I wanted to acclimate to the heat... guess I got my wish!
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  1. #1
    Registered User Lizard Huntress's Avatar
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    Default I wanted to acclimate to the heat... guess I got my wish!

    I have been well aware for a long time that I'm high-maintenance when it comes to air conditioning. I grew up in an area with zero humidity, so I'm guessing that may be partly to blame. But the bottom line is that, while I do save money on heat due to being comfortable from 65 to 68 degrees, that means I like to keep it as low as 70 degrees in the summer. That means a LOT of air conditioning and a lot of money.

    I found myself thinking the other day while browsing various frugality sites and blogs, "gee, I wish I was acclimated to a higher temperature. It sure would make for less misery in the summer and probably save me some money!" And... I got my wish. My air conditioning went kablooie yesterday, and I must wait about five days for the serviceman to be able to make it over to fix it. (Apparently this is the time of year everyone's AC goes out! Duh.....)

    I am fortunate to have a house with a basement that has very little window exposure and generally stays much cooler than the ground floor. I have been sleeping in the basement every summer so far but hadn't relocated yet this year. I'm guessing that I will indeed acclimate at least some. Then perhaps I will be more happy to try a little challenge for myself this summer, like 78 degrees minimum. Somehow I managed that when I was in Florida all those years, so I'm sure it has to be possible!

    I guess the moral of the story is, "be careful what you wish for!"

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    We keep the house set to about 63 most of the winter. It's chilly, but makes for great sleeping. During summer, we only have an evaporative cooler to bring down the temps, which only cools about 20 degrees at best. During the day, once outside temps hit about 95 or so, the house starts to get a bit unhappy. Forget about it when we get the week or three of 100+ temps outside. We make it through with fans, but sleeping at night can sometimes get tough. I've thought about getting a couple of window ac units for those weeks, but I don't want to switch to whole-house AC for the entire summer. Swamp cooler costs are pretty minimal.

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    In Florida here. Winter is pretty much set at 66. Lot of times it's just turned off period. Only remember a couple times where it got below the 66. Funny how that same 66 can vary in feel. Once in awhile when we get up on the weekend when we're off one of us will kick it to 69 or 70 just to take off the chill. This is usually when one of us don't feel well or getting sick. Otherwise it's either off or left alone.

    Summer it's on 78. Myself I could deal with 79 but they can't. Electric bill is still $250 in August. Barely a light on. Everything is kept to a bare minimum and insulated out the wazoo so go figure. When we lived in the house we kept it at 74 before we bottomed up. When I went to cutting everything there was to cut I knocked around 200 off the electric. No one liked me during that transition but oh well...
    It definitely took some getting used to and I did it one degree at a time. I tried 79 but they really bucked on that one. Even I had to admit that last one degree was miserable.
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    You are smart to relocate to the basement, definitely for sleeping and other time as well. I always try to minimize cooking and oven use during the summer. Try recipes using the microwave. I have successfully made cornbread, cake and many "regular" foods in the mic. Wear light weight clothing. Take lukewarm or cool showers. Avoid using hair dryer and clothes dryer.

    I'll also suggest a service contract of the A/C. Ours is only $400/year, it covers the heat pump AND the gas furnace. Checkups twice yearly and free labor on repairs. Also you are at the top of the call list when you have a problem they get you taken care of. They have replaced small parts for free. A month ago I could tell the heat pump A/C was not working well. They diagnosed and recommended replacement of a major part. We just had to pay for the part (at wholesale cost I believe.) They got the part and installed it within a week.

    I forgot to add - look at your landscaping. We have trees shading much of the house. Which rooms get less sun & more shade, they should stay cooler. We don't have grass but have a lot of ivy. The ivy "breathes" and cools the air. Look up "evaporative cooling". Plants will keep the environment much cooler than concrete.

    ALSO there are fans you can install in the attic to exhaust hot air out the eaves. I think they can be set to run on a thermostat. I think there are even some solar-powered ones. Preventing heat build-up in the attic would make your A/C work less hard. Hubby keeps fighting me on this one.
    Last edited by dlrcpa; 06-19-2017 at 04:44 PM. Reason: more info

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