May 27, 2007

Summer Budget Vow: No Home Air Conditioning

(Toledo, OH) Given the fact that our employment prospects for the summer are - so far - somewhat limited, my wife and I made a pact: at no time will we break out the room air conditioners this summer.

In summers past we have watched our electric bills jump $100-$150 per month when the air conditioning is turned on, so we decided to tough it out and save perhaps as much as $500 in money that would otherwise be marginal profit for Toledo Edison and FirstEnergy.

All right, no smart-aleck comments from FirstEnergy engineers about peak demand and overtaxed power grids.

If I get desperate, I can always tool around the block utilizing my auto air conditioning, or spend an hour minutes at the mall sucking up the complimentary coolness. And then there is always the option of hitting the JCC/YMCA pool in Sylvania, which never fails to bring relief during those 90+ degree days.

We have already seen some positive results, as the monthly bill we just paid was only $120 - our lowest in recent memory. Given the handful of hot days already racked up in May, I think we have saved about $40 this month.

Now, if I can just train the kids to turn off lights and the TV when not in use...


Lisa Renee said...

I'd say I'd join you but we didn't have air conditioning before, so I guess you are joining me (smile).

It's possible to survive without it, and it is cheaper...


LTLOP said...

Here's another idea to help save on bills. We found this one out when the dryer broke last year. If you hang dry the clothes during the summer it makes an unbelievable difference. Our natural gas bills went down to @ $30 dollars a month, seriously! If you have a electric dryer, it should make the same impact. As far as the AC, just think of the old song "Hot nights in the summertime...." wink wink

Chris said...

You may want to turn it on every so often to keep its internals functioning properly. Some systems contain an internal lubricant to keep the seals from drying out, and having the unit run is the only way for the oil to be distributed throughout the system.

Hooda Thunkit said...

ON the other hand, you could hang the clothes out to dry remove the light bulbs/florescent fixtures when you find them left on and treat yourself to air conditioning when the heat index becomes unbearable, but only set the temp low enough to dry the air, say 3-4 times per hour.

Dry air is more tolerable than humid air, regardless of the temperature.

Oh, let whomever left the lights on come and ask for the light, and make them put the bulbs/fixtures back ;-)

Hooda Thunkit said...

Oh, we run the air/furnace fan 24/7 because of the electronic air cleaner; it makes the pollen tolerable.

The air only comes on when the inside temperature reaches 78, but we turn the air off if the humidity is below 40-45%