Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Good 'Ole Summer Time

It's been hot here in Los Angeles, but that's not surprising--it's summertime! The advent of the hot weather brings on the yearly crisis: "To fix the air-conditioner, or not to fix the air-conditioner?" that is the question.

We live at the bottom of a (roughly) north/south canyon. The morning sun is late hitting the house and by mid-afternoon the sun no longer is directly on the house as well. There usually is a gentle breeze blowing up the canyon. This keeps the house cool in the summer for 99.8% of the time, and keeps the air-conditioning bill at $0. This is very, very cool as well.

We have upstairs in a strategic position one of those huge 220 volt through-wall air-conditioning units with enough BTU's keep the whole house like a deep freezer. When it was operational it also required hocking the family jewels to feed $$$ to the DWP (Department of Water and Power--for you non Californians). Even so, there were approximately 2-3 days per year when we didn't care what it cost, then the monster broke down--the cooling part still works, but the fan motor shaft warped from overheating so the fan won't work.

A friend, accountant type, suggested I do a cost analysis before spending any money, so I did. The unit is used 3 days a year, or 72 hours. There are 8,760 hours a year, so it's utilized 0.8% of the year. The best estimate I can get to repair the unit is $380. which means that to keep cool in August this year will cost $5.30/hour + electricity. Hummmmm?

As I sit here in my underwear sipping ice water writing this, I really have no problem with temperature at all!