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Message Subject Half of AZ to Have Rolling Blackouts Due to COLD Weather. Not Kidding
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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I'm out in FAR NE Scottsdale - nearly to Bartlett Damn (it's about 2.4 miles north of us) in the Rio Verde area. Our lows last night were in the mid-twenties. Tonight they're expecting lows down to high teens. We even had a pretty good shot at snow last night, but didn't get enough to matter.

We have 3 Heat Pumps that, thank heaven, have emergency heating coils in their compressors and in their Air Handlers. When the compressors become inefficient at about 40 degrees and lower, the electric coils kick on and give the compressors a "boost" of heat to transfer into the house. However, although this works, the process is slow and the compressors and the coils must remain on for three times longer than they would normally run. The coils in the compressor also act to keep the compressors from icing up and stoping all together.

If one of the compressors should fail, we also have 50 AMP coils in the air handlers in the attic. If a compressor were to fail, we can turn off the outside compressor unit (or it shuts off automatically) and turn on those big coils in the air handlers. Those coils turned on by setting the T-Stats to "emergency heat" and the fan set to "on" vs to "auto" gives us an instant big electric furnace.

So yes, most of us are running between five and fifteen tons of AC most of the night to stay warm. To make it worse, our house has lots of 12' ceilings in most rooms. The entry hall is 18' tall. And the floors are mostly travertine marble over slab. (Colder than a well-diggers' ass most of the time!) Those things are helpful in summer in terms of keeping the house cooler. But now, they're combining to make it impossible to get the house above 70 degrees during the night. While not cold, it's not comfortable or "cozy" either.

SRP is turning the power off in our area. We got shut down for about 30 minutes this AM and expect more this evening when it's forecast to get seriously cold tonight.

We have two gas fired fireplaces with logs in them. They run on Propane (no natural gas out here) and use about 1 gal on propane per hour for both units running. But at least if I should need to, I can take off the glass screen and put a kettle or a sauce pan directly on the ceramic logs and the flame underneath them.
 
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