Forsyth MO - In late June, every year, I always grow a little bit concerned about how much money my heat pump is going to burn through just to keep my house cooled down to a still warmish 82°F. With electric rate recently increased to a summertime rate of 0.1149 cents per kilowatt hour (up from .1070 or a 7% increase), I want to make sure I'm doing all that I can to keep my electric bill as small as possible. Note that the Empire Electric Coop also tacks on a $12.52 usage charge to every monthly bill!
In July, down here in southwest Missouri, we can often get into the low to mid nineties (average high is 89°F), with oftentimes lots of humidity to make things even more uncomfortable. From past experiments, I've already ascertained that when the temperature hits the 90 degree mark, it will typically mean a 30+ kWh power use day to run my whole house and to cool it down to 81°F. Last year, the temperature hit 90+ over 16 times in July! The only thing that save me that year was a surprise cool down toward the end of the month! My total power used, that year, was 674 kWh. That would relate to a $90 electric bill at todays current rates.
|Forsyth MO temps for July 2013|
So, what's my plan for this summer? I want to keep my electric cost as low as possible without frying in the process. I've considered a couple of alternatives, including purchasing a small portable AC unit to cool just my man cave. This unit has a dual function in that it both cools the air and dehumidifies! The SPT 8,000BTU Single Hose Portable AC unit pictured here, sells for $288 on Amazon. The problem I have with this approach is that it also uses power!
A second approach to saving on energy would be to utilize my basement on the really hot days. The air down there typically runs at about 67°F all year long. It's a finished basement complete with a bedroom and a bathroom, so I may just plan to move down there and see how that goes. Stay tuned for more!