For what it's worth, there has been only one day so far this summer (July 7th) when we cracked and turned on the A/C. The TED log for that day reveals that our household electric consumption was roughly double that of a regular day! The air-conditioner is an energy hog, something like 5kW when it is running (this includes the furnace blower). Some of the tricks we've used to keep ourselves comfortable without A/C are:
- Whole house fan (installed some years ago), and getting up early in the morning to run it and suck cool air into the house. Of course it helps to have a cheap thermometer that shows inside and outside temps, so one can decide when this is a losing game.
- Careful with shades, so as not to let sunlight in (solar gain) on the south side of the house. I'm just talking ordinary drapes and blinds here - we don't have any fancy reflective stuff.
- Extra roof insulation (R50) installed this year and a solar roof fan. Really seems to make a difference upstairs.
- Indoor fans, occasional cold showers, and ice water!