient to turn it off entirely then it's also going to be more efficient to raise the temperature threshold while you're out rather than leave it flat.

Good point. There is an optimum temperature threshold, just gotta find it.

What kind of temps are we talking?  90+?  Is the fridge in direct sunlight?  The argument that it takes less electricity to keep an entire home cooler does not make sense unless you're leaving the fridge door open.  I think it may be time for a new fridge.

Also the argument about keeping maintaining a consistent indoor air temp all summer is a myth.  It's much better to only run it when you're at home.  Modern AC units can efficiently cooling a place down very quickly.

I admit, mine was an extreme case, but the point stands I think. I was living in a really, really crappy apartment where the only a/c was a wall unit about 8 feet away from the fridge. Downstairs temps averaged the mid-80s w/ a/c. Upstairs temps were typically 90-100 range (no a/c). It's amazing what you'll live with when you teeter on the poverty line. I have since moved.

But, that's extreme. In the real world, central air is at maximum efficiency when working on high. But central air also turns on and off as required so depending on your location, home insulation, and energy costs your results may vary.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18438 on: August 30, 2017, 11:22:37 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

Agreed. Even in non-ridiculous areas it's probably good practice to set a maximum reasonable temperature than to turn it off entirely.

The point though is that if it's more efficient to turn it off entirely then it's also going to be more efficient to raise the temperature threshold while you're out rather than leave it flat.

Good point. There is an optimum temperature threshold, just gotta find it.

What kind of temps are we talking?  90+?  Is the fridge in direct sunlight?  The argument that it takes less electricity to keep an entire home cooler does not make sense unless you're leaving the fridge door open.  I think it may be time for a new fridge.

Also the argument about keeping maintaining a consistent indoor air temp all summer is a myth.  It's much better to only run it when you're at home.  Modern AC units can efficiently cooling a place down very quickly.

HA! I've had the exact same argument with people I work with. As long as your house is pretty well insulated, you should have no problem leaving your a/c or heat off while you aren't home (unless you will be gone for several days). I have found that even in 100 degree weather my house never climbs above 80. When I get home, I turn the a/c on for a couple hours and it's cool enough to last another 24hrs before repeating. Of course, if the outside temperature will be cool enough overnight, I open windows and let mother nature do the work for me.

Just for kicks, I left my a/c set at 72 for a couple days.. energy cost was more than double for those days!
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frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18439 on: August 30, 2017, 11:33:03 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

No fucking way this is true.  It doesn't even make sense.  You just had a malfunctioning fridge that couldn't keep cold enough, or the efficiency difference between your fridge and AC unit was so disparate that no one should have been using that fridge (ie it was clearly malfunctioning). 

I also call bullshit on anyone saying it takes 3 days to recool their house or anything else.  It takes less energy to turn the AC or heater off/down while you are away and only run it while you are home, absolutely no exceptions.   You can make the argument that you are more comfortable for some short period by keeping a constant temperature rather than turning the unit off then back on and waiting for it to reach your ideal temperature, but leaving it on uses more total energy absolutely no exceptions ever.  That's just the laws of thermodynamics. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18440 on: August 30, 2017, 11:58:16 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

No fucking way this is true.  It doesn't even make sense.  You just had a malfunctioning fridge that couldn't keep cold enough, or the efficiency difference between your fridge and AC unit was so disparate that no one should have been using that fridge (ie it was clearly malfunctioning). 

I also call bullshit on anyone saying it takes 3 days to recool their house or anything else.  It takes less energy to turn the AC or heater off/down while you are away and only run it while you are home, absolutely no exceptions.   You can make the argument that you are more comfortable for some short period by keeping a constant temperature rather than turning the unit off then back on and waiting for it to reach your ideal temperature, but leaving it on uses more total energy absolutely no exceptions ever.  That's just the laws of thermodynamics.
It could be true if it was severely malfunctioning. In that case the solution should have been a fridge replacement but the AC was used instead. Possibly the coils were severely dust laden, a good cleaning would fix it, that's my guess for poor heat transfer. Maybe the guy had empirical evidence, but holy CRAP! What kind of electric bills would show much difference? Is the guy saying he can notice changes in his bill, which is lower, when the AC is on? HOLY Heatwave Batman, how large are the electric bills when AC causes them to appear smaller? This requires more electricity to be used in running the pump then in the actual heat transfer, its ridiculous.

