Air Conditioning

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Air Conditioning -- it's a great thing to have when it's hotter than you-know-what out there. If you're a 'Long-Time Reader' of BuildYourOwnHouse, you'll know that my husband, Dwight, is a Heating & Air Conditioning Man, so I get to hear about Air Conditioning pretty much every day... I know, you're jealous, but try to contain yerself for a wee bit -- the conversations ain't nearly as riveting as you might think! ha,ha,ha!

If your house is consistently hot for any length of time during the year, your best bet is probably Permanent Air Conditioning, usually called 'Central Air Conditioning'. This is set up beside your furnace (if you also live where it is cold enough for a Furnace, and if you don't live in a cold climate, lucky you!!). They generally cost under $3500.00 for a permanent A/C Unit, and cost about $80. - $150./month to run in a really hot month.

You can look online or in your local Yellow Pages under Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors, or Mechanical Contractors. Dwight owns D.K. Mechanical, Ltd., so that's hows I knows that...! ha,ha! Before I met Dwight, I didn't know a thing about Air Conditioning...! <Air Conditioning & Cooling>

Quick Tip -- if you look at the Thermostat on your wall, you'll notice that there is a 'Fan' Switch. Turn this to 'On', and it will circulate the cooler air from Downstairs (assuming you have a Downstairs...) around the house. One way or another, it's very useful for moving the air about, so it might help to cool your house down. (See how I cleverly used the color Blue -- it has a cooling effect, too!)

If you have your Air Conditioner set up during the building process, if you are building your own house or having a house built for you (by a Regular Builder), you can just add the cost of the Air Conditioner into the Mortgage -- at $3500., and a Mortgage Rate of, say, 5%, you're looking at at about $17.50 per month, which is very reasonable to stay cool and healthy -- and much happier than if you were sweltering...!

I asked Dwight if the price varies for a permanent Air Conditioning Unit in a house, depending on the size of house (our house is 5400 square feet, and the A/C Unit cost about the same as our last house, which was about 1700 square feet -- see the leap you can make when you Build Your Own House?? ha,ha! Just a wee plug for meself!!)

If you're already in your house, and you don't want to spend that kind of coin for Air Conditioning, you might like the new Portable Air Conditioning Units. They are about 3 feet high, and about 4 feet wide, and quite thin -- maybe 8 - 10 inches. They plug into a normal Electrical Outlet and can be rolled from room to room. They are incredibly effective and quite Energy Efficient, so that's good. You could attach it to yer ankle, and just drag it along behind you to stay cool ...wait a sec... now that I think of it, that's a terrible idea -- who thought of that?? No, no. It's semi-permanent, in that you'll need to keep it in a good section of the room where it can be the most effective. These Larger Portable A/C Units usually go for around the $300. - $700. Range.

The much, much less expensive Air Conditioners (and most common, especially if you are a Renter) are the Portable Fans, and they have some very cool (so-to-speak!) Fans out there, these days. Much safer than the old kind where you really had to count your fingers at the end of each day to make sure you still had 'two hands full'... sharp and crazy, those old fans... but the new ones are very effective and come with all the nice modern safety features you want and need.

I found some good deals for you, and I'll keep poking around the 'Net to see what other great deals I can find for you. Buying an Air Conditioner online is a much better bet than trying to find one in the regular store, since the vast majority of the stores are completely sold out of their A/C Units, so you'll get yours faster online.

Oh, and if you buy a Window Air Conditioner, they're fairly simple to install, but these make me nervous in Highrise Apartments... you're choice, of course, but I think if I lived in a steamy, hot (must be a Bachelor's Apartment...) Highrise Apartment which desperately needed to be cooled down, I think I'd go with a Portable Fan.

One thing I would like to look at for our next house (whenever we're ready to build, again...), is to connect the Heating and Air Conditioning Units to an Alternate Energy Source, like a Solar Energy Panel connected to a Generator that would run those units separate from the rest of the house. This seems like a practical thing to me, since too much use of Air Conditioners in the Hot Months often seems to cause a 'Brown Out', or much worse, a 'Black Out', like what happened when the Grid was overloaded in the summer of 2003... we were in Vegas at the time, and that was a scary time.

Anyway, using an Alternative Energy Source (Solar, Wind, Geo-thermal...) seems like a very good idea to pursue, so I'll let you know what I find out about it...

So here are some Great Deals to help keep you cool...

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<Black & Decker Typhoon Tower Fan
Black & Decker Typhoon Tower Fan

Black & Decker® Typhoon Oscillating Fan (BDSF1610)
Black & Decker® Typhoon Oscillating Fan (BDSF1610)


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