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High summer temps = massive electric bills. How do you cope?

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posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:17 PM
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This summer has been the hottest that I can remember for a long time. We've had more 90+ degree days with high humidity that would be absolutely unbearable without some form of air conditioning. With the economy the way it is, people can barely afford to feed their families and I wonder how everyone is coping with the summer heat and/or your air conditioning bill. It has hit us hard this year. I do not have central air, and rely on window a/c units and lots of fans. My electric bill for July was $300 and for Aug it was $500. With our paycheck severely cut, that takes a huge hunk out of our monthly income. How are you coping?

I consider us lucky in that my husband is working, but I really wonder about those who are unemployed and struggling. How have they managed to make it through this summer? We've tried to only use the air when it was unbearable, but still ended up with massive electric bills.




posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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How do you cope? Is this question being serious?

It is only a minority who stick an air conditioning unit to every house, shack and shed.

How do the africans cope? Just as the 99% of the worlds population who do not have an ACU

[edit on 8/29/2010 by above]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by above
 


I think the question is addressed to those who don't want to move to Africa and live in huts.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:30 PM
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I didn’t use AC and I am still alive ………

Even through the days where it was almost 100F

All though, when I am working, I usually don’t have the luxury of being in an air conditioned space. You just have to drink plenty of water. Grin and bear it.

The key to keeping the house nice is pull fresh cold air in of a night, then shutting off the air flow in the day. That is why older houses had whole house fans. I just use a fan in one window that blows out, and have several windows on the other side of the house that is open.

Turn the fan on when the sun goes down. Turn it off when I get up in the morning, and you can easily keep the house 20 degrees colder than the peak outside temps.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:30 PM
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Hot summer temps and high electric bills are a catch 22.

What I do when I do not have electricity is get a spray bottle and spray all uncovered parts of my body including neck and face inside elbows arms and whatever.

This turbo charges the cooling effect. Some water one sprays will absorb the heat and drip down and some of the water will evaporate off the skin taking away the body heat.

This works and I feel cool after using the spray bottle method.

I hope this helps if you can not afford the electric bill.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:33 PM
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Yes, I'm being serious. The fact is that it has been unusually hot here and either people are having to deal with the heat, or they are having to deal with high bills.
Pretty sure you knew I wasn't asking how Africans cope. I was asking the people who are struggling in this economy how they are dealing with the heat and the bills.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:38 PM
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The weather here in Germany has also been intensely hot, but we have no AC in the house. I can also remember back in California when it got seriously hot during one or two summers there.

Basically, I sweat, I try to go swimming and occasionally take an extra shower.

I often found that surviving the daytime isn't too bad, despite high temperatures. There's always something to think of that lets you change your focus from the heat. Trying to get to bed and sleep is usually what's really difficult.

This summer I used a fan with a sleep timer. I can sleep with the noise it makes so it's a solution for me and it minimizes the electrical bill if it turns off after an hour.

Another important point is that you get used to it over time. It really really sucks at the start but then it gets a little easier and you can get to bed in reasonable time.

Hope that helped.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:41 PM
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How do I cope? I keep the air conditioning off and drink plenty of free water.

I too live in an area with 90+ degree temperatures for extended periods, and only have a small window mounted air conditioning unit.

If you keep the air conditioner off and drink lots of water, you can keep cool without it costing you a dime, wherther you are working or not.

If drinking water doesn't help, take a cold shower several times a day. If you're unemployed, it's not like you don't have the time.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:42 PM
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The summer here in Colorado hasn't been any hotter than normal since I've lived here. And I got back recently from a week back east in Massachusetts, and it was really nice and mild during my week visit.

Looks like it will be cooling down, though.

Here Comes La Nina!


The latest indications are that the sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have gone cold! Well, not really cold, but cooler than normal and that means we now have a La Nina developing in the Pacific.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 



i live in Hemet CA, one of the hottest towns in Ca so for me this is a very important issue. the answer for me was a level pay program. i was paying $80 ish from nov-may and $3-400 the rest of the year. level pay puts me at a manageable $197 each month. hope it helps



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by shockologist
reply to post by virraszto
 



i live in Hemet CA, one of the hottest towns in Ca so for me this is a very important issue. the answer for me was a level pay program. i was paying $80 ish from nov-may and $3-400 the rest of the year. level pay puts me at a manageable $197 each month. hope it helps


Is a swamp cooler not a viable alternative?

From your location, I would think that humidity is not a problem, it’s the heat. So a swamp cooler that takes advantage of the low humidity for evaporative cooling is an attractive option for many.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:03 PM
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I'm in So. Phoenix which is obviously a hot city. Last year we were in a 2 story home about 2900 sq ft and the highest bill we had was about $460. The worst part was the lower level AC compressor was under sized and couldn't get the bottom floor under 82 degrees. It was miserable.