Although extremely silly, never underestimate the ability of people to need a face punch. Instead of fixing problems, like dirty coils that need a good vacuum or replacement, some people will turn up the AC to have their whole house operate as a fridge.

OP - Clean your fridge coils. If that doesn't work, get a new fridge, yours is broken.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18441 on: August 30, 2017, 11:57:39 AM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.
If it helps, you can think about A/C as a heat-removal machine.  The more heat it removes from your home, the higher your bill.  The other side of the equation is things that put heat into your home.  Appliances, computers, stoves, outside air, and of course, the sun.  Let's ignore the man-made stuff and the sun, and focus on the outside air.  The amount of heat that enters your home through the walls is proportional to the temperature difference between inside and outside.  Roughly speaking, you get twice as much energy entering your 75-degree home if it's 95 degrees outside (20 degree difference) vs 85 (10 degree difference).

Let's do a case studey: For simplicity's sake, let's say that during the 10 hours you're away from home for work, the average temperature outside is 85 degrees, and your thermostat is set at 75.  We'll compare two houses one where the A/C is left on during the day, and one where the A/C is turned off when you leave and turned on when you return.  Let's say that the houses are insulated so that when it's 10 degrees warmer outside, enough energy enters the home to increase interior temperatures by 1 degree per hour.  We'll call that amount of energy X btu/hour.  Whatever the total energy input into the houses over the 10 hours must be removed by the A/C.

For the A/C-always-on house, the calculation is simple: 10 hours * X btu/hour.

For the A/C-off-during-the-day house, the calculation is a bit more complex and probably involves calculus.  Roughly speaking, during the first hour, the house gains X btu, which causes the temperature to rise by 1 degree.  During the second hour, however, the temperature difference is only 9 degrees, so the energy gained is only 0.9X btus.  During the third hour, the delta-T is 8.1 degrees, so 8.1X btus are added, and so on.  By the end of the day, the temperature has risen 4.5 degrees, and the total energy gained is only about 6.5 * X btus. 

Now, this ignores other heat sources (sun, appliances, etc), but it's not a big deal--as they heat up the house faster, the delta T between inside and outside shrinks, and the house will gain less energy from the outside air.

It's also worth pointing out that the cooler the outside air, the more efficient your A/C will be.  Running the A/C in the middle of the day when it's 95 degrees requires more energy to expel X btus from the house than when it's only 85.  So by waiting until late afternoon to cool the house, you save even more.

I'll grant that it's nice to come to a nicely climate-controlled house.  But that's why you get a programmable thermostat.  Have it maintain 75 degrees (or whatever) from one hour before arrival, and switch to 95 degrees (so it basically turns off) one hour before you leave in the morning.  Now you get the savings from turning off your A/C during the day, and still come home to a cool house.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18442 on: August 30, 2017, 12:29:02 PM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.

"The EPA says it's better to shut off the air conditioner if you will be away for more than a few hours."
https://www.acdoctor.com/blog/turn-off-ac-or-leave-it-on/

* Assuming you live in a non-ridiculously hot area. I live in the desert and if I turn off the a/c while I'm at work then my fridge has to work overtime because of the heat. I end up with a ridiculously high bill because of the fridge and any food in the door goes bad (I hide dairy in the back corner to this day). For me, just cooling the place is cheaper although I do have different temps for when I'm home vs not home.

No fucking way this is true.  It doesn't even make sense.  You just had a malfunctioning fridge that couldn't keep cold enough, or the efficiency difference between your fridge and AC unit was so disparate that no one should have been using that fridge (ie it was clearly malfunctioning). 

I also call bullshit on anyone saying it takes 3 days to recool their house or anything else.  It takes less energy to turn the AC or heater off/down while you are away and only run it while you are home, absolutely no exceptions.   You can make the argument that you are more comfortable for some short period by keeping a constant temperature rather than turning the unit off then back on and waiting for it to reach your ideal temperature, but leaving it on uses more total energy absolutely no exceptions ever.  That's just the laws of thermodynamics.

