Remember my A/C blower motor fiasco from a few weeks ago? Frost on the indoor part (evaporator) strongly suggested the outside unit (condenser) ran for days straight. This is the power-gulping part of an A/C system.
I calculated that I burned through $190 of electricity.
I got my electricity bill today. It is $143.39, a very normal August bill!
When you normally run an A/C, the compressor fights against the heat that the cold evaporator (the indoor part) absorbs from the air. With no indoor fan running, there is no air blowing across the evaporator, no heat being put into the refrigerant, and hence no load on the system. The compressor does the equivalent of freewheeling.
That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it!
Lesson learned: Aren would be an awful meter reader.