If you are like me, then the summer time just brings the uncomfortable heat and sweat. Since I am not a child anymore and don’t have work off for the summer, I am just not a fan. I can’t drive my Jeep Wrangler around like I can in the spring or fall because it is just too hot when I have to stop. If I had the money, I would get a summer home in the mountains of North Carolina. The humidity is much less there and that is what gets to me the most.
As I stated in my Sunday roundup, my air conditioner broke last week, so I was without cooling air for a whole week. Now, since I love to DIY, I decided to look into the problem and I was able to get the A/C to work here and there. It still didn’t work very long, but it did get the house cooler than it was. Luckily, the repair service came out and finally fixed the problem on Monday, so that is always nice. I write this now with cool air streaming down from my registers. Ah, it is nice!
Ok, I got off on a little tangent there, so here is the real story. When my wife and I bought our house, we slowly realized that the A/C unit that they installed was way too small for the size of our home. We should have a dual zone system with two units, but we only have one trying to cool down our whole house. It is extremely inefficient to say the least. Every year when summer came, I had to budget in the extreme increase in cost. I realize that it is more expensive in the summer time, but it shouldn’t be this much. We do have a programmable thermostat, so that has helped.
Rethinking Our Cooling Strategy
Our programmable thermostat has the schedule that works for our family. I can control it 4 times a day and 7 days a week. It works well, but I needed more. My wife and I can handle a little warmer days and evenings, but when it is time to sleep, we like it cold. We sleep much better with cold temperatures. We are both extremely warm blooded if that is even a thing.
We have an account at CIT and they make it really easy to earn good interest and they keep competitive with other banks. You can have an account setup in minutes and customer service is easy to deal with. With a low initial deposit, this is our favorite bank for saving money.
Having said this, we just couldn’t afford to keep our home that cool at night. Since our system was inefficient, it would constantly be turning on and off to keep the temperature at the place we set it. It wasn’t good on the system and surely wasn’t good on the wallet. We needed to make a change and the only thing that came to mind was to increase the temperature. We tried it for a few weeks and just ended up with less sleep and that turns into two cranky adults. No me gusta!
Enter the Window A/C Unit
So, with less sleep and more attitude, I decided to jump on the internet and find a solution. A couple of searches and hours of reading, I stumbled across putting up a window air conditioning unit into our bedroom. This was an inexpensive (relative) solution to the problem and we could really crank down the air to keep our room nice and cold. We could also up the temperature for the whole house and that would keep our main unit from kicking on all of the time.
I measured our room and found out what size unit I needed. Well, then I jumped on Amazon, because that is one of my favorite sites to find great reviews. I looked at some of the best units that money could buy. I read reviews and looked at the costs and finally found the unit that I wanted. The issue was that shipping window a/c units was just expensive. So, I looked for the unit locally. I found it at Sears.
My wife and I went to pick it up at the store and when we got home, I installed it. I had it in the window and running in under 20 minutes. Simple installation and easy to use. We set a temperature that we would really enjoy and then went to sleep. That first night was so great that we woke up the next morning feeling fully refreshed. It. was. awesome!
Here Come the Savings
Well, this experiment was about two things. We wanted to feel comfortable when we slept in our bedroom and we wanted to save some money on our electricity bill. Of course, I wouldn’t really be able to realize the bill until I had a full month under my belt. When I got our first bill with the first full month on it, I was really surprised. I was able to kick about 40% off of my electricity bill. That is right, I was able to knock off 40%! That is huge. The reason why I was able to do this is because we could switch from using our main a/c unit to just the window unit. It doesn’t run nearly as much and doesn’t pull much electricity to run as the main unit does. It was a solid win-win situation for us.
The principle of this savings experiment is simple. Replace the heavy electricity using main unit with a smaller, more efficient unit just for the night time. Though the temperature is lower at night, we needed it much lower to hit the temperature that we love to sleep in. The obvious choice (after the fact) is the window a/c unit and I am more than happy with the purchase. Our savings was able to cancel out the purchase of the window air conditioner in just one season. Excellent!
Would you use a window air conditioner to save money? Do you have one, and if so, how do you like it?