Monday, April 25, 2011

Winter wrap up, oncoming Spring

Since I replaced the battery, my power situation seems to be stable.  However, with some of the warm days, I tried running the air conditioner off of batteries (this is the 9500 BTU air conditioner) and it only runs a few hours.  My watt meter's screen doesn't appear to be turning on, so I'm not sure how much it is drawing.  I also tried running it on "fan only", and that seems to draw the batteries down just as well.    More on this further down.

Some tidbits from Winter:  I bought a heated blanket from Target.  It worked wonderful... for about 3 hours.  I woke up freezing.   Now, these blankets have an auto-shut off for 8 hours that can be reset by turning it off and on again.  That was not the issue.  So I exchanged it for another blanket and that one never turned on in the first place.  This was very frustrating.   I returned that one for cash.

I ordered a Sunbeam heated blanket from Amazon.  This works "ok".  It takes about 20 minutes to heat up, but does remain heated.  However, the blanket seems to only be useful if I foldit up around me (which the instructions warn me against doing).  Otherwise, you don't really feel any warmth from it.  I would say my sleeping bag remains more useful.

What would probably work better would be a mattress pad.  These are designed to be placed under blankets and radiate warmth.  I would love to have one of these setup with a remote control/timer.  Say at 5:50am it turns on and starts heating up.  I would get out there by 6:20 and just climb right in to heated goodness.

Finally, today marked a grand entrance into Spring for me with temperatures outside bordering around 90F.  I had brought the generator back down yesterday, topped it off, and had it ready for today.  It got to 84F by 11am, so I went out, started up the generator, and fired up the air conditioner.  The temperature started dropping nicely and I actually got cold enough to put a blanket on.  Sweet, sweet, air conditioned bliss.

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