Monday, January 4, 2010

How often should I use my AC?

i just moved into a two bedroom two bathroom apartment in Southern California. It gets really hot in the late afternoons and I get tempted to use the AC. Normally, I turn the AC on for about five hours a day and then use ceiling fans when I go to sleep.

I really don’t want to get a high electrical bill in the mail, so I am concerned about how much running the AC everyday will cost. The AC unit is one of those energy star efficient types, if that makes a difference.

Please give me a dollar amount estimate of how much running the AC 5 hours a day every day will cost for a month. Thanks in advance.

two things

1. there are no answers to your question. it depends on the quality of insulation in the apt. size of a/c etc(Dell Inspiron 9300 ac adapter).

2. now, having told you you can’t get the answer. here’s your answer-sort of.

the electric company can tell you the average usage (cost) of your apt. the problem-you don’t know how much the last tenant used it or what temp they set the a/c on. so you can only assume they ran it full time and set at around 80, but that’s a guess. the electric company will allow you to pay the annual cost in equal monthly payments-that’s based on the last years cost.

as for comparing a/c to fans. you can’t put enough ceiling fans to equal the cost of the a/c. the a/c is 30 to 40 amps at 240v the ceiling fan is about 1 amp at 240v so it would take 30 to 40 fans to equal the a/c. what I would suggest is a combination of both. turn the a/c to 80 or 85 during the day with the ceiling fans running. then lower the a/c to what you are comfortable with when you get home-still running the fans. the fans will allow you to run the a/c at 5 to 10 degrees higher than without the fans and having it on during the day at the high number allows the a/c to work less to get the house to temp when you need it.

you should probably talk to someone in the heat and air biz. I was told once by a heat and air guy that it takes more energy to run your AC (Dell Inspiron 9200 ac adapter)on high for just a short amount of time per day during the hottest hours then to leave it on low all day. Turning it on during the hottest part of the day forces the AC to work harder which means it is pulling more energy which means more money.

Running it on low all day and turning it off at night results in less work for the AC and is supposed to save on energy which will save you some money. This was years ago when I was a poor college student and the guy was nice enough to fill me in. If you’re still not sure what to do then you might talk to someone who does know and that would be a air conditioning specialist because they know exactly how you can save money on your energy bill.

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