Man oh man, welcome to The Cheapskate Analysis, something that may or may not become a recurring series here on Ridinkulous. Here I hope to use the power of maths to find the cheapest option where previously only anecdotes and mystery was found. And then decide whether it’s worth it to be a cheapskate. It’s all part of our mission to save money and live more awesomely.
Today, we compare FANS vs AN AIR CONDITIONER!
Cooling down our big brick house is not easy. It’s a two-story building without an attic, which means that all the heat goes to the top floor and stays there until you let it out. The problem is that our bedroom is on the second floor. So although the first floor stays relatively comfortable throughout the summer, the upstairs is always 5-10 degrees warmer.
This makes sleeping difficult or impossible. We have one air conditioner, and it’s for the bedroom. The rest of the upstairs can remain hot. It’s actually really nice during bedtime rituals to walk from a raging hot 88 degree bathroom into the cool comfort of an air-conditioned bedroom.
But everyone says air conditioners are expensive to operate. Surely, it’s true, right? We see our electricity bill spike during the summer months, and it must be partly due to the A/C. It’s not a big jump, but it’s noticeable.
So every year, I run into the same debate. When to put in the air conditioner? We start out by using fans to push the warm air out the windows and draw cooler air in throughout the day, and that works marginally well. And this probably saves money over the A/C. But how much more? On the hottest days, we are running a ceiling fan, a floor fan, and a pair of window fans all day long. How much more expensive is it to run just the air conditioner instead of all of these fans?
Let’s have a look!