Has the bum economy forced you to ditch your A/C?
By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance
Living a summer in Canada without air conditioning brings two things to mind.
One, of course, is the unwelcome Dick Vitale sweat you get going after a shower, yet the other is a kinder revelation that pops up in your bank account every 60 days or so.
Keeping the A/C off or low in the warmer months surely keeps the hydro bill down, as we all know. But, quite honestly, it’s likely the people without the option of climate control in the first place making the move to open windows and oscillating fans.
So it brings forth the question as Canada trudges through its first summer of the recession: has an economy that encourages penny-pinching forced you to ditch A/C, where you would normally use it, for the savings in hydro?
The answer appears to be a resounding “yes” in the U.S., at least, according to the New York Times. The paper says shipments of window air conditioners were down 39% in the first half of 2009 compared with the same time period a year earlier. Central A/C unit sales are down 10% apparently, too.
Blogs have even popped up detailing home owners' plights to cave on the A/C luxury for savings, complete with suggestions on how to cope with the loss.
One writer proposes a few tricks, like using high-thread sheets (they feel cooler, I guess) on your bed and keeping a pitcher of ice water near you at all times.
Of course, these tips and stats come out of the U.S., where locales like Texas and the Arizona Sun Belt boost August temps higher than Stevie Wonder’s hairline.
Our summers here are more manageable, granted, but the savings are still undeniable.
So the matter remains. Are you giving A/C, as my cheeseball roommate would say, the cold shoulder?
Posted by: Ross Graham | Jul 30, 2021 10:23:30 AM
Cold shoulder to AC not really! The weather has given us the cold shoulder even down here in Windsor. We have not needed AC yet this year. Closing the house early in the day and turning on the furnace fan has kept the house comfortable even on the few hot days we have had. There has not been a night yet that we could not open the windows and sleep comfortably. Most years the AC goes on by the third week of May and stays on until after Labour Day. The odd comfortable night we usually got was a bonus. This has been a great moderate summer, we love it!
Posted by: Jennifer Taylor | Jul 30, 2021 11:26:38 AM
We don't have A/C. In Edmonton we do get days of 30+, but A/C is usually reserved for people with nothing else to spend their money on. Turn on the furnace fan and install a ceiling fan in the bedroom! Haven't had a night in years that was too hot to sleep. There are things we can do that don't cost nearly as much. Those who have to live in sub-standard housing are the ones I feel sorry for.
Posted by: Eve | Jul 30, 2021 11:53:28 AM
I am just north of Toronto and have never had or needed A/C. Last summer I had the heat on all year except for a few weeks in July and August. This year the heat is still going on every morning. We had one week when I took the comforter off the bed and opened all the windows. It is too cold to do that now. This is summer?
Posted by: mark | Jul 30, 2021 12:13:58 PM
Hottest summer on record,but rebuilt house with min 7" max 12" walls low e windows and it does not get hot . temp 32 record outside here but 24.Open windows at night close a t 8 am and temp on low floor never goes above 23 . dont have furnace wastes to much energy...even furnace fan motor uses too much energy
Posted by: Jim | Jul 30, 2021 12:17:58 PM
Is this global wamring, I suppose it is affecting our weather in different ways. Well if you can set aside the fact that the earth has been warming since the last ice age 11,000 years ago. I am in Eastern Ontario, where we have not needed the A/C due to the coldest July I personally remember.In certain areas of Canada the humidity is greater than others, where someone with 32'C40% humidity in Alberta may be fine, another person in Windsor32'C 95% humidity may feel like 45'C
I am a Heating and A/C contractor, we have sold no air conditioners this summer at all, but we have had heating service calls throughout the summer months.
Posted by: Sheila B | Jul 30, 2021 12:18:18 PM
It's not the bum economy - it's the bum weather. We have not needed AC this year in southern Ontario but the dehumidifier costs are mounting! AC is not something I use often anyway, preferring open windows and, occasionally, a ceiling fan.
