central

so… did you know that haveing central air in 30-degree heat is only good if you remember to flip the breakers for the compressor? I thought I did, but the altitude seems to have addled my brain. Ah well, the breakers are flipped *now*, so hopefully coolness will follow shortly.

8 thoughts on “central

  1. That does seem like the kind of thing that you would figure out quickly though…

    Do you know how much power your AC consumes? After shopping for a fridge and getting one that uses 150 kWh than the cheapest one, I was *astounded* by how much power an AC unit uses.

    A good EER (energy efficiency rating) 8000 BTU a/c in montreal would seasonally use more than my fridge does all year round, according to this: environment canada.

    Not that it matters, for me, as there’s NO WAY I could a/c my apartment for a reasonable amount of money, thanks to the ceilings which go as high as 12″.

    But I might look at building a sleep coffin, er “genie”. 😉

  2. Ok, so my dad is ex-EC, now works on environmental and science issues in another dept…. And he is really good at keeping a house cool in the summer with minimal AC use. The thing he does that has the biggest impact is keeping the windows and curtains closed during the day, to minimize how much the house heats up… This works really well as long it gets cool at night – open all the windows then, cool the house down, then try to keep that coolness in as long as possible. It’s kind of counter-intuitive – everyone’s natural instinct on a hot day seems to be to open as many windows as possible.

    In the right house (insulated, good window coverings) and right weather it works incredibly well. If he runs AC for comfort he tries to minimize the space being cooled…. Anyway… in case it helps….

  3. Yeah, I’m going to post on passive heat reduction later.

    What I’ve done in the short term is put radiant barrier (aluminum foil on brown paper) in the part of the windows I can’t open, and in part of the skylight. (I don’t have to worry about things looking ugly, otherwise I’d go with a 3m solution, scotchtint, or something.)

    The problem is that I have to put it on the inside of the windows, as I’m basically taping it on. Which means that the heat is getting in, and then being bounced out. I don’t really have access to the outer part of the apartment, otherwise I’d add awnings over the windows and whatever the equivalent thing over a skylight would be called.

  4. The other problem is that with all that tinfoil on the windows, everyone will assume you are running a grow-op.

  5. rw: That’s pretty much the way the house is set up right now. All but two windows have white, aluminum blinds and they do an excellent job of keeping the heat out/cool in. The house seems to be very well insulated, and while there is a considerable amount of natural light, the surface area of the glass isn’t that great. If it was a little cooler, I’d probably open the windows, but when it’s 25-28 overnight with a very high humidity, nothing cools off very much 🙁 So… on the a/c went.

    j: I understand very well how much window bangers take up. Central isn’t nearly as bad, and my place is pretty well insulated/airtight. I’ll only run it when I need to, as I’m not so big on paying those theives any more than I have to. The lower levels are fairly cool most of the time, and so long as I’m not sticking to my desk I’m usually comfortable. I’m not surprised that an a/c takes up more power than a fridge – it’s cooling a much larger area than 20 cubic feet, and has a compressor and fan to match 🙂 That said, I like being comfortable at night, and if it gets really warm, I’ll fire it up and pay for the privilege 🙂 At the rate I’m going, I think it’ll be used 5 or 6 nights this year.

    I like the ultrasonic and magnetic units that are under development. God knows when or if they’re ever going to be commercially viable, though. I also wonder how much power would be saved just by forcing minimum efficiencies on manufacturers, instead of allowing the customer to choose.

  6. I’ll just wrap some tinfoil around my head and they’ll let me go unmolested. Besides, everyone else in montreal is doing that. I swear the neighbour downstairs has a loud pump that runs only at night, and Joan’s neighbour’s two apartments ago used to make the same noise…

    The plan for the next place, if it’s a house, is to make two spots available for the master bedroom (fyi: that’s me!!! :-))
    : top floor and the basement. Or maybe just the basement, geothermal heating, blahblahblah? Anyways, my idea is to choose the energy efficient spot for the sleeping space, rather than some externally imposed “standard” spot.

  7. Easier solution: Get the hell out of sweaty, muggy Eastern Canada!

    (says the guy whos bedroom is about 2 million degrees tonight)

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