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Old 08-16-2020, 09:27 AM
 
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As I am researching the Tucson area, I'm wondering about AC costs, due to the high heat. I would imagine that AC is generally used year round? I'd be renting an apartment or condo to start with.

Looking at smaller rentals (800-900 sq ft 1 bedroom apts or condos), should I plan on an average of $200 per month for AC?

I'd be interested in what some of the locals pay for their AC on average.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Queen Creek, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
As I am researching the Tucson area, I'm wondering about AC costs, due to the high heat. I would imagine that AC is generally used year round? I'd be renting an apartment or condo to start with.

Looking at smaller rentals (800-900 sq ft 1 bedroom apts or condos), should I plan on an average of $200 per month for AC?

I'd be interested in what some of the locals pay for their AC on average.
I'm in Phoenix and we don't use our AC year round. In fact it gets cold enough to use our heat during winter nights. Tucson is colder than Phoenix and there will be nights where heating will be required during the winter.

Also, compared to Phoenix, swamp coolers are a lot more common in the Tucson area. Beware of rentals offering free electricity as that is a red flag that the rental uses a swamp cooler.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pink Jazz View Post
I'm in Phoenix and we don't use our AC year round. In fact it gets cold enough to use our heat during winter nights. Tucson is colder than Phoenix and there will be nights where heating will be required during the winter.

Also, compared to Phoenix, swamp coolers are a lot more common in the Tucson area. Beware of rentals offering free electricity as that is a red flag that the rental uses a swamp cooler.
Thanks for the heads up on swamp coolers. I'm not sure what they are exactly, but an online search seemed to imply they were basically fans connected to water? Are they useful or is AC better?

I never would have thought that heat would be required in Tucson in the winter. But good info.
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Old 08-16-2020, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Tucson
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I have a 1-bedroom apartment, about 650 square feet. In the summer months, my household electric bill is typically about $90-100/month when I'm working from home. I did just get one noticeably higher than that ($120, I think), but problems with my a/c for that period are probably to blame. Other times of year, my bill runs $50-70, I think. I seldom use the a/c in wintertime, but I regularly need the heat.
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Old 08-16-2020, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Queen Creek, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Thanks for the heads up on swamp coolers. I'm not sure what they are exactly, but an online search seemed to imply they were basically fans connected to water? Are they useful or is AC better?

I never would have thought that heat would be required in Tucson in the winter. But good info.
Swamp coolers tend to use less energy, but are generally less effective at cooling, especially during the monsoon season.

As for heating, many assume we are as warm as Southern Florida in the winter when we are not. For Phoenix average winter highs tend to be in the 60s to low 70s and lows in the 40s, with occasional lows in the 30s; a more comparable climate temperature-wise in the winter is Houston. Tucson is somewhat cooler.
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
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I agree with Pink Jazz on this one . . .

My place is All Electric, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths at about 1500 square feet. I rarely use my A/C prior to May and beyond September. My average Tucson Electric Bill is about $60 per month and hits about $100 during the peak Summer months. My last bill which covered one of the hottest periods on record with A/C running "full speed ahead" was $102.

This month's bill will probably be a little higher but I seriously doubt anywhere near 200 bucks.

Remember, xz2y . . . when the humidity is super low there is nothing better than windows and doors open for lots of fresh air.
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Chemnitz, Germany previous in AZ, CA, AL, NJ,
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I agree with Pink Jazz and Bummer. My 1 BR north facing downstairs apartment is all electric, where the AC unit is also the "heat pump" for heating up the place when needed from roughly late November to late March. I also rarely use AC prior to May, or after early October. Even during peak summer, I leave AC off at night. I usually turn the AC on at around 1-2 pm and shut it off at 8-9 pm. So far, my highest TEP bill has been $68, and that is for an all electric apartment (cooking and water heater in addition to AC and lights). I have ceiling fans in BR & living room so those help a lot too. I often open windows for a couple of hours when I get up early at sunrise, except on those occasional mornings where it is humid in July & August.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bummer View Post
I agree with Pink Jazz on this one . . .

My place is All Electric, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths at about 1500 square feet. I rarely use my A/C prior to May and beyond September. My average Tucson Electric Bill is about $60 per month and hits about $100 during the peak Summer months. My last bill which covered one of the hottest periods on record with A/C running "full speed ahead" was $102.

This month's bill will probably be a little higher but I seriously doubt anywhere near 200 bucks.

Remember, xz2y . . . when the humidity is super low there is nothing better than windows and doors open for lots of fresh air.
Definitely agree that fresh air is always preferable to AC when possible. I'm surprised at how low your electric bills are during the hottest months.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I agree with Pink Jazz and Bummer. My 1 BR north facing downstairs apartment is all electric, where the AC unit is also the "heat pump" for heating up the place when needed from roughly late November to late March. I also rarely use AC prior to May, or after early October. Even during peak summer, I leave AC off at night. I usually turn the AC on at around 1-2 pm and shut it off at 8-9 pm. So far, my highest TEP bill has been $68, and that is for an all electric apartment (cooking and water heater in addition to AC and lights). I have ceiling fans in BR & living room so those help a lot too. I often open windows for a couple of hours when I get up early at sunrise, except on those occasional mornings where it is humid in July & August.
Excellent info. All electric apartments are probably the norm in a place like AZ. Michigan has natural gas for heating in the winter and of course electric for AC, but that's pretty minimal compared to a state like AZ.

I like ceiling fans a lot, they really make a big difference in warm weather.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:07 PM
 
2,410 posts, read 5,281,295 times
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I just looked up the average electric rates for each state, and AZ and MI are actually quite close.
These are averages: AZ = 10.85 cents per KWh, and MI = 11.40 cents per KWh.

Surprisingly, Washington State is quite low: 8.00 cents per KWh. Not surprising, the Northeast and CA are very high.

Here's the chart for the US for average electric rates by state in 2018:
https://neo.ne.gov/programs/stats/inf/204.htm
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