Air Conditioning Katy, TX
Tips to Outsmart the Smart Meter
If your electrical utility supplier provides a smart meter on your home chances are it is tracking your electricity usage. This most likely means that you are being charged time-of-use-rates.With your hourly consumption data available, your electrical supplier may be charging you for electricity based upon when you use it. This will actually cost you more in energy unless you change your homes energy use pattern.
As utility company’s time-of-use schedules will vary, you will need to learn what the schedule used is for your electrical provider. You will want to find out when the on peak, mid peak and off peak time categories are. You will also need to learn if summer and winter schedules vary. Your goal, in order to save money, will be to schedule the high use activities during the off peak or mid peak times when rates are lower.
You certainly don’t want to have to get up at 2 am to do the laundry or turn the dishwasher on, but there will be some activities that you can move to save energy dollars.
Let’s say your peak summer hours are 1 pm to 9 pm and you typically go to bed at 9:30 pm. You could delay your shower until 9:01 pm, saving on electrical costs by waiting until the peak time was over. You can start a load of clothes to wash before going to bed, and place them in the dryer the following morning before peak rates begin.
Most time-of-use-rates schedules allow the weekend to be included in off peak rates. Do most of your laundry then. Wash your bed sheets, comforter and those thick towels that take so long to dry on the weekend when rates are lower.
Wash & rinse clothes in cold water to save even more money, and use the correct spin cycle to remove all of the water that is possible for faster drying.
Avoid the wrinkle free feature on the dryer as it continues to use electricity when you forget to remove laundry from the dryer. A delay cycle can enable the dryer to run in off peak hours.
You may be over drying clothes. If your husband’s cotton work shirts have to be dried on medium heat to prevent shrinkage, try less time and adjust until you know the amount of time it really requires. Add a clean, dry, fluffy towel to wet towels and loads of jeans. They will dry faster according to some sources. I forgot to turn the dryer to high after drying a load of cotton on medium, and learned a load of jeans would dry (with the fluffy towel inserted) in 30 minutes on medium rather than 45 minutes on high.
The dishwasher can be loaded after meals, and turned on during off peak time (if you are awake), especially if it has a delay cycle.
If you provide your own “street lights”, place them on a timer so they cut on at a later time. For example, a on at dusk light will cut on before full darkness is established, usually during peak times. If it is not fully dark for two hours after it cuts on, use a timer to set it when darkness actually falls, in this way it is using less of the peak time electricity. Choose LED lights for the most energy savings, they cost more, but have a long service life and may very well pay for themselves long before the end of their useful life.
Install LED motion sensor security lights for entrances to your home. Be sure to aim the sensor so that it engages when people approach your home, not after they have already climbed the dark steps. As you leave your home, if the sensor isn’t too high, you can wave an arm to activate the light enabling you to see as you leave the home. How long the light remains on is adjustable on many motion sensor lights.
If you use a robotic vacuum in your home and it is programmable time it to run during off peak hours, you will wake up to clean floors and a reduced power bill.
Turn off electronics when not in use to prevent their using “stand by power”. I confess I don’t do this with my television. I am not going to reprogram my complicated TV every time I unplug it. As my TV is one of the high energy use ones, I program my DVR to record shows, and watch them on weekends or during off peak use. I do have my computer, modem, wireless router and printer on a surge protector that I turn off when not in use.
Buy the largest toaster oven you can afford and use it when you can, rather than a large electric stove. Crockpots provide tender and tasty pot roasts, and are available that cut themselves off when the food is done. Even if you have to cut it on before you leave, it uses less power than a large electric oven.
Many of these tips are small savings, but they add up. Low watt compact fluorescents throughout the house reduced my electric bill by $20. A new hot water heater saved $40. Added to all of the other little tricks I was able to reduce my monthly electric bill by $100.
I haven’t even bought my new HVAC system yet, once it is in place I may actually be able to afford my power bill. With a SEER of 10 on my 15 year old system it is going to be an extreme improvement on my electric bill.
For improved energy efficiency and a longer service life provide routine service to your heating and air conditioning system. For professional service, repair and installation by our certified and experienced HVAC technicians give Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning a call. We will be more than happy to assist you with prompt and dependable heating and air conditioning services in the Katy, TX and surrounding regions.