In this thread, there are two separate arguments:

1) it's cheaper to turn off the AC when you are gone.  I think this is true 99% of the time.  I actually have a corner case because I have a smart meter with "flex days" which basically means on certain high usage days the cost skyrockets ($1/kWh from 1pm-7pm).  These days are typically the hottest days.  We rarely use ac, but when we get a few super hot days in a row, night temps don't drop enough to cool our house so we close up the windows and precool the house in the morning while rates are low.  I know from experience that the house will gain 10-15 degrees on the hottest days, so if it starts off at 75-80, we are risking very uncomfortable temps in the late afternoon when it would cost a small fortune to tune AC.  So let's say we wake up and it's like 80 inside and the weather is looking to be 110. I'm going to turn on the AC and probably run it until we get down to 70 or it's 1pm which ever comes first.  Even if I leave the house I'm leaving the AC on. Because I don't want to come home at 1pm to a warm house and have to turn of the ac.  This scenario has happened maybe 1-2 times, but it's just an example of how energy pricing can mess up your standard assumptions

2) it's "better" to turn of the ac where "better" is some combination of cost and comfort.  I'd say this is where most of the so called "exceptions" come into play.  Even if it takes your house 3 full days to recover from the ac being off, it'll still be cheaper.  But most people will say it's not "better" because it would be uncomfortable. 

Another example would be if you have perishables that you can't keep in the fridge- expensive chocolates or wine or whatever.  If the house gets too hot they could be ruined.  Of course it would be cheaper to refrigerate them but if you don't have an extra wine fridge it could be cheaper to set the thermostat vs letting it all melt.  I had some chocolate melt on vacation but luckily it wasn't expensive and I just used it for baking.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 12:32:53 PM by dragoncar »

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18443 on: August 30, 2017, 12:30:51 PM »
One of my colleagues strongly believes that it is less expensive to run his A/C the whole day while he's at work, than to turn it off when he leaves, then back on again.

Because, he says, it uses more energy to start the cooling process over again and cool the room, than to maintain a given (cold) room temperature. I'm pretty sure that's ignoring very basic principles of thermodynamics. Appreciate if any of you have a concise, yet authoritative site on the topic.
If it helps, you can think about A/C as a heat-removal machine.  The more heat it removes from your home, the higher your bill.  The other side of the equation is things that put heat into your home.  Appliances, computers, stoves, outside air, and of course, the sun.  Let's ignore the man-made stuff and the sun, and focus on the outside air.  The amount of heat that enters your home through the walls is proportional to the temperature difference between inside and outside.  Roughly speaking, you get twice as much energy entering your 75-degree home if it's 95 degrees outside (20 degree difference) vs 85 (10 degree difference).

Let's do a case studey: For simplicity's sake, let's say that during the 10 hours you're away from home for work, the average temperature outside is 85 degrees, and your thermostat is set at 75.  We'll compare two houses one where the A/C is left on during the day, and one where the A/C is turned off when you leave and turned on when you return.  Let's say that the houses are insulated so that when it's 10 degrees warmer outside, enough energy enters the home to increase interior temperatures by 1 degree per hour.  We'll call that amount of energy X btu/hour.  Whatever the total energy input into the houses over the 10 hours must be removed by the A/C.

For the A/C-always-on house, the calculation is simple: 10 hours * X btu/hour.

For the A/C-off-during-the-day house, the calculation is a bit more complex and probably involves calculus.  Roughly speaking, during the first hour, the house gains X btu, which causes the temperature to rise by 1 degree.  During the second hour, however, the temperature difference is only 9 degrees, so the energy gained is only 0.9X btus.  During the third hour, the delta-T is 8.1 degrees, so 8.1X btus are added, and so on.  By the end of the day, the temperature has risen 4.5 degrees, and the total energy gained is only about 6.5 * X btus. 

Now, this ignores other heat sources (sun, appliances, etc), but it's not a big deal--as they heat up the house faster, the delta T between inside and outside shrinks, and the house will gain less energy from the outside air.

It's also worth pointing out that the cooler the outside air, the more efficient your A/C will be.  Running the A/C in the middle of the day when it's 95 degrees requires more energy to expel X btus from the house than when it's only 85.  So by waiting until late afternoon to cool the house, you save even more.

