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Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. Blog

How to Stay Cool During SMUD Peak-Hours

money-saving-homeAs a resident of Sacramento, you’re most likely aware of Time-of-Day rates. These are the different rates you pay for electricity during certain times of the day. You can make significant savings to your energy bill by running your appliances in times of less demand.

With the start of 2019, new rates are going into effect, so we’ll refresh you on how these rules work.

We’ll also include some advice on how to save on electricity during these times without sacrificing too much of your comfort.

Peak Hours and Off-Peak Hours

There are certain times of the day where electricity is in high-demand. It’s more expensive for the city to produce and purchase electricity. These times are called the peak-hours. During the summer, these rates can increase even further as demand for electricity increases.

Peak hours run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. This applies all year-round and excludes holidays.

Fortunately, these peak hours only last 3 hours per day. That gives homeowners plenty of time throughout the rest of the day to use their appliances, during the off-peak hours.

How to Make it Through Peak-Hours (Without Sacrificing Comfort)

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) suggests the following:

  • Shift your electricity use to lower-cost off-peak times.
  • Use less electricity during the 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. peak hours.
  • Reduce your overall usage.

One could interpret that as meaning “turn off as many electrical appliances as you can during peak-hours.” However, this is far from practical and not even entirely necessary.

Instead, here are some of our suggestions for staying comfortable during peak hours:

QuietCool whole house fan: Using a whole house fan the right way can give you enormous savings on your energy bill. You just have to use the right tactic. Early in the morning when the air is still cool, open all the windows and run your fan. This will help exchange the warm air in your home with fresh and cool outdoor air. When temperatures begin to rise later in the day, close up all the windows and turn off the fan. This can help your home stay cool for several hours.

Solar attic fan: Warm air naturally rises, and there’s only one place for it to go: your attic. That air will increase the temperature of your home overall, and it will also affect your air conditioner’s performance. A solar attic fan will vent the warm air out of your attic, and it doesn’t require much power to run. This will make the air in your home much more bearable while also alleviating the need for AC.

Upgrade to a 2-stage air conditioner: Upgrading to a 2-stage air conditioner can also offer a substantial increase in efficiency. These ACs begin cooling in a low-power mode. When temperatures rise, the high-heating mode kicks in to compensate. Running this AC with lower power can provide some relief even during peak hours.

For more tips on how to stay cool during peak-hours, contact Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. today.

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