Aircon use in houseshare

I finding myself really worked up about this issue. What would you do? Housemate is almost always home as they do not work. They always use the aircon and I am panicking about the bills during summmer. I would rarely turn it on, only if it's really hot. We are probably affected by the heat differently. I am way too shy to ask if I can pay less but I don't think it's fair.

Comments

  • +95 votes

    Walk around naked, say you had to sell your clothes to pay the last power bill

  • +17 votes

    How did heating go?

  • +60 votes

    tell them since u have the aircon on all day u can pay for 60% of the electric, totally fair. if they disagree eat their food as compensation through the night

    stop being shy, and boss it…otherwise you will get walked over

    •  

      Be careful, stories of psycho housemates

      •  

        Ditto to the flatmate

        If they go ape shit they are unreasonable be better off departing from their life , and not by death :)

    •  

      Had this with a mate a few years ago. He would run the household aircon (ducted and central so the whole house would get cooled) on 10’C nights because he would sit in his room with his giant tv, a computer, a laptop and an Xbox all running at once obviously making it hot. I asked for him to pay more of the power bill and he stopped talking to me, moved out without notice (taking a bunch of our shares possessions making us think we had been robbed) and never spoke to me or the other housemate again. What a douchebag.

      •  

        better off without dic?heads like that in your life

      •  

        Before asking him to pay more did you have a proper discussion first? Communication is key

        • +3 votes

          Communication doesn't make any difference with a lot of people that lack common sense out there.

          I hate it when people make out as if these airy fairy crap works every time.

  • +17 votes

    What would you do?

    So, what's the point if you're too shy to take action? ozemotionalsupport.com.au

  • +35 votes

    Switch it off at the fusebox, and hope your housemate is too stupid to realise why it no longer works.

  • +11 votes

    I am way too shy to ask if I can pay less but I don't think it's fair.

    You just need to be assertive. Besides that, there's nothing we can do for you; there's no deal on a magic device that'll perfectly split your power bill.

  • +41 votes

    Well in my house I communicate with my housemates.
    Communication is vital in ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you do in life.

    If you aren't talking to someone you're living with you're living with the wrong people and it generally doesn't help with your mental health.

    If you're the primary tenant with strangers the best way around this is to charge Rent+Bills at a set rate and always have yourself covered for this sort of stuff.
    If you're sharing with friends and not in it to make any money and make your life cheaper then split it evenly everyone is at home during different times and spends different amounts of time using utilities, there's no simple math's to solve your problem.
    This is an issue with communication breakdown and what you're comfortable with in your life and you're clearly not that comfortable if you're letting this get to you.

  • +2 votes

    When you say the bills, you won't feel shy anymore!
    So better think about you hard earn cash and forget your shyness!

  • +7 votes

    I don't think anything consumes more electricity than AC, pretty much everything pales in comparison.

    Agree with what conye said 100%

    • +1 vote

      The electromagnetic railgun developed by BAE Systems uses 25 megawatts. I think that's slightly more than the majority of air-conditioners.

      • +61 votes

        Shite, I've got one of those in my share house and the unemployed guy in the top room is always firing it off.

      • +1 vote

        But a railgun is energised for maybe a few milliseconds, whereas OP's AC is running for hours at a time.

        We need to know how many shots are fired per day to do a proper comparison ;)

    • +3 votes

      Water heater uses way more. AC actually doesn't use that much power.

      •  

        You're saying a 3.6kW electric water heater uses more power than a 5kW Split unit AC or a 13kW ducted AC?

        • +15 votes

          Lol you obviously don't understand how the kw rating on a/c works.

          • -3 votes

            @brendanm: Clearly I don’t, please go ahead and enlighten me.

            • +1 vote

              @trex: Are you me in a parallel universe?

            • +40 votes

              @trex: The aircon kW rating is the output power, not the amount of electricity it uses.

              An aircon will have an energy efficiency ratio (EER) for cooling which for a new aircon will be well over 3. The actual amount of electricity used will be the kW rating divided by the EER. So a 5kW aircon will usually use about 1.5kW of electricity depending on the exact model.

              An regular 3.6 kW electric water heater will use 3.6kW since it's a resistive element.

              • +3 votes

                @twadds: Thanks. Learnt something new today :) Didn't realise until now that kW rating is the output.

              • +2 votes

                @twadds: my split system air-con is rated like 3.6kW but actually uses more like 1kW on full load - then switches off when it's at the desired temperature - I think in my place (a small 2brm brick/concrete unit with good thermal mass) it costs me an average of $1 a day - and that's only when I use it - during peak heat waves and reverse cycle heating in winter.

                of course if it's on 24x7 blowing out open doors and windows in a freestanding uninsulated fibro shack, it might cost $5 a day - as a rough guess. YMMV.