I'll grant that it's nice to come to a nicely climate-controlled house.  But that's why you get a programmable thermostat.  Have it maintain 75 degrees (or whatever) from one hour before arrival, and switch to 95 degrees (so it basically turns off) one hour before you leave in the morning.  Now you get the savings from turning off your A/C during the day, and still come home to a cool house.

Not necessarily true.  An AC's efficiency is dependent on outside temperature.  It takes a lot less energy to move heat outside when it's only 70* outside as opposed to 100*.

bender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18444 on: August 30, 2017, 12:34:27 PM »
Since I'm not always home at the same time, I prefer to under-do the "return home" setpoint of programmable thermostats.  Most programmable thermostats have 4 setpoints - here's what I do:

In the Summer, I either use manual mode or I set all 4 points to extreme temp (essentially off).  Programmable mode ensures that if I forget the AC on it will turn itself off at some point.  My system reacts fast enough that I'm only uncomfortable for a few minutes, and many times I'm comfortable at higher temps if the humidity isn't too bad.  So automatically turning on the AC is a waste for me.  Automatic shutoff is an insurance policy.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18445 on: August 30, 2017, 12:40:11 PM »
  An AC's efficiency is dependent on outside temperature.  It takes a lot less energy to move heat outside when it's only 70* outside as opposed to 100*.

Admittedly I'm no expert in mechanical thermodynamics but...

Isn't ac efficiency also dependent on inside temperature?  Or more specifically the difference between inside and outside temperature.  My instinct tells me it will be more efficient to cool a 100 degree home when it's 109 outside than an 80 degree home when it's 85 outside.

So the more heat you remove the higher your bill, all things being equal.  You could be suggesting something along the lines of my precooling scenario above, where you run the ac in the morning when both inside and outside temps are 80, giving you little temperature gradient and maximum efficiency.  This is better than running in afternoon when temps are 90 inside and 110 outside, a 20 degree gradient.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 12:44:53 PM by dragoncar »

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18446 on: August 30, 2017, 12:45:03 PM »
In this thread, there are two separate arguments:

1) it's cheaper to turn off the AC when you are gone.  I think this is true 99% of the time.  I actually have a corner case because I have a smart meter with "flex days" which basically means on certain high usage days the cost skyrockets ($1/kWh from 1pm-7pm).  These days are typically the hottest days.  We rarely use ac, but When we get a few super hot days in a row, night temps don't drop enough to cool our house so we close up the windows and precook the house in the morning while rates are low.  I know from experience that the house will gain 10-15 degrees on the hottest days, so if it starts off at 75-80, we are risking very uncomfortable temps in the late afternoon when it would cost a small fortune to tune AC.  So let's say we wake up and it's like 80 inside and the weather is looking to be 110. I'm going to turn on the AC and probably run it until we get down to 70 or it's 1pm which ever comes first.  Even if I leave the house I'm leaving the AC on. Because I don't want to come home at 1pm to a warm house and have to turn of the ac.  This scenario has happened maybe 1-2 times, but it's just an example of how energy pricing can mess up your standard assumptions

2) it's "better" to turn of the ac where "better" is some combination of cost and comfort.  I'd say this is where most of the so called "exceptions" come into play.  Even if it takes your house 3 full days to recover from the ac being off, it'll still be cheaper.  But most people will say it's not "better" because it would be uncomfortable.

1. It uses less energy 100% of the time.  If you pay different rates for different time periods that's a separate issue and calculation.  It definitely could cost less money to keep it running depending on the different rates, but it will for sure use more energy.  We don't have tiered prices for different times.

