I mentioned recently that we purchased a portable air conditioner for our upstairs. We live in a 1925 two-story Craftsman house and the duct system is less than desirable. Although we have a new furnace and central air, the upstairs does not have enough vents to keep it cool. We would set the first floor thermostat at 69 degrees just to try to keep the upstairs in the comfortable-enough-to-sleep range. So on the first floor you needed a sweater and a blanket if you were on the couch reading while on the second floor you needed shorts and a t-shirt to be semi-comfortable (and it was still too warm to sleep well). The situation was also made more frustrating by the fact that our offices are upstairs so we spend a significant part of our day in the warmer part of the house.
With my pregnancy going over the summer, we decided to invest in the portable air conditioner. We have it in our bedroom and it does a great job of keeping things cool upstairs. We run it a few times a day for an hour or two here or there and draw air out of the bedroom into the rest of the upstairs with an oscillating fan. It keeps the upstairs very comfortable. Lately it has been warm enough that we have been leaving the portable air conditioner running all night. I was wondering what this was going to cost us per night, so I did a little research online. I found a GREAT site with all kinds of helpful info.
Based on what I read there and the calculators they have, the portable air conditioner should pay for itself rather quickly. We’ve been able to put our central AC at a higher temp which will save money. And the portable AC only takes about one-fifth of the energy the central AC does. Woohoo!!!
It also showed us how much cheaper it is to use a laptop than a regular desktop and monitor computer. We went to laptops only in the past year or so and they are much cheaper to run than the previous computers we had. Every little bit helps!
If you are interested in cutting your electrical costs, take a few minutes and check out this site. It has a lot of interesting info.