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Using the Model 3 for AC vs Central AC Unit

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,282
Buford, GA
You are going to have to go into a little more detail here. What's your use case? Are you thinking about opening the Model 3 doors and let it cool the house? Are you thinking about opening the door to the garage and let the house cool the garage?
Are you thinking about sitting in the car vs sitting in the house.

Air Conditioning doesn't use the same amount of power at all time, the compressors turn on, and some of them are variable in power. You also have to add the efficiency of the container that you are cooling, is it insulated well?

Simply put, the Model 3 AC would never cool the house, and the house AC would not comfortably cool the car (generally it would be 55 degrees when the house unit turns on for about 10 seconds and slowly warmed up..
 

BioSehnsucht

Model 3 LR
Apr 1, 2016
1,801
4,942
DFW, TX

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,389
10,939
San Diego
I've heard a car AC unit is about 20,000 BTU which is as powerful as a small house AC unit. Lots of glass and very little insulation in a car. House AC is going to be more efficient. Just look at the size of the heat exchanger on a house AC unit!
Now if you could charge your car at work for free and then use it to cool your house when you get home...
 

dziny

Member
Jan 14, 2018
19
22
Edinburgh, UK
Otherwise, it's not different than using a refrigerator to cool your house. Which doesn't work, because science. In fact, the laws of thermodynamics mean you'll actually create more heat ...
This. Since AC runs on electricity it actually generates heat (into which all used electricity is converted to). So you do need to duck somehow that excess heat to outside of the house.
 

chronopc

Active Member
Jul 8, 2017
2,873
2,800
California
Sorry for the confusion. I meant is it more efficient for me to sit in my car with the AC on than to be in my house with the central unit on. When I'm the only one home, I was thinking of just hanging out in the car. I'm not suggesting that I use the Model 3 to cool down the entire house lol.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,283
6,838
Austin, TX
Sorry for the confusion. I meant is it more efficient for me to sit in my car with the AC on than to be in my house with the central unit on. When I'm the only one home, I was thinking of just hanging out in the car. I'm not suggesting that I use the Model 3 to cool down the entire house lol.
Probably yes, based on the overall size of the space being cooled. But there are a lot of factors like air leakage, insulation, solar gain, etc.
 

rhaekar

Member
Nov 9, 2017
455
380
San Diego
Too many variables. What's the seer rating on your AC unit in your house? How big is your house? How efficient is your house's heat loss/retention? Is your garage insulated? What's the outside temperature?

It's kind of a silly question. If you sit in your car with the AC on, the heat exchange is going to warm up the garage so you'd at least want to open the garage to let the heat out. It's going to use less electricity to get your car to a nice temperature than your house but you can't walk around your car, go to the bathroom, etc.

How much is your comfort worth?
 
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chronopc

Active Member
Jul 8, 2017
2,873
2,800
California
Too many variables. What's the seer rating on your AC unit in your house? How big is your house? How efficient is your house's heat loss/retention? Is your garage insulated? What's the outside temperature?

It's kind of a silly question. If you sit in your car with the AC on, the heat exchange is going to warm up the garage so you'd at least want to open the garage to let the heat out. It's going to use less electricity to get your car to a nice temperature than your house but you can't walk around your car, go to the bathroom, etc.

How much is your comfort worth?
I'm all about balancing my comfort with cost. If I'm browsing the internet or reading, I would be perfectly comfortable in the car. It also allows me to use the off peak electricity rate during the peak times.
 

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