Saving Energy – One Programmable Air Conditioner At a Time
As this article on Wikipedia mentions , space conditioning, that is heating and cooling is responsible for almost half the energy consumed by homes in USA.
On an average a home in USA is about 2330 sq feet. Usually the house is 12-15 feet tall. So we are talking about heating of more than 25000 cubic feet of air. If people are in home, we certainly need to heat or cool it. But what if people aren’t?
If your monthly electricity bill in summer is about $400, then it means you are consuming approximately 4000 KWH energy per month (@10 c/KWH). Out of that you are spending almost $200 on heating and cooling. That averages to about $7 per day of heating or cooling.
If you just locked your house to go to office in the morning and suddenly realized that you left the air conditioner on and if you think you don’t have time to turn back and switch it off, ask yourself one question. Is your one minute worth 7 $? Because it is the daytime your air conditioner runs the most.
If your utility bill is $800, then your one minute has to be worth more than $14 and your conscience has to be so weak that it will allow 200 lbs of CO2 to escape in air for no reason (@1.35 lb/KWH as presented in this report)
Rather than relying on conscience and self discipline, it is best to let a machine do the job. For les than $100, you can get a programmable controller which you can fix yourself and time it. This will switch the a/c off or make it run less in the time there is nobody at home. If you are paying a utility bill around 400-500$, then you should see payback in about one or two months because it usually cuts down the space conditioning costs by 20-25%, thus reducing the electricity bill by about 10-15%.
If you use such a controller over a period of 5 years, which is the average time a US home turns hands, you would have saved about … guess how much?
At $400.00 average electricity bill, you would have saved $2500. If your average electricity bill is higher, raise this figure proportionately. This is after tax money in your pocket. So actually you are saving more than $3000 over a period of 5 years. If yoour electricity bill is of order of $800 per month, you are getting bonus or pay raise of a little over $1000 per year.
If you some simple tips like insulating your house properly, cleaning filters in time and running air conditioner a couple degrees closer to ambient temperature, you could see your savings increase by 50% more, or even in some case double.
Probably at this time you are really worried about what to do with extra 1000$ or so per year. Indeed it’s a very serious question. Well, so let’s not talk about the 30,000-40,000 lbs of CO2 you saved from escaping into atmosphere (in addition to its nasty brothers Carbon Monoxide, Sulpher Dioxide and Hydrogen Sulphide) and helped keep the it clean and green and fresh. Let’s not talk about how you helped the clear blue sky remain clear blue.
And Let’s not talk at all about the fact that you behaved like a good citizen of nature and helped stop global warming.
Here are a few links that contain neat tips to cut down the power consumption.