2.  I tried to keep to to a an actual energy usage basis rather than making a judgement call about "better" or not.  That's a value judgement everyone has to make for their own situation.  But if your house is taking 3 days to recover and cool down you either have an over sized house or an undersized AC unit and you should probably worry about that rather than whether to run your undersized AC 24/7 or not.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18447 on: August 30, 2017, 12:54:39 PM »
In this thread, there are two separate arguments:

1) it's cheaper to turn off the AC when you are gone.  I think this is true 99% of the time.  I actually have a corner case because I have a smart meter with "flex days" which basically means on certain high usage days the cost skyrockets ($1/kWh from 1pm-7pm).  These days are typically the hottest days.  We rarely use ac, but When we get a few super hot days in a row, night temps don't drop enough to cool our house so we close up the windows and precook the house in the morning while rates are low.  I know from experience that the house will gain 10-15 degrees on the hottest days, so if it starts off at 75-80, we are risking very uncomfortable temps in the late afternoon when it would cost a small fortune to tune AC.  So let's say we wake up and it's like 80 inside and the weather is looking to be 110. I'm going to turn on the AC and probably run it until we get down to 70 or it's 1pm which ever comes first.  Even if I leave the house I'm leaving the AC on. Because I don't want to come home at 1pm to a warm house and have to turn of the ac.  This scenario has happened maybe 1-2 times, but it's just an example of how energy pricing can mess up your standard assumptions

2) it's "better" to turn of the ac where "better" is some combination of cost and comfort.  I'd say this is where most of the so called "exceptions" come into play.  Even if it takes your house 3 full days to recover from the ac being off, it'll still be cheaper.  But most people will say it's not "better" because it would be uncomfortable.

1. It uses less energy 100% of the time.  If you pay different rates for different time periods that's a separate issue and calculation.  It definitely could cost less money to keep it running depending on the different rates, but it will for sure use more energy.  We don't have tiered prices for different times.


OK, so there's a third argument 3) it uses less energy 100% of the time.  Of course you are right, but my point is to be clear which thing you are arguing about.  There are threads explaining why it uses less energy, and people responding about how it's better.  I think we all can/should agree it uses less energy to turn off the AC.

Although, I think you should focus on price since this is the MMM forums.  CA has a lot of solar, and sometimes it is literally wasted or other states are paid to accept excess energy.  I would 100% spin up my AC during those times to avoid wastage except for being pissed doff my utility won't pass on the great deal to me and would likely charge me a surplus price.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 12:56:18 PM by dragoncar »

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18448 on: August 30, 2017, 12:58:23 PM »
if your house is taking 3 days to recover and cool down you either have an over sized house or an undersized AC unit and you should probably worry about that rather than whether to run your undersized AC 24/7 or not.

some would say your AC is perfectly sized if it runs 24/7 and maintains a comfortable temperature.  Is it better to have an oversized AC that can cool your house in 2 hours and then cycles on and off, or a much smaller, more efficient unit that runs 24/7?  I said better, but I'm open to answers for energy usage, total cost including equipment, and comfort.

frugalnacho

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #18449 on: August 30, 2017, 01:00:00 PM »
  An AC's efficiency is dependent on outside temperature.  It takes a lot less energy to move heat outside when it's only 70* outside as opposed to 100*.

Admittedly I'm no expert in mechanical thermodynamics but...

Isn't ac efficiency also dependent on inside temperature?  Or more specifically the difference between inside and outside temperature.  My instinct tells me it will be more efficient to cool a 100 degree home when it's 109 outside than an 80 degree home when it's 85 outside.

So the more heat you remove the higher your bill, all things being equal.  You could be suggesting something along the lines of my precooling scenario above, where you run the ac in the morning when both inside and outside temps are 80, giving you little temperature gradient and maximum efficiency.  This is better than running in afternoon when temps are 90 inside and 110 outside, a 20 degree gradient.

Yes it depends on both.  But "the more heat you remove the higher your bill" is not necessarily true, because the cost to remove a given unit of heat is variable.  So I guess my "no exceptions ever" statement might not be true either when it comes to AC...

If for some reason you had a cloud of hot ass air moving towards your house that would cause the outdoor temperature to jump 30*F in a matter of one minute you would be better off (use less energy, and less money) to run the AC and get your internal temperature down to an ideal spot before the hot air shows up, then not run it after the hot air gets there (because your house is already cooled) rather than inverting that.  Not really a realistic scenario though.  A much more likely scenario is the one you suggest of precooling the house when it's cooler outside, but the problem with that is that your house is not perfectly insulated.  You may be moving units of heat "cheaper" in the morning because it's more efficient, but you end up moving more units of heat total by precooling it and then maintaining that temperature.  The end result is that it still requires more energy to precool than it does to turn it off and on as needed.