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When will (did) you install/ turn on the AC this year?


Cold Miser
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2023 AC Install Poll  

44 members have voted

  1. 1. When do you plan on installing/ turning on AC this year (or have you already done it)?

    • March
    • nApril - 1st half
    • nApril - 2nd half
    • May - 1st half
    • May - 2nd half
    • June
    • July
    • Never because I don't use a.c.
    • Never because I have central a.c.
    • I hold off as long as possible, sweating all night long because I am too cheap to turn it on.
    • Other (describe in comments)


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Usually June, occasionally May.  They go in when nighttime temps and dews don’t drop below 60.  Otherwise window fans and a well insulated house keep it cool enough to delay the installs, I use two 8K BTU window units in upstairs bedrooms and they do a good job keeping it cool if you run them all day.

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5 minutes ago, Brewbeer said:

Usually June, occasionally May.  They go in when nighttime temps and dews don’t drop below 60.  Otherwise window fans and a well insulated house keep it cool enough to delay the installs, I use two 8K BTU window units in upstairs bedrooms and they do a good job keeping it cool if you run them all day.

Same here..

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On 4/11/2023 at 10:37 AM, powderfreak said:

Mini-splits have been a game changer.  A bit too cold, blast heat for an hour or two. A bit too warm, blast A/C briefly.  Not much to think about or consider.

Yeah and they are also absurdly efficient compared to window units. One of my mini splits is a crazy  38 seer where most home central acs are like 13-15 seer. Windows units are even less than that. So they can use like 5 times less electricity. 

They also are crazy quiet compared to window units. 

I always find it amazing people live in like $500k+ houses and will still put noisy inefficient window units in. 

Makes even more sense with New England electricity rates the highest in the nation. Window acs are going to cost a fortune to run this summer. 

 

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5 hours ago, BrianW said:

Yeah and they are also absurdly efficient compared to window units. One of my mini splits is a crazy  38 seer where most home central acs are like 13-15 seer. Windows units are even less than that. So they can use like 5 times less electricity. 

They also are crazy quiet compared to window units. 

I always find it amazing people live in like $500k+ houses and will still put noisy inefficient window units in. 

Makes even more sense with New England electricity rates the highest in the nation. Window acs are going to cost a fortune to run this summer. 

 

two 8K BTU window units:  $600, lifespan = 10 years, say 60 bucks per year

750 watts (times 2) = 1,500 watts for 16 hours per day = 24 KWH per day, $0.21 per KWH, that's about $5 per day for AC.  

A typical summer for me requires AC for 30 or 40 days, call it $200 in electricity per year.  

All-in cost on 2 window units is less than $300/year, don't see how mini splits are less expensive for me, esp. since they require maintenance.     

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16 minutes ago, Brewbeer said:

two 8K BTU window units:  $600, lifespan = 10 years, say 60 bucks per year

750 watts (times 2) = 1,500 watts for 16 hours per day = 24 KWH per day, $0.21 per KWH, that's about $5 per day for AC.  

A typical summer for me requires AC for 30 or 40 days, call it $200 in electricity per year.  

All-in cost on 2 window units is less than $300/year, don't see how mini splits are less expensive for me, esp. since they require maintenance.     

You also get a really efficient heat pump that will operate at 4x the efficency and 1/4 of the cost of $4 gallon of oil.

Maybe in far NNE ac is only needed 30 or 40 days. Down here in the banana belt in CT where it's in the mid 80s and ac are running right now.. ac is used for more like 180 days here. That adds up.

Also electricity rates are in the low 30's in a few New England states. 90% of people don't use 3rd party suppliers and are currently paying these rates. When rates are this high the savings are astronomical. 

According to the EIA outside of Hawaii we have the most expensive electricity in the US. 

 

 

Screenshot_20230413-060915_Chrome.jpg

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51 minutes ago, BrianW said:

You also get a really efficient heat pump that will operate at 4x the efficency and 1/4 of the cost of $4 gallon of oil.

Maybe in far NNE ac is only needed 30 or 40 days. Down here in the banana belt in CT where it's in the mid 80s and ac are running right now.. ac is used for more like 180 days here. That adds up.

Also electricity rates are in the low 30's in a few New England states. 90% of people don't use 3rd party suppliers and are currently paying these rates. When rates are this high the savings are astronomical. 

According to the EIA outside of Hawaii we have the most expensive electricity in the US. 

 

 

Screenshot_20230413-060915_Chrome.jpg

..but that will be changing for customers of National Grid 

https://www.nationalgridus.com/News/2023/03/Electric-Rates-Set-to-Decrease-May-1-for-National-Grid-Customers-in-Massachusetts/#:~:text=WALTHAM%2C MA – National Grid announced,filed today with the Massachusetts

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1 hour ago, Brewbeer said:

two 8K BTU window units:  $600, lifespan = 10 years, say 60 bucks per year

750 watts (times 2) = 1,500 watts for 16 hours per day = 24 KWH per day, $0.21 per KWH, that's about $5 per day for AC.  

