Your Digital Cycling Unit
The Dangers & Pitfalls
Update: Met-Ed has suspended the EasyGreen Program
Well, it happened last week and more than once!
Last week’s heat kicked into “Pasta Run Weather”, or “Jubilee Day Weather” and your Air Conditioning System STOPPED!
Our phone starts ringing and the cry of “My Air Conditioner Isn’t Working” was as common as “Good Morning, Thank You for choosing SECCO Home Services, Yvonne speaking. How can I help you today?”!
Luckily, she could.
Your Technician arrives and sure enough, your Air Conditioning has STOPPED! In fact, it’s been off-line for quite a while, the indoor temperature rises, but there’s still air coming out of the vents.
Your Technician goes through the checks –
- Thermostat is telling the system to COOL – check
- Air is coming out of the grilles – check
To the basement… or heaven forbid, the attic-
- The blower is running – check
- The drain pan (attic system) is dry – hmmm… not a good sign…
- No condensate dripping form the drain line – hmmm… not a good sign…
To the Outdoor Unit-
- The unit isn’t running – hmmm…
- There’s a box labeled “Easy Green” connected to your Air Conditioning Unit.
It’s the Digital Cycling Control. The Homeowner remembers getting a $38 check (varies by utility) to participate in the utility’s offer to cycle “unnecessary electric loads” when the demand for electricity peaks! Since peaks typically happen during the Summer, the Air Conditioner is the most likely appliance to fit the “unnecessary” category, and who couldn’t handle the 1 to 3 degree temperature rise the literature purports as “normal”?
While the minimum time you agreed to have your “Unnecessary Electric Load” turned OFF is 15 minutes, we’ve heard variations in the total OFF duration – some exceeding 5 hours! (Disclaimer – we have NOT verified the OFF time.) I will be first to admit that when the temperature exceeds 95 & the outdoor humidity is as high as last week, time drags. What could have been 2 or 3 hours can seem like 5! If you were trying to sleep, or have respiratory issues, even 2 hours is too long!
Steps You might consider BEFORE removing the unit and refunding Your Utility
- Awareness – be aware of the weather forecast. There will be more days such as yesterday!
- Take Action – keep the drapes/curtains closed & minimalized the number of door openings.
- If you have ductwork installed in your attic, have it checked and sealed. (Please wait until it’s cooler up there. Attics can get to over 160 degrees!)
- If you have ductwork installed in your attic, turn the fan system OFF. The fan motor creates heat. If your duct system is leaky, you run the risk of drawing the hot attic-air into the fan system and distributing it throughout the home.
- Of course, limit cooking!
- Limit use of any other appliance – NO Vacuuming! (That’s an order!) Don’t overheat.
- Relax – we all burn more calories doing something versus sitting quietly or tapping a nap.
- If you do get overheated – sit in a tub of water or take a cold shower, maybe two or more!
We’ll all get through this. Keep the human in humankind.
If all this isn’t your cup of iced tea, have the unit removed or bypassed. Inform your utility and be ready to pay back that $38!
Some utilities have suspended their offering of the Digital Cycling Unit. Will the utility take them back? We’ll be watching!
Was that $38 worth its weight in sweat? Share your story if you were affected: