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Ok, so I had to come and ask all you engineers and aged folks this. We are in our 2nd day of rolling blackouts state wide, supposedly to help relieve stress on the electric grid due to cold temps we havent seen In decades. My question is this: many people In the state have gas heaters and propane heaters. But no one I know has heard of a gas powered air conditioner. We have triple digits all summer long and no rolling blackout. Why now?
 

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I heard on the news that several powerplants are offline because some of the water lines froze and burst due to the low temperatures.
We don't get frozen pipes in the summer.
Also, in the morning there is an immense load on the grid as homes and apartments with electric heat struggle to keep warm and then everyone gets up and turns on their electric stoves and ovens to cook breakfast.

Oh, by the way, there are gas air conditioners, but they are rare.
 

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I didn't know about the power plants. Think its stupid to keep Cowboy Stadium running and are killing power to families and homes with children. The extra am load isn't any worse than in the summer. if so, the blackouts would only be in the morning. but the offline power plants is news to me. thanks.
 

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If you leave out gas, propane, solar and wind generated heat, there are basically 2 ways to generate heat in homes today: heat pump and resistance heat. The use of the heat pump would be very similar to the use of a/c during the summer at what I would call normal winter temperatures. When the temps get very low, the heat pump does not work very well, and your homes get heated by resistance heat (a.k.a. emergency heat or AUX heat.)

The use of resistance heat is much more expensive (you will come back here again when your elec bill comes in) because it uses a lot more electricity than your heat pump normally would. The rolling black outs are to try and give everyone SOME electricity and not get to a situation where people have no electricity for a long period of time.

The stadium is generating more money for the city than it is using in electricity...if you take a very broad look at the situation IMHO.
 

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I had a gas a/c when I lived in VA in the 70's. Not too crazy about it, but it did work from time to time. Let the fun begin
 

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FWIW, i was surprised to learn that in this area, the peak load day occurs in the winter. I would have thought it would have been a hot day in August, with the A/C's all running, but no.
 

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If properly sized for your home, a heat pump will easily keep up with heating demands, without needing resistance heat elements - unless you are one who fiddles with the thermostat, well down into the teens. Problem is, many are marginal size, either because of saving money at time of installation or not thinking you will need a larger unit when located farther South. A heat pump, when in the A/C mode, is not as efficient as when in the heat mode and your electric bill will be higher monthly unless you keep the A/C temp set pretty high. In my area of the country, the max electricity demand is in Summer. News said this may be last day of rolling blackouts.
 

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If properly sized for your home, a heat pump will easily keep up with heating demands, without needing resistance heat elements - unless you are one who fiddles with the thermostat, well down into the teens. Problem is, many are marginal size, either because of saving money at time of installation or not thinking you will need a larger unit when located farther South. A heat pump, when in the A/C mode, is not as efficient as when in the heat mode and your electric bill will be higher monthly unless you keep the A/C temp set pretty high. In my area of the country, the max electricity demand is in Summer. News said this may be last day of rolling blackouts.
Same here. Summer we have a huge demand for electricity. But I guess we dont have all our plants online, or didnt.

And its not cute, Rigger. It freaking ticks me off. They have no excuse for acting like chicken little when I have lived here longer than many that act like that. 25 out of 27 years, and I dont act a fool. Then again, I taught myself how to deal with ice the first chance I got, and I keep the apt in the 60's in the summer. Its been 7-8 years since Ive used central heating.
 

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If properly sized for your home, a heat pump will easily keep up with heating demands, without needing resistance heat elements - unless you are one who fiddles with the thermostat, well down into the teens. Problem is, many are marginal size, either because of saving money at time of installation or not thinking you will need a larger unit when located farther South. A heat pump, when in the A/C mode, is not as efficient as when in the heat mode and your electric bill will be higher monthly unless you keep the A/C temp set pretty high. In my area of the country, the max electricity demand is in Summer. News said this may be last day of rolling blackouts.
In cold climates heat pumps will not provide all the heat needed in the winter. This is because heat pumps are sized for the cooling load of the house. The heating load in a cold climate is higher than the cooling load so auxilary heat is needed. It can be gas, oil or electric back up. In Indiana where I live we have to add auxilary heat when it gets into the 30 degree range. If you were to put in a heat pump large enough to heat the house through the whole winter it would be too large in the summer and would not control humidity properly.
 

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In cold climates heat pumps will not provide all the heat needed in the winter. This is because heat pumps are sized for the cooling load of the house. The heating load in a cold climate is higher than the cooling load so auxilary heat is needed. It can be gas, oil or electric back up. In Indiana where I live we have to add auxilary heat when it gets into the 30 degree range. If you were to put in a heat pump large enough to heat the house through the whole winter it would be too large in the summer and would not control humidity properly.
I take it you work in HVAC, heating man?
 

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When I lived on Guam we had what was called "load shedding" and it was basically the same thing as rolling blackouts. Each section of the island would lose power for a few hours. We got used to it over time. Bad thing was losing the A/C as the concrete houses became hot boxes once the A/C was off.

Our power company has a prerecorded phone call that they send out asking people to shut down as much electrical items as they can during specific hours when they expect over-the-top usage. We normally ignore it as we conserve to start with. Most people are amazed when comparing our electric bill to theirs. It really does pay to conserve energy.
 

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And its not cute, Rigger. It freaking ticks me off. They have no excuse for acting like chicken little when I have lived here longer than many that act like that.
No, really. It's kinda cute, how people get all freaked out like that.

It's February, people. It snows in February. It has snowed in February for a very, very long time. Better get used to the idea.
 
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