A typical summer for me requires AC for 30 or 40 days, call it $200 in electricity per year.  

All-in cost on 2 window units is less than $300/year, don't see how mini splits are less expensive for me, esp. since they require maintenance.     

That is the way I look at it. Personally I hate the look of min splits. 

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41 minutes ago, BrianW said:

You also get a really efficient heat pump that will operate at 4x the efficency and 1/4 of the cost of $4 gallon of oil.

Maybe in far NNE ac is only needed 30 or 40 days. Down here in the banana belt in CT where it's in the mid 80s and ac are running right now.. ac is used for more like 180 days here. That adds up.

Also electricity rates are in the low 30's in a few New England states. 90% of people don't use 3rd party suppliers and are currently paying these rates. When rates are this high the savings are astronomical. 

According to the EIA outside of Hawaii we have the most expensive electricity in the US. 

How well the house is insulated is a huge factor.  My house was originally built with electric heat, so it is extremely well insulated.  in the mid 80s, someone put in a badly designed gas fired forced air system with central air.  It heated the house, but would not cool the house upstairs due to inadequate ducting.  That system died about 10 years ago, and I ripped it out and installed low temp baseboard hot water system. 

My house can bake in the sun all day, but as long as temps drop back in the 60s at night and the DP is below 60, a fan in a downstairs window does the job.   

I also have solar panels, and haven't paid for electricity since 2016.  

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17 hours ago, Brewbeer said:

How well the house is insulated is a huge factor.  My house was originally built with electric heat, so it is extremely well insulated.  in the mid 80s, someone put in a badly designed gas fired forced air system with central air.  It heated the house, but would not cool the house upstairs due to inadequate ducting.  That system died about 10 years ago, and I ripped it out and installed low temp baseboard hot water system. 

My house can bake in the sun all day, but as long as temps drop back in the 60s at night and the DP is below 60, a fan in a downstairs window does the job.   

I also have solar panels, and haven't paid for electricity since 2016.  

Agree about insulation and there are huge state and federal rebates for them as well.

I have had solar for 8 years and my house is 100% electric from my net metered solar. 2 high efficiency heat pumps for heating cooling. I pay just the $9 monthly minimum service charge year round. 

Why wouldn't you at least put a heat pump in for shoulder season that also gets you the most efficient ac? You have solar that is likely paid off but would rather line the pockets of gas companies and speculators?

Here was the coldest day of the year here back on Feb 3rd when it hit -5. From 10am to 3 pm  my solar powered directly my entire house and heat pumps while exporting most of the power. 

Why would you not use a fuel that you can generate for free on your roof? 

Screenshot_20230210-055515_Monitor.thumb.jpg.5a50971986253e2b9fbac54652d84ac3.jpg

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26 minutes ago, BrianW said:

 

Why would you not use a fuel that you can generate for free on your roof? 

 

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ the break even point is years beyond when i plan on selling my house. Or more likely I'll be dead before i break even

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28 minutes ago, BrianW said:

Agree about insulation and there are huge state and federal rebates for them as well.

I have had solar for 8 years and my house is 100% electric from my net metered solar. 2 high efficiency heat pumps for heating cooling. I pay just the $9 monthly minimum service charge year round. 

Why wouldn't you at least put a heat pump in for shoulder season that also gets you the most efficient ac? You have solar that is likely paid off but would rather line the pockets of gas companies and speculators?

Here was the coldest day of the year here back on Feb 3rd when it hit -5. From 10am to 3 pm  my solar powered directly my entire house and heat pumps while exporting most of the power. 

Why would you not use a fuel that you can generate for free on your roof? 

Screenshot_20230210-055515_Monitor.thumb.jpg.5a50971986253e2b9fbac54652d84ac3.jpg

Do you generate your own power, for your own house, or did you get sucked into one of those fly-by-night solar companies that "rent your roof", where the power you make goes back into the grid, and you're responsible for all of the upkeep, with the benefits back to you dwindling every few years until you're stuck having to replace an outdated or weather worn beat up solar panel system.

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Totally understand that A.C. is necessary for many. But it involves putting oneself in a chilly summer prison-- the aftertaste of grey, dull February which you never quite escape. If you can, fans, breezes, curtains, tree shade-- anything but A.C.

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6 hours ago, Cold Miser said:

Do you generate your own power, for your own house, or did you get sucked into one of those fly-by-night solar companies that "rent your roof", where the power you make goes back into the grid, and you're responsible for all of the upkeep, with the benefits back to you dwindling every few years until you're stuck having to replace an outdated or weather worn beat up solar panel system.

