August 22nd, 2011


Local Cooling

Little more than a week remains of August, and I have yet to turn on my air conditioner this summer. Last year's summer was uncommonly mild, but I probably had the air conditioner running ten or twelve hours altogether. Unless we get a major heat wave, it looks as though I could get through this summer with no use of it at all.

While I'm delighted to save so much energy with so little discomfort, I'm now really regretting spending money to get the machine serviced this year. The HVAC company that installed the furnace/air conditioner has a deal so that, if you get your equipment cleaned up twice a year, you get a big discount on any emergency services. The machine is getting on in years, and is thus increasingly likely to fail, so it seemed worthwhile.

It's supposed to run more efficiently if it's cleaned up regularly, too, and I thought paying for the service was just about at the break-even point, given the cost of power. But if I'm going to save the cost of energy anyway by never using the thing at all, it seems a waste. I wonder if I could get the emergency service discount for the furnace only? The last couple of winters have been as cold as the summers have been mild, so the furnace has gotten a real workout every year.

Anyway. It was another moderately hot day, and now it is another moderately cool night, and I can sit here in comfort mentally counting the money I've saved. No power bills above thirty dollars for three months in a row. I hope the moderation continues through September. I need to save up money for property taxes, due in November, and I'd rather do it with a minimum of heat sweat. I'm actually more worried about a sudden and prolonged autumn cold spell, though. I can tolerate the heat, but not the cold.