Author Topic: Heating and cooling in the south  (Read 1199 times)

terran

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Heating and cooling in the south
« on: May 08, 2017, 06:17:09 PM »
After living my whole life up north where careful opening and closing of windows can mean no summer A/C, and electric heat is never a good idea, I find myself moving to Northwest Arkansas. I could use some help with what to look out for when apartment hunting down south in terms of climate control:
  • What types of heating are good/bad/never to be considered in the south?
  • What types of cooling are good/bad/never to be considered -- central air vs window units vs minisplit?
  • What should I estimate the value of included gas or electric is for a 1-2 bedroom apartment?
  • Any other tips on what to look for?
Thanks!

letired

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Re: Heating and cooling in the south
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 08:20:01 PM »
After living my whole life up north where careful opening and closing of windows can mean no summer A/C, and electric heat is never a good idea, I find myself moving to Northwest Arkansas. I could use some help with what to look out for when apartment hunting down south in terms of climate control:
  • What types of heating are good/bad/never to be considered in the south?
  • What types of cooling are good/bad/never to be considered -- central air vs window units vs minisplit?
  • What should I estimate the value of included gas or electric is for a 1-2 bedroom apartment?
  • Any other tips on what to look for?
Thanks!

1. I can't say much about heating. In the current moment, gas heat is cheaper than electric in most places it seems. I've had gas heat in every place I've lived in Texas.

2. Personally, I would avoid window units. This is because they are generally indicative of older buildings with poor air-sealing and/or insulation. Also, if most of your space is 90+ degrees, the utility of that space is greatly reduced during the hot months. I don't have any experience with mini-splits, but they're probably cheaper to run??

3. Depending on your local rates, included electric is SIGNIFICANTLY more valuable than included gas.  Might be something to research a little. Also research: number of days over 90 degrees. That will tell you where your tipping point is in regards to if you're using heating or cooling more. Also, included water is secretly nice! A cool shower can make up for a lot when it comes to keeping the AC off, and keep your window/balcony plants watered which will give you a bit of shade, depending on what you are growing.

4. Look for shade and north-facing windows. Avoid south and west-facing windows. It feels a little topsy turvy at first, but you are looking to reduce solar gain. Also, let yourself acclimate. Be uncomfortable for the first few weeks of summer, and then your body will be used to it being warm and will be entirely satisfied with only cooling to 78 or 80 degrees. Especially if you've just had a cool shower and are eating some nice ice cream!