Posted by: H. Browne | Jul 30, 2021 1:01:59 PM
This weather in South eastern Ontario is maritime in nature and very welcome. Last year October was a fine bright month at Thanksgiving, then it fell to rain (what's new there) and lower temps.
But maritime, I could be in NB.
Posted by: C.Waddell | Jul 30, 2021 1:42:05 PM
Are you kidding? It has been at least 29 above for 2 weeks! I have 2 window A/C units and they run! And my power bill has NOT been affected!
Posted by: Iva | Jul 30, 2021 2:16:58 PM
It is way too hot in Vancouver now. And humid. Several days already is it over 30 during the day, and my apartment does not get to cool down at night either (which is normally not the case). I usually use 4-seasons duvet cover, and now cannot bare any covers at all. My only option would be portable A/C as the building regulations forbid window-mounted ones. Portables are massive and expensive, but I might have to get one after all.
Posted by: Paul | Jul 30, 2021 2:50:14 PM
What A/C.... living and working from a new home ... now a tent... doesn't allow for A/C connections.....
Posted by: daytimedolphin | Jul 30, 2021 4:39:15 PM
Down in Southwestern Ontario we have not really needed the AC. If worse comes to worse cold showers and a fan. Plus with the cost of hydro I can't afford the extra I am still paying off winter.
Posted by: donna | Jul 30, 2021 4:45:27 PM
here east of oshawa, we had ours on once this year for a few days back in the spring. it has been a beautiful summer temperature wise. a bit too much rain.
Posted by: You Would Like To Know | Jul 30, 2021 5:08:16 PM
the earth weather is in cycles and we can only have an idear of what the temperature is like thousands of years ago, just like our body works in cycles and most common the economy, the price of oil and your grocery bill because we cut the trees down to build houses to live and factorys to work and giant hig rise building with lots of pretty glass all around those building so they reflect lots of sunlight and we put giant a/c units on the roof to cool those building down! and also we destor all the marsh land and farm land and we do what we like with those lands and then we complain the price of food is high we mess the earth up and we complain, the earth is getting hot!!
Have you considered if the planets are getting hotter also or maybe space is heating up also, what about your bank account also.
Lets face it we are doing the damage ourself!
What God has to say about it read your BIBLE PLEASE !!!
Posted by: Jeremy | Jul 30, 2021 5:11:22 PM
The A/C has not yet been in my house this year because the few hot days we have had are not enough to warrant it. I would rather have to tolerate some small discomfort than burn energy wastefully. Even last year when we had a real summer, open windows in the evening and a decent fan did the trick.
Posted by: Scott Reid | Jul 30, 2021 5:17:04 PM
Can we transfer RRSP funds to our Children as well as our Spouse?
Posted by: Nick Wright | Jul 30, 2021 6:36:22 PM
I've only run the A/C a few times this year, it definitely saves money. I also find some money saving tips at http://www.chimpout.com/forum
Posted by: Barret | Jul 30, 2021 8:32:21 PM
You guys are nuts if you think I am gonna save money by turning off the AC . I don't care what it costs me I need to sleep at night.
Posted by: mcshane | Jul 30, 2021 9:00:38 PM
Still paying down the winter hydro bill...need heat in the winter more than cold in the summer.
Posted by: oliver | Jul 30, 2021 10:57:53 PM
our house is heated and cooled by geothermal heat pump. we use the cool air way more now than when we had a/c. sweet living and pennies on the dollar.
Posted by: Nick | Jul 30, 2021 11:59:18 PM
Lovely, we have a ductless system and it is 50% chealer than conventional AC.
People using old systems, window ac and wall or plug ins will pay more. Ya got put out to save. IF so swet too much on goes the washing machine and you know there's no escape.
Geothermal or duckless is the way to go. Geothermo more expensive to install. Duckless
installed in one day average cost fro house about 8,000. Also nice even air control fro heat or cooling. Want one installed give me a call.