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  1. #1
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    About air conditioners and energy bills

    I've been told that window units are not as efficient a Central AC and that cooling down one room with a window AC might cost more than cooling down the whole house with a central unit.

    Is that true?

    Because I wanna cool down my bedroom (10x14) during the day. I sleep during the day (night shifter) when the rest of the house is usually empty.

    When it gets to 100 outside, the Home's AC will only cool the place down to 90 at the most. And that's with the AC working at capacity (very high bill).

    Any thoughts?
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  2. #2
    Junior Member ltusmc's Avatar
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    I actually use a window unit for the computer room since I am in it most of the time I am home, and my beast of a gaming PC puts out LOTS of heat. Even with the Central air at 74 this room stays at 80 or better. So, a few months back, I picked up a 50$ window unit from Walmart for this room. I adjusted the house AC to 79. A 5 degree increase is supposed to decrease energy by ~25% for the Central unit. Now, for the window unit, I have it set on Low Cool only when I am in the room. When Im not I leave it off. My AC bill declined about 20 bucks a month using this system. I live in Florida and the heat sucks during the summer. My Central Unit is circa 1994, so it isnt a new fancy low energy rating one either. So for me, in 2.5 months, the window unit paid for itself. Plus, the comfort level in my gaming room increased drastically.
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  3. #3
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    ^ Whats the Window AC BTU and how big the computer room... my fellow Floridian gamer.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  4. #4
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Any thoughts?
    Get out of Florida?

  5. #5
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taerom View Post
    Get out of Florida?
    But I would have to learn English...
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

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    most window units are slighly less efficient, maybe 10 or 20% less efficent i.e kwhs used to move X btus of heat, than a NEW modern house A/C. But cooling only one room requires much less energy than cooling 5 or 6 rooms. Sounds like your home A/C needs repair or replacement

  7. #7
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    But I would have to learn English...
    umm... what language are you posting in?

    My suggestion: Live in Alaska, but only during the summer.
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  8. #8
    Pleasurable Pain greyghost_6's Avatar
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    I would think window units would be slightly more efficient because the cool air has to travel shorter to get out the vent. My home AC unit has duct work that goes from basically one side of my crawl space to the other, and I KNOW my crawl space stays as cool as the house in summer, lots of lost energy due to leekage or convection? But window units may leek too if you don't seal them right. I have another home that is 1000 square feet that cools pretty well with a good window unit ONLY, but its a renter.
    I had to re-learn how to walk once, but never needed to re-learn how to ride a bike. Cyclist for life.

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    Senior Member noise boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin55 View Post
    most window units are slighly less efficient, maybe 10 or 20% less efficent i.e kwhs used to move X btus of heat, than a NEW modern house A/C. But cooling only one room requires much less energy than cooling 5 or 6 rooms. Sounds like your home A/C needs repair or replacement
    This, I would bet it is not working correctly if it can't keep the house cool, despite the swampy heat of Florida.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    I've been told that window units are not as efficient a Central AC and that cooling down one room with a window AC might cost more than cooling down the whole house with a central unit.

    Is that true?
    I would say it's true, at least in the house we went through this in.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Here is a linky, it's on the interweb so it must be true:

    http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cooling.html

    The numbers probably aren't too far off. We have a 5000 BTU window unit that pulls a little less than 500 watts (measured with a kilawatt device). Running non-stop at 10 cents per kilowatt would be $36 a month. Definitely cheaper than central air, but you only get one room cooled.

  12. #12
    DON'T PANIC!
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    It's about efficiency and control. If you are really only cooling one room then a window unit, even one that is less efficient, would probably save some money. But if you are often opening and closing that door and/or losing a lot of that cooling to the rest of the house then that's a huge problem. This creates a poor situation where an inefficient device is actually cooling a much larger area. The central air unit is more efficient and the whole home is usually a much more secure thermal envelope than one room.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

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  13. #13
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taerom View Post
    Get out of Florida?
    Yeah, first it was too cold for you and now it's too hot. Are you sure you're not going through "the change"?

