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New AC on the Way
Last night, my AC wasn't working at all... the townhouse thermostat read 84 degrees, so I just opened up the windows upstairs and got a breeze blowing. However, this won't work later in the summer when it's still sweltering in the evening. Fortunately, I'd already had people out a couple of weeks ago to make a bid on a new system, and I just confirmed that Strand Brothers will be out between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning to start the installation. No late night hacking run for me tonight, and I need to go set my alarm so I'm up and about before they arrive.

My new system improves my efficiency from 10 SEER 10 to 15 SEER, a pretty major improvement. Based on charts I've seen online, I'll probably save about $300 a year here in Austin from the upgrade, since the AC gets to run so much during the summer. There are a few other energy-use improvements I should make too; I ought to replace my bedroom's lamp, going from a high-wattage halogen to a compact florescent unit. I've already replaced most of the rest of the lighting with CF bulbs, and they work very well. I also need to get a hot-water heater insulation blanket, which will keep my heater from running as often.

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hot water heater insulation blanket?

They are blankets you can buy to wrap around your hot water tank. They help keep the water from losing its heat as quickly. A good article on the topic is online at http://www.stretcher.com/stories/970127c.cfm.

And for the uber-geeks, I've got the Radio Shack gizmo that will tell you how much you're pulling through a socket. When plugging my computer rack into it, it showed that I wasn't using as much juice as I'd feared. Anyway, you're welcome to borrow it if you want to spot-check your usage around the house.

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