              •  

                @twadds: Correct, but deceptively so. Because what we care about is not the energy consumption, but the total overall cost.

                AC runs all day, primarily in the peak period.
                Water heaters are usually wired to run offpeak period, when power is cheaper.

                For my area during summer, peak power is 44c per kw, while offpeak is 15c per kw.

                • +1 vote

                  @outlander: You honestly think an a/c is pulling anywhere near the rated power after the room/house has cooled to the set temp?

                  • +2 votes

                    @brendanm: Nah. The compressor flicks on and off as needed. But it really depends on the temperature delta. If its 35c outside, which it is for much of summer, and you've got it set to a frosty 16c, and you live in a leaky weatherboard house, you better believe the duty cycle is going to be 80%+

                    •  

                      @outlander: Inverter a/c units don't simply cycle on and off anymore. Also if you have your a/c set on 16 you deserve high power bills.

                      • +1 vote

                        @brendanm: I think you're forgetting the conditions set out by the OP. Its a sharehouse (likely old) and dumb people don't know about thermostats. They think setting it lower, makes it put out colder air.

                        •  

                          @outlander: I'm just responding to the guy saying a/c is the biggest power sucker in a household. I've already offered to be ops emotional support animal, not much else can be done for them, short of ingesting a cup of concrete.

              •  

                @twadds: I wish my ducted aircon only used 3.6KW. My power metre clocks it in at 5KW…
                10KW of solar helps during the day thank god (or science).

            • +1 vote

              @trex: An average split system costs about 60 cents per hour to run.

              Source: https://www.canstarblue.com.au/appliances/how-much-electrici...

              •  

                @baebee: To be clear it's about $1/hr for a large sized room for a split system, and $3.50/hr for ducted reverse cycle.

              •  

                @baebee: I have a fairly old window aircon set to temp "4 out of 10" (enough to comfortably cool a medium room with a hot pc) low fan speed it was averaging 12c an hour. Just set the aircon to 24c and not a stupid <18c like a lot of people do and it will be cheaper to run.

            •  

              @trex: Honestly is it that difficult to use Google? Typical 7-8kw unit will draw 2000-3000 watts at absolute max when operating at full capacity. An inverter a/c is rarely operating at full capacity.

              • -3 votes

                @brendanm: You're comparing one split system vs a whole house water heater?

                Is that a fair comparison?

                •  

                  @TEER3X: I'm simply saying your blanket statement was incorrect and silly.

                  • -2 votes

                    @brendanm: How did I make a blanket statement when I clearly said think

                    What was incorrect and silly was your comparison

                    •  

                      @TEER3X:

                      pretty much everything pales in comparison

                      No, not doesn't. It does if you work on the ASSumption that a 7kw a/c uses 7kw of power I suppose.

                      •  

                        @brendanm: Mate what are you on about? We are talking about power consumption not power draw. My toaster draws more than my tv but what ends up on my bill more because I run it more? The tv or the toaster.

                        Context is important. Op said housemate runs the AC all day, are they also taking a hot shower all day?

                        I had two six ton units out in the desert, and a gas water heater, even if I did have an electric, there would be no way it would consume what the AC units did… But anyway, we aren't talking about my situation, that's why context is important

                      • -1 vote

                        @brendanm: I never made that assumption either you are quoting my twin, that makes you the ass

        • +5 votes

          The aircon is likely to cost much more.
          My ducted aircon has a cooling rating of something like 18kw, although it's power draw is 7.4kw/h. When it's cooling it doesnt mean it will draw to its max, but if you dont have any temp sensors (my unit doesnt) then it wont be able to step down to a lower power and keep cooling at 7.4kw/h constantly.
          The water heater will draw 3.6kw/h but doesnt heat constantly, only when it notices the temp drop below a certain level.

          So in summary, AC will likely always draw the most in your house.

          Split system on the wall are about 1/3 of that power draw, but only cool 1 room.

          • +3 votes

            @dimitryp: It's almost as if everyones situation and setup is different and there is no correct answer.

          • +1 vote

            @dimitryp:

            but if you dont have any temp sensors (my unit doesnt)

            Most aircons installed in the last 20+ years have temp sensors so it is safe to say your example is not common.

            • +2 votes

              @serpserpserp: And if comparing costs to a hot water heater in an older house or unit, it's more than possible that the hot water is on an off peak tariff which could be 2/3 the cost per kWh of a regular tariff an ac is on.

