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1 BR apartment in a 12-yr-old Manhattan building. Con-Ed bill runs $60-70 per month in winter but $300-400 in Summer, mostly due to Air Conditioning. A/C units are through-the-wall, building-installed, "reversible" for either heat or Air Conditioning. There is one unit in the Living/dining room, second in the bedroom, both are usually not running at the same time. Apt is approx 650 sq ft, north-facing (so no direct sun), and the recent ConEd bill showed 750 kwh of use= $246. This seems high to me, and will be even worse following this week's heat wave. We don't leave lights on, the computer and power strip are "off" all day long, dishwasher is run in the early AM, 1-2x per week at most...Comparison of costs from other apartment dwellers would be helpful. I don't know what else to do to lower the electric bill, it seems like these A/C units are energy vampires...lost cause?
1 Br apartment in a 60's brick building with windows that are about 20 years old. East facing apartment that gets direct sun till about 2pm every day.
Heat, H/W and Central a/c included in maintenance, so pretty consistent electric bills all year round. About $85 per month, and I am away on business M through F most weeks. So - essentially the refrigerator plus weekend electric use is all that is included in the $85 per month. If I recall, I use about 230 kwn per month.
Something seems fishy, pepino. An AC sucks 1-2 killowatts max, so 750 kwh is consistent with running one of them 24/7.
North-facing Manhattan 1br: $110-140 during the summer, $70-80 during the winter. That's the total payment to ConEd, including gas. I do have two wine fridges... not big ones, just the GE 30-bottle.
I have a through-wall AC unit in the living room and a window unit in the bedroom. I don't set the AC below 76F and only run it when I'm at home in the evenings, usually one at a time.
Can you set your AC units to a higher temperature? Maybe add a fan or two to help? I'd also check the sizing -- you don't need a huge number of BTUs to cool 650 square feet. Plenty of BTU calculators on the web if you want to get some estimates.
clean filter weekly?
Pepino that seems high. Similar specs on our last 1 bed and our winter bill averaged around 70-80 in the winter/ 180 in the summer and we ran our A/C ALOT and very cold. I can't remember ever having a bill higher than 200. On the other hand, if this makes you feel ANY better (it totally wont) our Hong Kong rentals utilities make NO sense whatsoever and are calculated by Square Feet And usage. And Hong Kong square feet is not NORMAL square feet, as the usable space is nearly half. Our monthly bill s calculated at 920 sq feet for what is the equivalent of 600sq feet back home in NY and the bill is upwards of $400 usd monthly in the summer. Bananas.
> the bill is upwards of $400 usd monthly in the summer. Bananas.
auch! do they use nat gas to generate electricity?
thru-wall a/c units that operate by way of a condenser are highly inefficient. And your getting billed an an environment where con ed has been lowering electric rates of late. Good apartments have air conditioners that operate off of recirculating cold water. This is far cheaper since you only pay for the electric to operate a fan to blow cold air already created.
pepino, you're right, something's screwy.
My apartment's twice the size of yours, but with only two window ACs of about 11,000 and 6,000 BTU.
Monthly Con Ed is between $100-$110 for most of the year. Here's summer 2011:
Those're payment dates, not usage dates, but you see the pattern.
Systems with the compressor in the apartment (through-wall or window) are less efficient than a central system, but not *that* inefficient.
If you can get to the AC unit's plug, try using something like this to find out what's going on: http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Conserve-Insight-Energy-Use-Monitor/dp/B003P2UMP8/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1340474956&sr=1-3&keywords=power+meter
> thru-wall a/c units that operate by way of a condenser are highly inefficient.
our 3 ACs for a 2 bedroom are thru-wall and pretty efficient still (each of our 14k BTU, 12k BTU and 8k BTU have EER +10). make sure you are setting it under the "money saver" mode. pay attention to your windows. getting the right curtains helps a lot. we have direct sun for hours! so curtains with white cotton facing them help a lot, great curtains pay for themselves. bad insulation is always a problem.
ConEd: $110 summer, $65 otherwise (but doesn't include gas). we don't use the 3 at the same time, turn them off and close curtains when rooms are not needed and sun is hitting the window. given that there's always somebody at home our bill is reasonable. we set the temperature at 72-74.
We had brand-new but very inefficient through-wall units (Islandair). Cost approx. 100/month per room in the summer months.
Apartment layout could also be a factor.
A typical post-war one-bedroom has side-by-side LR and BR with no cross-ventilation. If you're not running a fan in one room's window to exhaust air, drawing air into the other room's window, you've got to either run the AC or suffocate.
I've got windows in opposite sides of the building, so if there's any breeze there's air moving through, and otherwise I run a fan in one window. Right now it's 86 outside and comfortable at an open window.
Through-wall is less efficient than window units (which in turn are much less efficient than newer central or split units) ... but still (12 years ago) were subject to minimum efficiency standards. Presumably the building sized them correctly, even if not paying for higher quality.
A fan could reduce desired cooling a bit, but shouldn't have THAT great an effect on air circulation and resultant cost.
I'm going with pepino is unaware that there's a filter, or filter was removed prior to pepino's tenancy; or possibly massive air escape, although it should be the hotter air that escapes through vents near the ceiling.
Building or pepino should spring for a cleaning/testing of each unit. Possibly incorrect/leaked coolant.
Too bad NYC culture can't be changed to allow bracketing of split-ductless outside units to rear/airshaft walls of buildings. They're no noisier than window/through-wall, only marginally uglier IMO, and can split off to multiple rooms, reducing total number. And the inside units can be controlled separately room-by-room, unlike typical central air.
Also too bad the inside units of split-ductless are so phenomenally ugly. They really don't have to be.
Final guess: adjacent units are not cooled (away for summer?), and heat is moving into pepino's apartment. Especially possible from apartment below.
> Through-wall is less efficient than window units (which in turn are much less efficient than newer central or split units) ... but still (12 years ago) were subject to minimum efficiency standards. Presumably the building sized them correctly, even if not paying for higher quality.
my experience is the opposite. our through-walls are way better than window units and better than central when it comes to efficiency. these are newer units with remote control, EER +10, Friedrich. But I did see some through-wall even within the same brand that weren't delivering EEP of even 8-9. just dont' go for those. there's perfect fit between the ACs and the sleeve, so no issue with bad insulation.
new buildings like mine usually have much better insulation and newer windows do a better job too.
>And the inside units can be controlled separately room-by-room, unlike typical central air.
this issue makes them very inefficient in our case as i'm not using all the house when kid is in school and hubby at work.
NWT - great suggestion for the self-serve energy use monitor, seems like an easy way to get an objective view of what's sucking up the electric juice.
Based on the posted comments, our winter costs are similar to others, so while I'm no fan of ConEd or their rates, I'm guessing that the A/C is a big part of this equation, despite both units having been replaced during my time in this apt, as well as having the filters cleaned regularly and the coolant lines drained.
My prior experience with window units and central A/C confirms what others have said as well, they are less costly and more efficient overall; unfortunately I don't have the option to replace the A/C in my rental. Thanks to all for the helpful info.
Pepino, what fraction of the time is your AC on? I'd be suspicious that you may be paying for someone else's electricity.
You don't say how cool you keep the place.
I've got a floor through in a brownstone, refrigerator, no d/w use to speak of, usual lights and stereo, no electric heating, and 2 computers that run 24/7. Most of the year the bill is about $40. In the summer, 1 13k BTU Friedrich in the LR, and an 8k BTU in the BR, on timers that go on late afternoon, go off very early AM. Temp is set around 65. In the worst of the heat, they run 24 hrs/day. Monthly bill goes to $300-$400/mo.