With BC Hydro currently offering big rebates for smart thermostats, and winter on the way, I thought it would be a good time to upgrade our retro thermostats.
Mysa (a Canadian company based in Newfoundland) creates the world’s best smart thermostats for electric baseboard heating. I ordered 5 of them online and got to work installing them.
I wish I could say it was easy to install them. It almost was. But I ran into problems trying to figure out how to wire the ones on the main floor which had an extra wire connecting to the next unit. It was a lot of trial-and-error connecting wires and then running upstairs to turn back on the breaker. Luckily the units are well constructed and even though I kept hooking up the wrong wires, they never exploded on me.
Before: Our old school thermostats.
After: Our happy, internet-enabled thermostats.
Now I have a lot more data to nerd over, more control over our heating schedule, and the ability to control the temperature remotely from my phone. I love it.
I still have some scheduling optimization to do, but the biggest take away so far is that our humidity levels are way too high. I might have to find a smart dehumidifier next…
The Roomba I bought 2 years ago is one of the best luxury purchases I’ve ever made. It does such a great job keeping our floors clean and picking up cat hair. But I was concerned with how much power it uses, so I plugged it into a power meter for a week.
Turns out, it uses hardly any energy. After a week of daily cleaning, it only used 0.65 kWh (which works out to less than $3/year). I plugged in our old Hoover and did some vacuuming for comparison, and it uses a lot more power. One hour of vacuuming with the Hoover used more energy than the Roomba did in a week. Although there’s no way I would be vacuuming for an hour a week, especially since we only have carpet in the bedrooms. I guess sweeping is still the most energy efficient option, but I’m more than happy to pay a few dollars a year in energy bills for the robot to do the sweeping and vacuuming for me.
|0.65 kWh per week
||0.78 kwh per hour
|28 W max demand
||857 W max demand
1. Using BC Hydro’s residential rate of 8.3 cents / kWh (which is very cheap)
2. Assuming 30 minutes of vacuuming a week.
A year ago, we started the BC Hydro Team Power Smart Challenge, with a goal of reducing our energy use by 10%. We did and our $75 reward cheque just arrived in the mail. We don’t consume a lot of energy to begin with, so we weren’t sure how we’d save 10% of our electricity bill. Our apartment is missing a lot of the big energy consumers – no laundry machine, dishwasher, hot water tank, or air conditioning. And yet, somehow we managed to reduce our use by 15% year-over-year.
How’d we do it? We only changed one thing – we cancelled our Shaw digital cable subscription and got rid of the PVR. That’s it. We still watch a lot of tv with Netflix and streaming tv shows, but we got rid of the PVR that was on 24-hours a day recording shows and sucking up electricity.
One year without cable tv and we saved $780 off our Shaw bill, another $20 of our electricity bill, and we got a $75 rebate cheque from BC Hydro. Easiest $875 ever.