  14. #14
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    "Mr.Tropicana",what a wuss.
    Now you know why we have Ohioricans.

    It's all funny giving us the finger last winter till summer rolls around and frys your ass like a pastelle.WTF do you think people from Ohio named it "Winter Springs"?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  15. #15
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    When it gets to 100 outside, the Home's AC will only cool the place down to 90 at the most. And that's with the AC working at capacity (very high bill).
    Get the A/C fixed. It should be doing a lot better than that unless the house is very poorly insulated. Probably low on coolant, failing compressor or dirty coils. Any of those can be fixed for less than it will cost in electricity for the rest of the summer. First, try just using a hose end sprayer to clean off the compressor unit really well. If you've got a car wash type sprayer that takes soap, a little Dawn dish soap will get a lot of crud off and improve heat transfer.

    Also, shade the compressor (without blocking airflow) and make sure you keep up with (or ahead of) filter changes. Buy cheap filters and change them before they get gray and fuzzy. Just getting some shade on the compressor will often make a ten degree difference in the inside temperature you can achieve for the same amount of energy used.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    I've been told that window units are not as efficient a Central AC and that cooling down one room with a window AC might cost more than cooling down the whole house with a central unit.

    Is that true?

    Because I wanna cool down my bedroom (10x14) during the day. I sleep during the day (night shifter) when the rest of the house is usually empty.

    When it gets to 100 outside, the Home's AC will only cool the place down to 90 at the most. And that's with the AC working at capacity (very high bill).

    Any thoughts?
    If your AC will only cool to 90 when it is 100 outside, you are in serious need of an AC tune up . . .or more. Over here in Tampa, it never reaches 100 degrees but highs of 92- 93 are common. My AC will keep the house at 69 degrees if I prefer, like on weekends. Keeping a home at a steady constant temp is much easier than coming home at 6:00PM when the AC was set on 85 (to save costs) and expecting it to cool to 70-ish by bedtime.

    Window rattlers (as the are known by here) will do well to cool the proper size room they are rated for. But expecting a 10 or 15 thousand btu unit to cool a bedroom in Florida summers is nuts.

    You defiantly need an AC tune up. Quit fooling yourself that it is "too hot" for your unit to work properly.

  17. #17
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    "...
    Now you know why we have Ohioricans.
    ...
    AFAIK the few fellow Islanders I know settled in the Toledo strip. Ergo, the Ohiorican title is still in dispute with The Michiganite Republic.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    AFAIK the few fellow Islanders I know settled in the Toledo strip. Ergo, the Ohiorican title is still in dispute with The Michiganite Republic.

    Yes, but Michigan gained the Upper Peninsula for the strip of land that went to Ohio. There is a place in Toledo called Point Place. You can only get to a section of Michigan in Point Place by driving through the Toledo portion. Say What? Who thought up that BS?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    AFAIK the few fellow Islanders I know settled in the Toledo strip. Ergo, the Ohiorican title is still in dispute with The Michiganite Republic.
    A reply to the second statement would be apreciated homeslice?
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  20. #20
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    What's an "air conditioner"?
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  21. #21
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Move to Wisconsin. It's 64 right now.

    My interest in this thread will increase over the next few weeks. I'll be in the same boat come mid-July. What's a snowblower?

  22. #22
    Pleasurable Pain greyghost_6's Avatar
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    Ill eat some tacos and burritos from Taco bell and come and condition your air for you.
    I had to re-learn how to walk once, but never needed to re-learn how to ride a bike. Cyclist for life.

  23. #23
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    A reply to the second statement would be apreciated homeslice?
    It was 99 degrees today. My now "americanized" brain has melted and I'm unable to think of a proper comeback at this point.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  24. #24
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    Sleep in the pool.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Get a swamp cooler.

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