Seasonal, electric rate adjustment

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by V, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cancun. QR, Mexico
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Steve,

    My guess is that there is something, somewhere, draining off some of your power and it could be any number of things that were mentioned, plus you could have a dirty air conditioner. That would decrease its efficiency, causing it to work harder to cool your home.

    I would start with a call to Karl and see if he can find something that's not right.
     
  2. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,658
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cancun, Centro
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0
    IT'S NOT ME!

    I don't live next door to Steve, so I'm not taking the rap for this one!

    What you described, Steve, cannot be that much different from what happens here, at our place, yet your consumption is 3X+ ours. Life may be on to something there.

    And, I've thought of a way to deal with the thieving that's taking place here, where we live, where one apt has not had an electric bill for more than two years, though the place is occupied. Without naming names, I'm going to have a little chat with those apt owners who seem to have really high bills. One or more of them is getting robbed, it seems, and maybe they'll be motivated to figure out who is responsible.
     
  3. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cancun. QR, Mexico
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    One of my tenants in Florida was whining about his electric cost and consumption. This summer I had an energy audit (yeah, I know, fat chance in Cancun) The unit was old and inefficient. I could not even legally replace it with one with equal specs due to conservation ordinances where that property is located. So I got this energy efficient unit and also replaced the air handler. It was a bit costly but their bill immediately dropped to half what they had been paying. As Life n Cancun knows, you can almost use your a/c in Florida year round, 24/7.

    So Steve's issue could be his a/c, typically the biggest contributor to ones power consumpition.

    With air conditioning, whether a wall unit, mini-split or a central system, it is important to have a unit suitable in size for the room, the area in which the property is located, which would determine the "normal" climate for the property. A unit too small will run all the time, causing it to overwork, and consume more power. A unit too large will overcool the room or rooms, and the thermostat will be turning the unit off and on many times, over and over again. This is also inefficient in terms of power consumption.

    Insulation is a big factor as well. In Mexico we don't have insulation per se, at least compared to the states. However, you can help your system be more efficient, meaning running less with the compressor on, by making sure your windows and doors are properly sealed, keeping the cold air in and the hot air out. I prefer to keep my place cool mostly around the clock so I don't turn it off every time I walk out the door. The thermostat and compressor do all the thinking for me. When the temperature is fairly constant and at a comfortable level, the walls then become your friends. They actually can aborb the cool, making it harder for ambient heat to penetrate them. Basically you are not having to cool a hot wall; you just keep a cool wall cool. A quaility window treatment, keeping out the sun, also can lead to lower electric bills. Mine is so cheap that it is almost free. Jaja.
     
  4. V

    V I can choose my own title Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,658
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cancun, Centro
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0
    NO COST ENERGY SAVING MEASURES

    Steve, as you know, I wrote earlier about some my (quirky?) strategies for saving electricity, and I can't suggest anything that's going to make a big difference to your consumption, but I can think of a couple of things that don't require big changes, at all, and could result in some savings.

    First, seal the outlets for a/c that feed the bedroom you don't use. There are usually things around the house that can be used for this.

    Second, to the extent possible, keep the cool air in the bedrooms, by closing doors, etc., so as not to cool hallways, and stairwells, more than you have to.

    Lastly, and more importantly, perhaps, figure out a way to seal off the upstairs from the downstairs. Odds are, lots of your cool air is finding its way down to your ground floor, where it's not needed, at night. You'll know that's happening if it's nice and cool, downstairs, when you get up in the morning! Even if there's a door to your stairwell, separating the upstairs from the downstairs, in effect, cool air may be escaping under, or around the door, so it's worth it to seal the door better, if there is one.
     
  5. mixz1

    mixz1 Guest

    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Re: WOW!

    I've pruned your list to what I consider to be the primary energy users.

    You don't state the BTU nor SEER rating of your central a/c. But you're running it around 4.5 hours a night. If you've got a flat panel plasma or LCD TV, they're energy hogs as well. And all of us here seem to ignore the size of the motors our ceiling fans use. Of the 8 fans in my home 6 are 52". Having hung them all myself, I can attest to the heft of those motors, and they do consume a fair amount of electricity, as do washers and dryers, that need big motors to move those wet clothes around.

    Your house is about the same size as mine. V is correct about my high ceilings (18 feet in the living room), so your off-season bill seems reasonable, at least to me.

    If your central a/c is more than 10 years old you could probably benefit from changing out to a newer, more efficient unit or even converting to a split system in each room. The objections to splits can be handled by a good mason. Our splits have the compressors on the roof and all electrical, gas tubing and condensate drains are buried in the walls. Nothing other than the air handlers are visible indoors and nothing is visible outdoors. We even have one of the drains extended out to the plants that hide our gas tank, where the condensate makes for a mini irrigation system.

    Of course you have to balance the cost of taking on a major program like this vs. the expected savings. Frankly, had our central unit not failed beyond repair (after putting about 300 dollars into it the season before) I may have not gone to the trouble. Now that I have, I'm glad I did the job. A/C costs have been reduced between 40 and 50 percent. That's significant and the payback will be quick.
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    17,419
    Likes Received:
    4,937
    Location:
    Cancun
    Ratings:
    +7,194 / 14
    Thanks for the energy saving tips guys.

    Thing is we rent our place, so I'm reluctant to spend any significant money on increasing efficiency as we'll one day have to leave it behind.

    The central aircon unit is probably not more than 5 years old and was allegedly 'serviced' in September, so doubt we could do much there without investment that is unlikely to pay for itself.

    Oh and no Plasma/LCD TV here. I would buy one if only there was anything decent to watch!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice