Chest Pain…. The first thing you may think of is a heart attack. But, maybe it’s just a muscle strain, indigestion or bronchitis. The sensible approach is to have your physician diagnose what’s causing your discomfort. If you ask your physician to skip the diagnosis, you might undergo a triple bypass that won’t resolve your problem. Fortunately, experienced medical professionals understand that “prescription without diagnostics is malpractice”.
This same principle can be applied to solving problems in your home. For example, at one time or another, most homeowners have suffered high electric bills. High bills are followed with a flood of “theories” on what’s causing the problem and a surplus of salesmen tripping over themselves to help you solve it. Some of the more popular cures are solar, replacement windows, a new air conditioner, tankless water heater and more insulation.
Two recent instances of high electric bills highlighted the importance of diagnostics. In both cases, the homeowner’s electric bills exceeded $450 per month. Both were proactive and had spent thousands of dollars on “prescriptions” they hoped would reduce their bills. Unfortunately, the new windows and spray foam insulation hardly made a dent. Frustrated and lighter in the pocket book, the owners sought proper diagnosis of their problem.
In less than an hour, the high bill culprit was identified as the pool pump. The pump at Homeowner A’s home was using $2,134.05 per year while Homeowner B’s pump used $1,992.72. Both pumps are running 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, costing nearly $200 per month.
In both cases the prescription was to replace the old inefficient pumps with new high efficiency ECM (electronically commutated motor) pumps. The new pumps will save Homeowner A about $158 per month and Homeowner B about $135 per month.
Current Estimated Pump Annual Energy Cost ...................................$1992.72
NEW Estimated Pump Annual Energy Cost .........................................$375.80
ESTIMATED ANNUAL ENERGY SAVINGS .................................$1616.92
A $300 utility rebate and a $100 promotional discount reduced the installation cost for each owner to $1,400. The estimated payback for Homeowner A is 8.9 months while Homeowner B has to wait 10.4 months to break even. In both cases, the return on investment is over 450%, “untaxed”.
Remember, experienced medical and building science professionals understand that “prescription without diagnostics is malpractice”.