COOL IT!

It is that time of the year when it feels like someone flipped the switch, and we went from pleasant, dry heat to uncomfortable humidity. Trying to keep cool becomes a priority. Although we have the luxury of air conditioning, the cost to use it can quickly increase the cost of your electricity bill.

Electricity is the most expensive utility in Mexico. Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) rates are based on a few factors. The first is the area in Mexico in which you live. This approach ensures that people living in cooler parts of the country that use less electricity pay less than those who choose to live in warmer areas. It is important to know that there is an increase in the rates throughout Mexico in the six summer months; however, it is nominal.

Then, there are multiple levels of service within each zone, and the rates are based on how many kilowatts per hour (Kwh) you consume. The levels are basic (basico), intermediate (intermedio), and extreme (excedente). The more you use, the more you pay. For example, if you are in the intermediate (intermedio) category, you not only pay for more Kwh, but you also pay more for each Kwh.

If you turn on that air conditioning and keep it running, you will quickly run up your electricity bill. But that is not the biggest issue.

To deter homeowners from overuse of electricity, CFE also has a high domestic consumption penalty. This is known as La Tarifa de Alto Consumo (DAC). If your consumption exceeds the limit for the area that you are in, you could end up paying up to 350% more! The DAC rate applies when your average bimonthly consumption within 12 months is higher than allowed for your area.

There are some options available to keep cool without driving up your CFE bill. First, if you use air conditioning, try to use it only when you are home or just in the room you spend most of your time. Second, if you have not already done so, get your mini split inspected and cleaned to ensure it is effective in its energy use.

Consider using fans instead of air conditioning. Not only does air movement keep you cooler, but it also uses less electricity. It also is less contrast of that cold air from the humid, hot air. I do not know about you, but I often get headaches and stuffed up from air conditioners. Remember also to clean your fans so that they are most efficient. Oil and dust collect on the blades, so give it a good cleaning every six months.

If you like prefer being outside, consider a misting fan. A misting fan is a fan that has a water reservoir and converts water into fine mist droplets that land on your skin to refresh you.

Invest in window tinting. Not only will it help reduce the heat in your home and, therefore, your energy consumption, tinting your windows helps keep your furniture from fading. Window tinting comes in a variety of tints, from clear to dark. Each tint blocks UV rays at different percentages, depending on which you prefer. So even if you close your curtains during the day, which certainly assists in blocking the sun, window tinting is better.

Trouble sleeping? Get a memory foam mattress with a cooling gel top. The gel beads absorb and release heat from your body. When we find it just too unbearably hot to sleep, we use our Palliser sofa bed which has the cooling gel feature. Originally purchased for guests, we find we get great benefit from it too! Remember that the quality of the cooling is contingent on the brand so if you want to explore this option, contact us for more information.

Is your fridge hitting the eight-to-ten-year mark? Refrigerators are the appliances that consume the most electricity. If it is coming up to the end of its lifespan, you may be better off biting the bullet and purchasing a new one. Fridges lose efficiency over time, especially if it has not been adequately maintained (when was the last time you cleaned the coils in the back or tested the seals?) Rather than waiting for it to kick out altogether, you might be financially better off to buy one that is more energy efficient. Remember that appliance efficiencies get better all the time.

If you need a solution to stay cool this summer, whether it be a misting fan, window tinting, or a new fridge or cleaning of your mini splits, contact us. We know the best companies and suppliers to help you buy right the first time.

Visit us at our Puerto Vallarta store: 363A Constitucion just off Basilio Badillo (Open Mon through Fri 10 to 2). Our Bucerias store is at Heroes de Nacozari 126 (Open Tues, Thurs, and Sat 10 to 2). If you are not currently in Mexico, email us at furniture@solutionsmexico.com or Whatsapp us at +3221365156 and join our Facebook Group: Mexico Furniture and Décor for ideas and inspiration.