Questions about living in Cancun

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by kgunn, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Life_N_Cancun

    Life_N_Cancun Guest

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    Well you can be sure that your 17,000 btu unit is using considerably more electricity per hour than the 5,000 btu units I have. It would also make sense that it would cycle off more since its considerably more powerful and can cool the area around it much quicker. I also don't turn mine to the highest bearable temperature but rather, keep it around 75 degrees... so if it cycles off the room quickly warms up.. it also doesn't help that the concrete roof acts like a heatsink when the sun is out...
     
  2. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Size of ac

    Is 5000 btu big enough Life? I've always been under the impression that an ac that was either too big or too small for the space being cooled would not produce the greatest economy

    I've talked about solar load before and that's a considerable issue when it comes to keeping a place cool: our "roof" (ceilings) is not exposed to the sun at all (there are two more floors of apts above ours) and only the east facing wall gets direct sunlight: by noon time it's shaded and can begin cooling off

    Would it be possible to partially shade your place- through the use of a palapa perhaps and a few strategically placed fast growing trees as well?
     
  3. Life_N_Cancun

    Life_N_Cancun Guest

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    The btu is appropriate for my room size. As for shading there isn't much I could do without a significant investment in time and money.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Hmm we just got our electric bill.

    10,449.61 pesos for two months, thats about twice as much as we used to pay in the UK for the whole year. Ridiculous!

    Oh and we have been reclassified to DAC, so how do I get out of that?
     
  5. Life_N_Cancun

    Life_N_Cancun Guest

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    So it really sounds like you could get some mini splits installed for the cost of one bill.... and I'd bet they cut the next bill in half or close to it... assuming it is the big central AC that is wasting most of your power...
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    Yes, changes are definitely going to be made.

    First I want to see if the landlord is willing to put any money in if we revamp the air con, now we've got the latest bill it might convince him. If not then we might even consider moving house since it looks like we might be lumbered with this DAC tariff for god knows how long.
     
  7. Benuk

    Benuk Regular Registered Member

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    Our highest bill for electric in the 5 months we have been here is 1100 peso for one month. Thats two bedrooms with Air Con anoutd other living areas with roof fans. I was annoyed with that and can't beleave home much you guys are spending.

    I put the aircon on for 15mins when I get home from work at about midnight then put it on an hour timer at 22oC when I go to bed and leave the roof fan on.
     
  8. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Dac

    Sorry to hear about the DAC tariff reclassification Steve: aside from your central air you are probably not using that much electricity at all

    Have you tried checking to see how much less the consumption is during those hours when the ac is off?

    An older unit may have lost efficiency over time from wear or simply be in need of a recharge which a technician can do in half an hour: checking to see if the air coming out of the unit is truly cold will give you a clue on this count

    The good news is that once your running annual average again drops below 850 KWH per month you will automatically be reclassified to 1-C if you continue to hold consumption under that figure [previous twelve months consumption = 10200 KWH or less]
    ________________

    Central units are wasteful in a number of ways: cool air is warmed to a degree as it passes through long ducting which itself may be heated by the sun or be confined in a hot ceiling without adequate insulation

    Also bad is the fact that central air makes "area" cooling a little more complicated when with minisplits you can have the option of cooling the limited spaces in your home which happen to be occupied at the time

    Finally- the way central air units are typically set up they require an air intake somewhere in the house for the return of room air to the unit to be cooled again: this means you cannot completely seal the room being cooled like you can with a minisplit which gets its "return" air directly from the room being cooled

    All of these factors working together can make minisplits much more economical in actual use even if their rated consumption- in total- is similar to that of the central unit
    _________________

    As I mentioned earlier the government encourages electrical conservation by directly rewarding those who manage to use less electricity with subsidies of the cost of electricity

    Just to illustrate how the government subsidy works our last bill (which we just got and is for two summer months) was for a sixty-three day period: we consumed 1059 KWH for an average daily consumption of just under 17 KWH per day

    The charge for that amount of electricity was 3284 pesos but a subsidy of 2154 pesos was applied leaving us with a bill to pay of just 1130 pesos plus tax for two of the four hottest months of the year

    The subsidy was applied to the first 900 KWH of consumption (tariff class 1-C) after which we had to pay the full unsubsidized cost of electricity- which in our case was two and a half pesos per KWH: this means those first 900 KWH were very cheap indeed but any consumption above that was going to cost dearly and did

    Those in tariff DAC get no subsidy at all

    More than two-thirds of our daily consumption during the summer is the result of running air conditioners but they are modern and energy efficient and fully adequate to the conditions- meaning they run at peak efficiency and low consumption once they have been running long enough to stabilize the room temp- after which they're just running on fan for much of the time

    A minisplit at "idle" uses little electricity: our 17000 BTU unit is rated at 5000 watts when all systems are engaged but this drops to just 50 watts at idle- less than many light bulbs- and the unit is idling most of the time once the area cooled has reached the preset temperature

    We typically have one unit running at all times- either in our work space or our bedroom so it is not necessary to suffer from the heat to enjoy low electric bills; but we do have an apt which is for the most part not directly exposed to sunlight so the solar load is not great

    When calculating the size ac you will need to efficiently cool a room things like insulation and window treatments as well as solar load must be factored in: for example even a small room of 100 sq feet could require a 9-11000 BTU unit when solar load combined with lack of insulation are considered

    I've offered tips on saving electricity on this and other threads and it all comes into play in producing a final result on the bill
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  9. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    A brief update. We talked to the landlord and he has been great about our huge electricity costs. He mentioned that he 'owed us' some upgrades in lieu of the rent we've been paying and just now two new minisplits arrived. We haven't had to put any money in for them.

    The small minisplit we have downstairs was pretty much ineffective (hence never got used) due to the fairly large open plan nature of the house - that one will be moved to Dani's bedroom and be replaced by a larger unit downstairs. The master bedroom gets a new mini split leaving the largely unoccupied guest room as is.

    Re the DAC classification, we were advised to go to Profeco and dispute it. There's nothing really to dispute as far as I'm concerned. We used the electricity and we should pay the going rate for it - my British mentality tells me. However, it's Mexico so Jannet went along yesterday. There is actually a CFE rep based inside Profeco due to the volume of complaints they must be receiving, she told us there was nothing that can be done for this bill but if next bill the usage is low once again then the classicication will be switched for the bill after that.

    The landlord's wife wasnt happy with this and went to Profeco herself today. We now have a stop on our bill, meaning we dont have to pay it, until things have been 'reassessed'. The landlord also has 'a friend' at CFE who owes him a favour. So we'll see what happens there.

    Mexican landlords often get a bad rep, and quite rightly in many cases, but looks like we struck lucky with ours this time.
     
  10. Gringation

    Gringation Guru Registered Member

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    Steve - Your landlord is awesome! In 5 years year, all my landlords here in Mexico were great except 1 (and even he wasn't awful... he just didn't give a sh** haha)
     
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