..that is why so many states are suing numerous solar power companies..

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9 hours ago, BrianW said:

Agree about insulation and there are huge state and federal rebates for them as well.

I have had solar for 8 years and my house is 100% electric from my net metered solar. 2 high efficiency heat pumps for heating cooling. I pay just the $9 monthly minimum service charge year round. 

Why wouldn't you at least put a heat pump in for shoulder season that also gets you the most efficient ac? You have solar that is likely paid off but would rather line the pockets of gas companies and speculators?

Here was the coldest day of the year here back on Feb 3rd when it hit -5. From 10am to 3 pm  my solar powered directly my entire house and heat pumps while exporting most of the power. 

Why would you not use a fuel that you can generate for free on your roof? 

Screenshot_20230210-055515_Monitor.thumb.jpg.5a50971986253e2b9fbac54652d84ac3.jpg

Do you have a battery for solar generation? 

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On 4/14/2023 at 7:19 AM, Cold Miser said:

Do you generate your own power, for your own house, or did you get sucked into one of those fly-by-night solar companies that "rent your roof", where the power you make goes back into the grid, and you're responsible for all of the upkeep, with the benefits back to you dwindling every few years until you're stuck having to replace an outdated or weather worn beat up solar panel system.

 

I bought my system 8 years when prices were $1.50 watt. It paid for itself and I reached my ROI in 5 years using a home equity loan to pay for it.

Prices are like $3-4 watt now but I think it still works out to like an 8-10 year payback in most New England states. 

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On 4/14/2023 at 7:23 AM, Brewbeer said:

Forced air heating blows, big time, especially in my house.  The heat is needed on the lowest level and the AC is needed up the highest level of this open concept split ranch.  When the gas boiler goes, I’ll look at air to water heat pumps.

Properly sized and zoned its superior in comfort. My entire house stays one uniform temperature as my units run nonstop at low speed using only a few hundred watts. 

I have a split level and they are one of the best setups for heat pumps. The downstairs heat pump carries most of the heating load and in the summer my upstairs unit carries the cooling load. Having 2 means I always have a backup as well.

I average about 400-700 kwh a month in winter and about 225 kwh in July August. 

My heat pumps used just under 3000 kwh last year. If I had to buy the electricity at .25 it would be around $750 for the entire year heating and cooling. 

Here was last years total electricity usage. As you can see in the summer my upstairs unit runs way more.

 

 

 

Screenshot_20230415-095442_Monitor.jpg

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2 hours ago, BrianW said:

Properly sized and zoned its superior in comfort.

yeah, no.  low temperature warm water heat is superior in comfort to any type of forced air heating system.  air is not a good heat transfer medium due to its low specific heat capacity, and you need to circulate it constantly to maintain temps, which requires fans, which make noise.  water circulators are silent and in the basement.  you can't hear my heating system running when it's on, even on the coldest days of the year, even if you put your ear on the radiators    

the heat load of a house in cold weather is primarily down low on the lowest level, and that heat is best supplied at floor level where it can rise and circulate by gravity.  the cooling demand in hot weather is primarily up high on the highest level.  at my house, the heat is on about 5 times as often as the air conditioning in any given year.  a system that does double duty as both heating and cooling, is a compromise in comfort  

 

 

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I sprang for the mini split a couple years back.  I got a 36000 btu multi head unit and it handles the house pretty much.   Cheap to run.  I decided also to get a heat pump water heater which is also cheap.  Bonus: I have a dry basement now!  
 

I used to have wall units which sounded like helicopters and cost a lot to run.  Wish i changed em out sooner.  

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On 4/15/2023 at 9:37 AM, BrianW said:

 

I bought my system 8 years when prices were $1.50 watt. It paid for itself and I reached my ROI in 5 years using a home equity loan to pay for it.

Prices are like $3-4 watt now but I think it still works out to like an 8-10 year payback in most New England states. 

I saw this article today, and thought of our discussion.  What a nightmare.

https://turnto10.com/i-team/solar-panel-installation-nightmare-west-warwick-rhode-island-homeowner-new-roof-contract-financing-company-rainwater-damage-insurance-office-of-energy-resources?fbclid=IwAR3G-dg5Jn6CGNUv45uKZS_jO9Zu9LC12IFkKFAj65LUq8yTTtKwiiU73F4

Quote

“At that point, I told Bright Planet Solar to just take the panels down so I could repair the roof and then they said no, if I wanted them to do that, I had to pay $9,000,” Meda said.

Quote

According to that report, “the brackets from the solar panels were not properly installed” and that “there were holes from the brackets that were not sealed properly, causing damage to the roof.”


 

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On 4/20/2023 at 10:22 AM, Cold Miser said:

thousands upon thousands of homeowners have had terrible experiences with solar power companies. ....thousands of lawsuits.

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