By using timers do you really save energy? And are the energy savings measurable enough to be worth the trouble? Truthfully, it’s more about convenience than saving energy. But timers will save energy and that willpositively impact (lower) your electric bills.
How Using Timers Can Lower Your Electric Bill
When timer switches aren’t installed, turning lights on and off is controlled by you. But you don’t have to do anything after they’re programmed. The most common way most of us use timers is front-door lighting. It’s easy to remember to turn the lights on at dusk but difficult to remember to turn them off. Many people that leave the house before daylight forget. The front porch lights are frequently left on all day.
Timer switches don’t cost much. You can buy them online and pay anywhere from $6-$90. (Our advice is free. We recommend you call us before you buy.) Even if you ask your local electric professional to buy them for you, it’s an inexpensive investment that delivers long-term savings and reduces short-term irritability.
Here are 5 ways to save money and reduce energy consumption by using timers:
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems use a lot of electricity. A one- or 2-story home can use about 3,000-5,000 kW per hour. Energy costs here in Arizona are 15% higher than in most states. We pay about 15¢/KwH (kilowatt-hour). If you need a cooler temperature for sleeping that can be higher later, a timer can reduce air conditioning and lower energy use as desired.
2. In-house room timers
If you’re tired of saying, “Turn out the lights” to friends and family members who could care less, using timers is the fix. You can have a programmable timer. Consider motion-activated lighting that shuts off when people exit the room. These are the easiest method of controlling lighting use per room.
3. Sleep devices
A lot of people enjoy soothing ocean sounds that lull them to sleep. Babies sleepily respond to “white noise.” Some electronics do that, but they stay on all night. Timers can program those devices to operate for an hour or more and then shut off.
4. Using timers to control exterior lighting
Outside lights provide safety and security. Commercial property owners strive to provide adequate outdoor lighting to reduce their liabilities from injury. If you have elderly or mobility-challenged loved ones, you want a clear and easy path to your entrance.
You likely want a crime deterrent, and that’s another reason for installing exterior lights. Backyards are common routes trespassers use because we often neglect to adequately light that area.
Using timers means turning exterior light fixtures on at dusk and off at sunrise. It’s convenient and automatic.
5. Water pumps as an energy-saving investment
You may have your pool pump on a timer. If you have a decorative water fountain, it can be put on a timer too. But many people don’t know you can use a timer on your water heater.
Think about it: You may be a morning-shower family, so you use a lot of hot water to prepare for work and school. Maybe you’re an after-work showerer plus you need hot water for meal prep. But that’s it.
While you’re at work and asleep, there’s no need for hot water, so a hot water recirculation pump returns your unused hot water back into the water heater. It can save about $50/year. Recirculation pumps are as low as $100, so they can pay for themselves in about two years.