As the summer heats up so does the cost of electricity. “Spending on electricity is the highest as a share of total consumer spending since the California electricity crisis in 2000,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com. “Total spending on both electricity and energy is at a record high.” The Healey building is not immune to these costs. As we crank up our cooling systems we must be mindful of the cost of energy and how it affects our bottom line expenses. In this issue, HOA Board member, Collins Young, penned a list of things you can do to help contain your energy costs.
In an effort to contain energy cost to the HOA, the Board created a committee to review and recommend energy saving ideas and strategies that will benefit us now and in the future. The Energy Committee is composed of four Healey volunteers who have knowledge in this area: Jim Price, Marci Reed, Robert Reed, and Barrington Smith.
Healey Board of Directors, 6/15/09
Energy Saving Tips for YOU
- AC Thermostat. Use electronic programmable thermostat with the following settings: 78 degrees during summer/ warm months and 68 degrees during winter/ cold months. Use ceiling fans or fan only setting on your t-stat during summer months; reverse the direction of ceiling fans during the winter months.
- HVAC Unit. Regular maintenance includes cleaning the strainer and changing the filter quarterly. Make sure your duct work is also cleaned and any leak is sealed.
- Water Heater Thermostat. Should be set to energy saving recommended zone.
- Refrigerator/ Freezer Settings. Should be set to energy saving recommended zone. A full refrigerator/ freezer is more efficient than a half full or less refrigerator/freezer. Pull out the refrigerator every six months and vacuum up any dust behind it.
- Dishwasher. Only turn on the dishwasher when it is full and during off peak hours (after 7PM and before 7AM). Use air dry option instead of heat dry.
- Oven/Stovetop. Match the size of the pan to the stove’s eye. Use timers and open the oven door less while cooking. Ceramic, glass, and stainless cookware holds heat better.
- Washer/Dryer. Do laundry during off peak hours (after 7PM and before 7AM). Always wash and dry a full load of clothes.
- Light Bulbs. Use compact fluorescent or LED lamps on non-dimmer switched fixtures.
- Low Voltage Transformers. These items include cell phones, small electronics, etc. Unplug these items while not in use or use power strip with an on/off switch.
- Switches. Use motion sensing switches.
- Dimmers. Use dimmers on regular incandescent and halogen lamp fixtures.
- Electrical Panel. Install a transient voltage surge suppressor (TVSS).
Note: A TVSS deminishes the surge effect of hard start equipment such as refrigerators, washer/dryers or HVAC units on more sensitive electronic units. Electronic surges could shorten the life of equipment.
The Energy Detective is a kilowatt monitoring device that allows you to monitor your energy use on your counter top. It can be compared to the energy use on your electric bill or allow you to be aware of high usage times so you can make adjustments.
Both a TVSS and the Energy detective should be installed by a professional.