              How's that for a single sentence.

          • +4 votes

            @dimitryp: Ducted systems are so unnecessary. Running a ducted system would be the equivalent of running an instantaneous electric hot water system but leaving the tap on all the time.

            Austalian homes simply aren't designed to keep heat or cooling in.

      • +1 vote

        It takes more energy to heat than to cool, but I am not sure how much more (eg energy required to keep a room 5 Degrees cooler for a day vs energy requied to keep a room 5 degrees warmer for a day).

        Never underestimate the effect of the weather upon human mood and behaviour. Singapore greatly improved productivity by air conditioning work places.

        • +1 vote

          That can't be right. In an ideal world it should be the same, but with what we have today cooling is way less efficient than heating (which is basically 100% efficient).

        •  

          It takes more energy to heat than to cool

          The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics would like a word with you. I think you have it backwards.

          Check the specs of a random reverse-cycle AC unit, heating power is higher than cooling power.

      •  

        Are you kind of dummmmm?

    • +3 votes

      hey, I found my doppelganger! :)

    •  

      I dunno, tumble dryers and fan/oil heaters would be up there too?

      At least A/C has COP/EER or 3-5 or so, fan heaters/tumble dryers - basic ones, are just resistive element.

      At least A/C gives some benefit, I really cringe on people using tumble dryers when it's 24 and sunny with a nice breeze outside. What a complete waste of electricity.

    •  

      The reverse cycle air con is surprisingly efficient, during summer my bills may increase $10 a month compared to spring with liberal usage in Melbourne.

  • +14 votes

    OK get them to log in to ozbargain and we'll sort this out for you, that's what we're here for.

  • +9 votes

    I am way too shy to ask if I can pay less but I don't think it's fair.

    Ok then, thread closed. Nothing you can do if you don't want to raise the issue.

    • +1 vote

      a normal and common behaviour for some -

      rather than actually think about, choose and do the effective action to fix the problem, one chooses instead to whinge and complain about it until the cows come home to anyone who will listen

      (it's not about 'fixing' the problem - that would be like - ooh, what can I complain about now - it's more about getting attention for my personal drama - so I feel like I exist - otherwise I am nothing)

      my downstairs neighbour is like this

  • +6 votes

    If your housemate is not employed how can they afford to share a house and pay 50% of bills food etc? Unemployment benefits don't cover sh^t.

    It is in your written agreement with share flatmate that all utilities are shared at least 50%? As other have mentioned if the flatmate has the ac on all day (6+) hrs 4 times per week then when the bill comes in calculate their share based on daily previous usage in non ac use period against new figures and bill the flatmate the excess or get rid of them

    • -3 votes

      I live with 4 people in a 4 bedroom house and I can still have $100 a fortnight leftover from unemployment benefits, pretty decent and I have the freedom to do what I want with my life

      •  

        But that is a different scenario to the op, sharing that kinda wy is probably the only way in your case, I'm thinking op is just sharing with one inconsiderate person who will bleed off anyone they can to enjoy being "entitled" maybe that's what they were allowed to do when living at home with family?

      • +4 votes

        Get a job

        • -10 votes

          Why would I need to? I didn't choose to be born into a world where existence used to be free..
          Im more than happy with my life and get to do what I enjoy every day without being a slave to society :)

          Gotta remember, if the AC is on this dude is getting the benefits also so cant charge anything

  • +5 votes

    If your not going to confront them then it’s just going to fester. Been there done that.

    Try emailing or writing a note.

    Also change to monthly billing. This will help see increase and may give you some motivation to talk to them before it’s a whole summer of air conditioner.

  •  

    Get a meter put on the circuit the AC is on, and bill accordingly.

  • +1 vote

    Get one of those smart power draw measuring things, and use the readings to split the power bill.

  • +11 votes

    My electricity company has an app that breaks down electricity usage in 30 minute blocks, presented as a graph (probably common, at least if in a state that has the smart meters installed everywhere). Having actual numbers when the aircon is running to compared to when it's off will help you to understand how much money is involved (ie. how much your housemate is costing you).

    That in turn may give you more motivation to talk to them if it's a big cost. Which if you're talking about something like a central ducted system (especially older ones) can be significant.

    Also having actual numbers helps make the discussion you're avoiding be a rational one, whereas only having a vague understanding that aircon can be expensive to run can make the conversation feel dramatic or confrontational.

  •  

    Calculate how many hours the AC is on, multiply by roughly 60 cents and then ask the roomie to foot the bill for the AC running cost.