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  1. #1

    Help with do's and don'ts of general air conditioning

    In short, I am looking for a good resource of article/s my grandmother can read (as this is all she MAY believe when it comes to what is right and wrong way of doing things) as it pertains what temp. to set the unit at, whether or not she should leave the windows open or closed, etc.

    I live with her and she insists on leaving the windows open (12 of them) because, "her engineer friend", told her to. I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Regardless, I am just looking for some, air conditioning for dummies articles for a lack of better description.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Yuup. If she pays the bills and she comfy, let her decide what she wants to do.

    Too many variables missing for a better logical answer.
    Yes, I know I Shouldn't But I Just Can't Help Myself...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Home&Marine View Post
    Yuup. If she pays the bills and she comfy, let her decide what she wants to do.

    Too many variables missing for a better logical answer.
    Yep.

    Don't argue with grandma.

  4. #4
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    Do change your air filter regularly.
    Do have the system inspected and outdoor unit cleaned annually.
    Do keep the thermostat set at 70F or higher.
    Do set the thermostat as high as possible while staying comfortable. usually 72-77F for most people.

    Don't oversize equipment, it uses more energy and makes it less comfortable.
    Don't use setbacks, keep it the same temperature and turn it down only at night for comfort when sleeping.

    Use AC or windows, not both. In general, when the outdoor dew points (overnight temperature) is consistently above about 55F, it's time to close the windows and leave them closed unless it has overnight lows in that range for more than 2 days.

    Don't jump back and forth once overnight temps are above 55F, you'll usually allow humidity into the home and will use a lot of energy removing it from the air.

    It depends a lot of what's comfortable for her. Some people only use AC when its above 90F. Personally I rarely open the windows. Once the overnight temps are into the 40's where the humidity is low enough to open windows, average temps are low enough I need some heat to keep it over 68F in the morning.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Home&Marine View Post
    Yuup. If she pays the bills and she comfy, let her decide what she wants to do.

    Too many variables missing for a better logical answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    Yep.

    Don't argue with grandma.


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    if she wants to condition the outdoors and some einstein engineer told her to, let her knock herself out



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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dandyme View Post

    if she wants to condition the outdoors and some einstein engineer told her to, let her knock herself out
    The engineer may have been talking over her head and she misunderstood him, or didn't hear him correctly. That being said, I don't know if it's old age or just that genration, but I find a lot of older folks are too stubborn to be reasoned with. Reminds me of my 3 year old.

    Easier to just let the "be right" and do their own thing. I'll bet iover 80% of folks over 70 still change their oil at 3000 miles and 6 months despite what that every car mfg's on earth now recommends at least 5-7k and normally 1 year unless you are a taxi driver or other commerical use. Some car will go 15k between changes. But nobody is going to convince them otherwise.

  7. #7
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    She needs to either run the air conditioner with the windows all closed, or open windows and shut it off all together. Trying to condition an open house is wasting her money, but then again she does own the house and you're just living with her so you can't simply "tell" her how to run things, right? As to "how to operate" the AC unit in the home, just goggle central AC operation.

  8. #8
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    There needs to be a website "grandma-talk"...... Someday there might be....my grandma is 92 worked all her life and even learned computers for the jobs she has had and I know she is the exception as I don't know anyone else besides me who can email their 92year old grandma.

  9. #9
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    i e mail my 93 yr old mom quite regurlarly.
    sent her a computer when she was in her early 70 s
    & one of my daughters went to visit & set it up for
    her. she is now lost without her computer.

  10. #10
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    I would want to meet her "engineer" friend and have him explain his reasoning for leaving windows open while the a/c is on. I'd also want to know what type of engineer he was. Seems some of them have a problem believing their particular discipline of engineering easily cross references over to others, when often it does not.
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  11. #11
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    We do not know when the engineer shared this bit of wisdom with Grandma. 'Air conditioning' did not always mean cooling, and there was a time (late 1800's to early 1900's) windows were left open all year long, and the 'air conditioning' was designed to deal with it. If Grandma's understanding of how to use her A/C came from that time, you will never win this battle.
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  12. #12
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    Very true. I have a out of service 20" ILG fan from the 1940's in my attic. That was my homes first AC sytem.

    Before that I have my downsloped 24"+ overhangs and 40 some odd windows which originally had hinged storm windows that tilted out. That got the occupants thought the summers of the mid 1930's still not match even by the current hot weather. We haven't even gotten within 10F of the record.

    The 10" boiler vent pipe and 1-1/2" gas line into the house tells me that the last gas boiler installed was pretty freaking big and probably was designed so you could leave a couple windows open in winter for fresh air. Following the flue pandemic, it was beleived for a time that fresh air year round helped prevent it from spreading. Some heating systems may have been oversized at that time to accomidate it.


    Yes, things were different 80+ years ago.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortdoc View Post
    We do not know when the engineer shared this bit of wisdom with Grandma. 'Air conditioning' did not always mean cooling, and there was a time (late 1800's to early 1900's) windows were left open all year long, and the 'air conditioning' was designed to deal with it. If Grandma's understanding of how to use her A/C came from that time, you will never win this battle.
    The engineer friend may have been talking about swamp coolers when he told her to leave the windows open.
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