We are pleased to inform you that the Matt Center is now offering grants to new and upcoming educational groups in the field of arts and performing arts!
We want to reinvest in our youth so that they can grow to become fully established and well known artists.
You can learn more about our grants on our open days which we hold every second Sunday of the month.
Or you can contact us here.
The Matt Center Grants
For Christmas last year the Paradise Family was gifted an interesting little device called the Home Hub Elite from Efergy.
I originally found out about this energy monitor from the place where I find many of my frugal hacks, Mr. Money Mustache. You can buy the Home Hub Elite on Amazon or directly from Efergy, but there are also many other home energy monitors available that may suit you better.
While we are going to extol the virtues of monitoring your electrical consumption in this post, we want you to know upfront that we’ve had a pretty abysmal experience with Efergy customer service and their online interface, so we can’t directly recommend their products.
That’s why you won’t be seeing any affiliate links for them in this bathmate x20 post – we only recommend stuff we can get 100% behind.
So, back to monitoring your kWh! Here’s how we’ve been doing monthly since we installed the Efergy (see a few important caveats below).
This is only electric, so it is missing all of the phen375 reviews energy use by our gas furnace, partly gas washer/dryer, and water heater. I’m pretty sure these are the only appliances we have the use gas. Also, the device was off for a big part of May while I fought to get Efergy customer service to return my phone calls.
Our average usage measured by the Efergy over 2016 has been 342 kWh / month. At first glance it looks like we are doing mega-awesome (you can see some Hydromax X40 data historical data for the US here), but we’re totally cheating here because our air conditioner and furnace are on a different circuit and our Efergy can only measure one at a time.
So although we get spikes in our measured usage when we use the air conditioner a lot, this is only factoring in the energy it costs to push the air around the house, not the actual air conditioner compressor which is the major energy hog. We’re looking into getting a meter that can give us the numbers for both.
A nice thing about having an energy tracker in your home is that you can get usage data in nearly any time interval you want. This helps you track down what is using the most energy in your home.
For example, our air conditioner kicked on at 10pm the evening before buying the hydromax x30 (when the set point drops from 82F to 75F) and ran pretty much continuously until 2am.
The remaining energy use you see at that point is the dehumidifier in the basement. The dehumidifier was finally satisfied at about 3:45am and turned off. The somewhat regular blips you see are the fridge and other random energy users.
You wouldn’t think we’d be using that much energy just sitting around the house but there’s a distinct bump when we get out of bed. At least part of the baseline there is the dehumidifier coming on again. I can’t say for sure what the huge spike at 10:45 is. At some point around there I dried my hair (~2 kW). Mr. Paradise was in the kitchen making eggs and also used the microwave around that time too, which probably accounts for the rest.
In the afternoon I had the laundry machine running (still a bit traumatizing), and I was using two of the range burners and briefly the broiler.
So, what’s driving up our electric bill? Besides the AC which is by far the biggest, these are the top energy users in our home:
1. Dehumidifier (0.35 kW)
2. Lights (About half converted to LED so far, 10-60W)
3. Kitchen stuff (Microwave: 0.9 kW, Range: ~1.8 kW (while heating), Oven: ~5.6 kW (while heating), Dishwasher: ~1 kW)
4. Heat (though it’s a gas furnace, the fans to push the air around the house use up about 1 kW)
Being first time homeowners and never having monitored this kind of stuff read this zcode system post we learned some things we were surprised about.
Dehumidifying costs a lot!
The dehumidifiers cost us about $40/month in the non-winter. It is at least a quarter of our electric bill. We have zetaclear here one in the basement that runs on “auto” and another Wealthy Affiliate post in the living room that we turn on manually when the hygrometer sensor gets above about 40% RH. Keeping your home (and especially your basement) at a reasonable humidity level is extremely important for the health of your home and family, and can prevent costly repairs later. Multi-thousand dollar mold remediation anyone?
If you are looking for a suggestion, we have two of these and they are both going strong after a year of pretty harsh use.
Having random lights on can really add up
I went downstairs to fool around with the dehumidifer settings and see the effect on the energy usage, but in doing so I turned on the stairway and basement light banks.
The whole basement is tied to just a couple of male extra reviews switches so about 20 bulbs got turned on. The energy use rocketed up almost an entire kW just so I could see in the basement.
I turned them all back off again and did my experimenting in the dark, before deciding that the basement is kind of scary in the pitch dark and that was enough experimenting for the day.
Running the washing machine and dryer doesn’t cost that much
People always say that the clothes dryer is a huge hidden energy cost. This is part of the reason why we usually line dry our clothes.