This year we moved to a smaller, 2000 sq ft home with only one level and last month was $250 which is higher than I'd like but it's not the worst. I keep the temp up during the day and while at home it's a comfortable 78 degrees with several fans blowing (including ceiling fans). While wifey is cooking we sometimes drop it down to 76 or 77.

Stay cool out there!

[edit on 29-8-2010 by IamMe14]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:10 PM
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I do open up the windows at night and use fans to pull in the cool air. In the morning I close all windows and turn all the fans on. I cover the windows in dark curtains. I use the a/c mostly to keep the humidity out. We take lots of cold showers, and cook outside, and drink lots of water. I did all that and had high bills.

This is the first summer in 10 yrs that I have had to use the a/c so often. I normally get by using it maybe 5 or 6 times in a summer.

As I said, my hubby is working, but reduced hours and reduced pay and it is difficult to juggle the money with the bills. But, we'll get through it. My concern was for people who are struggling as it is and then having to deal with a high electric bill.

The humidity has been very bad here. It sometimes feels like you are in a sauna. One time I checked the local weather the humidity was at 98%.



[edit on 29-8-2010 by virraszto]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:13 PM
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Summer is always hot here. The AC stays at 68 at night and 73 during that day if someone is home. If its just the dogs its set 1t 76. Outside its the upper 90s.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by virraszto
I do open up the windows at night and use fans to pull in the cool air. In the morning I close all windows and turn all the fans on. I cover the windows in dark curtains. I use the a/c mostly to keep the humidity out. We take lots of cold showers, and cook outside, and drink lots of water. I did all that and had high bills.


I would not suggest doing that. You are making your cooling bill worse.

In the eastern side of the US, the thing that the ac has to fight the most is the humidity.
When you let almost 100 percent humidity flood your house during the night. It takes 5, 6 and 7 hours or more running full bore for your ac to pull all the humidity out of a house.

You will almost have no noticeable temperature drop until the AC finishes getting the humidity back down to a more reasonable level, then you will start noticing the temp dropping.

It will cost less to keep things closed up and just fight the heat ingress than it would be to try to remove the humidity every day after letting it in every night.

Opening the windows of a night works when just accept the humidity and are trying to keep the temp in the house down. But when you run an AC it makes it worse than not opening them at all. An AC pulls the humidity first. When you open the windows, you set it back to square one, every day.

….EDIT……..
One thing almost slipped by me…… You stated “dark curtains”….
Dark, as in “not transparent to light” or dark as in “heavy curtains with a dark color”.

If the curtain has a dark backing (side that faces the window) then you are as bad off as having no curtains at all. They absorb all the light and heat coming in the window. They are in the living space, so they act as big heaters. You want curtains with white backs that will reflect all the IR and visible light back out the window. Or you want window shade that is outside the living space (on the outside of the window).


[edit on 29-8-2010 by Mr Tranny]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 


I'd also try taking a warm shower or bath instead of a cold one. Everyone has a different idea about taking cold showers vs warm ones.

Personally I take warm ones when it's hot outside and it helps me get used to the heat.

Creating a draft also worked for me during this summer. High humidity is what usually gets you on warm days so remembering that opening windows when it has rained after a hot day is a bad idea.

It's ultimately about experimentation.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:49 PM
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Seriously?!
I remember the time I spent in hell, 15 years, in temperatures no cooler than 80 and as hot as 130 in full gear, loaded down, under a helmet.
Once you've done that nothing phases you.
So my electric actually goes down in the summer and up in the winter.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by virraszto
 


Hi virrataszto, what state do you live in?

I lived in Florida for 18 months, 2001-2 in Citrus County, the only summer I spent there my electric bills were outrageous, I checked one of my DTE bills from Michigan and compared kilowatt rates they charge, in Florida it was about 10 times higher per kilowatt hour then in Michigan, I could not afford to live there without dipping into savings, my income was less then half of what I make here, don't know how the average person can afford to live in Florida, it used to be a senior friendly state but no longer, they are moving out in droves. My father is a snowbird and does not spend summers in Florida so never experienced the high electric bills.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:54 PM
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Set the unit to a higher temp. The bill will increase proportionately from the average difference between inside and outside temperature. If you're not home during the day, turn the unit way up, and cool it down when you come home. Set it to a bearable temperature until after sunset, then you can crank it down a bit.

I'm in Texas and we've got 100+ degree days here. It was 107 the other day !! My bill is pretty low, but I set the temp to 79 when it's over 100, 78 during the day when it's under 100, and 77 at night before going to sleep. Also have two ceiling fans running medium speed 24/7.

Oh yes, sealing any cracks with caulk, and using weather stripping on windows and doors will help out as well.

[edit on 29-8-2010 by unityemissions]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 02:57 PM
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Where I am, just couple fans and open windows and sleep with few covers. I get used to it. 90-ish isn't so bad. I suppose where it can reach 110-120 in the shade it's probably a good idea to cool things down though.




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