A friend of mine turned me on to this article in the New York Times the other day. It got me wondering. TXU installed my “smart meter” last summer, although I didn’t get one of those fancy indoor price readers – that could be handy, but then again, who needs another digital panel hanging on the wall! The meter counts up every month, but also gives at the moment read-outs. I found it very interesting to see just how much energy my dryer uses, and my air conditioner. Did you know that a 2.5 ton A/C unit, on average, uses 84 kw per day? Thats 2,604 kw a month – assuming I did my math correctly. My clothes dryer uses an average of 3.3 kw/h. That sounds small, but my house has 3-4 loads each week, and an hour of drying time each load makes 13.2 kw/h a week, times 4 equals….52.8 kw/h each month, not to mention the heat it adds to the house making the A/C work harder during the 10 months of the year we have to cool the house here. During the summer, I hang my clothes outside to dry. I live in Texas after all, and come July, clothes take 20 minutes to dry. Sometimes, the clothes I hung up first are dry by the time I finish hanging up the last of the load. I have also found that laundry is done more quickly, and always gets put away. That’s probably just a personal quirk, but still an advantage for me, and I get some much needed vitamin D. I’d never done the math before, but I had noticed the increases on the meter outside. It caused me to make some changes; gave me proof that hanging the laundry outside was beneficial – and that Husband can trade the cost of crunchy clothes for the savings in the utility bill.
It’s winter now, and as I mentioned yesterday – freezing. Its not suppose to get above 32f until Sunday, or something rediculuos like that. So I’m washing, and drying clothes, wearing a turtle-neck and house shoes, and will take my son to the library later to soak up their heat. Using free public places for their utilities is a great way to save money. And really, my tax dollars pay for that central heating anyway. Right?