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so you can do it to save at the end of the month

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The price of turn on the heating at home This autumn-winter continues to be one of the main concerns of many families who see how electricity continues through the roof, gas and diesel are at all-time highs and the amounts of traditional firewood or pellets have skyrocketed in recent months.

Thus, turning on the heating all day as many of us did years ago to have a comfortable temperature is something that can be quite expensive, with prices that depending on the type of raw material that we use to heat ourselves can reach cost almost twice as much as last season. What can we do?

Well, in addition to applying the most common saving tricks that we have already discussed here on previous occasions, we also have the possibility of combine several heating systems to have the greatest savings possible, as long as we have them in our home, of course.

Using electric heating at the cheapest times

The basic idea is to take advantage of the fact that electricity prices, although they are still very high compared to previous years, They do not have these high prices every day or at all times of everyday.

As we saw in this article, there are days of the week where electricity is usually much cheaper and some valley hours (which do not coincide with the official ones set by the Government but are there) where the difference in price for each kilowatt consumed can be less than half, sometimes even up to three or four times cheaper with respect to the amount in peak hours.

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Difference between the maximum (red) and minimum (green) daily prices of light for September 2022

It is a situation that we can observe in the regulated rate or PVPCbut also in those of the free market since the gas compensation began to be applied a few months ago, and that it is possible to verify consulting the price of light every day with the different methods available that we have already discussed on previous occasions.

I have calculated how much you save if you always use your appliances at the cheapest time of the day: this has been the result

Very good, so how can we save by taking advantage of these hours when electricity is cheaper? Well, if we have an electric heating system at home, whether for example oil radiators, conventional resistance, compact or better still air air conditioning with heat pumpswe can first adjust the higher consumption of the equipment (for example, the ignition to heat the house initially) at the hours when the price of electricity is lower and raise the temperature at those hours.

It may seem obvious, but many times for comfort we turn on the heating, even if it is at an optimal temperature to spend less, but we keep it constant all day or even at night. However, the most efficient is take advantage to turn on and raise the temperature a couple of degrees with respect to the optimum connecting these electrical equipment in the cheapest hours.

These variations can be done manually or, if we do not want to be aware, take advantage of the timers and programmers that many heating equipment include. And, what happens when the hours arrive when the price of electricity is more expensive?

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There are days when the price of electricity is much cheaper: how to take advantage of them to save on your electricity bill

Combining electric heating with combustion options

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In this case we have several options. The first is to lower the target temperature of the thermostats in our equipment or if we have an alternative heating system directly turn off the electric ones and use the gas, wood or pellets one.

Ideally, we should be able to know even approximately how much does each hour of heating cost us using these combustion systems. For example, in the case of firewood and pellets, it is easy to make a quick calculation by looking at how many kilos we spend every hour and transferring these kilos to euros.

In the case of heating with diesel or natural gas, it is more complicated, since it is difficult to find out the average consumption of these fuels every hour, but we can make an estimate with the bills from previous years to find out the total amount spent in a specific period and transfer it to the current prices that we have contracted.

In this way, the idea is to make a forecast of at what time will it be more convenient for us to use one or the other system heating at home, achieving significant savings at the end of the month.

A practical example

For example, in my case we have at home traditional wood stove and air conditioning with heat pump. Depending on the day and time we alternate, taking into account that the stove has to be turned on in advance, it takes a while and it cannot be turned on or off by pressing a button. But it is possible with some planning to achieve more efficient energy consumption.

Our wood consumption when the stove is at full power is approximately about 2.5 kilos per hourdepending on the type of firewood and the temperature we want to achieve, which with a cost of 0.20 euros per kilo gives us a price of 0.5 euros for each hour of use of the stove.

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Real time slots with the most expensive and cheapest prices

Heat pump air conditioners as a whole have a maximum consumption of 3.2 kWh (there are four teams), although later on average this figure can drop by half, depending on the temperature we set, which is around 1.6 kWh when we reach cruising temperature.

So, when the cost of electricity is cheaper than those 0.5 euros per hour that firewood costs us (for example when it drops below 0.3 euros per kWh), as usual weekends, because those days we use electric heating. We also often use it in the mornings and until 4:00 p.m., which as we saw in its day in general is the cheapest period of the day. Then in the late-night hours with more expensive electricity prices it is more convenient for us to use the stove.

Cover image | Bernard Hermann

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Smart Home

LG’s technology that mixed plasma and LED

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From 1997 to a good part of the first decade of the 2000s, plasma televisions conquered the high end for a long time. It was the most coveted technology when the user wanted to opt for a panel with the best image quality during that time. However, as we already mentioned in our article about these televisions, the LCD was little by little eating the toastsince its technology was evolving by leaps and bounds.

One of the most noticeable advantages of the LCD was also its lower electrical consumption, thus generating less heat and increasing its useful life. LG wanted to continue betting heavily on plasma televisions, although the manufacturer had to solve the problem of consumption and other aspects if they did not want to abandon the technology. This is how PLED panels were born in 2012.

PLED, an exclusive LG plasma vitamin

PLED comes from the acronym in English Pixel Light Emitting Display. According to the company, this technology brought the best of plasma and the best of LED televisionscombining both Technologys to try to offer a higher image quality, also drastically reducing power consumption at LCD panel values ​​at the time.


When used, a PLED panel is like a vitaminized plasma panel. That is why it is good to remember how plasma panels work to explain their differences. And it is that the screen of a plasma television is formed by two layers of glass between which there are small cells with Xenon and Neon gas which, when excited by an electrical impulse, become plasma, causing the internal phosphor coating of the cell to glow.

What the PLED panel does compared to the plasma is reduce those cells, making each subpixel in a separate cell. This causes the gases to be at a much higher concentration. The cells also contain a denser layer of phosphor.

2023 is going to be a spectacular year in televisions: this is what the main manufacturers are preparing

This concentration means that much less electrical energy is needed to generate the plasma inside each cell. In this way the first advantages of PLED: Its electrical consumption is less than that of conventional plasma and is quite close to what LCD televisions consume.

By consuming less, it also generates less heat and its wear is less. Put at maximum power, a plasma television lasts around 50,000 hours before it starts to degrade. This figure is usually prorated with respect to what would be normal domestic consumption. The resulting figure is about 100,000 hours, which is the figure we all know.

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In the case of pledthe highest concentration of Xenon and phosphor increases its useful life up to 80,000 hours of extreme use (as in an airport panel, for example) or 160,000 in a home.

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Another of the advantages that PLED continues to maintain from plasma televisions are its self-emissive LEDs. In this way, each pixel can be turned on and off without being subjected to backlighting from a panel of LEDs on the back of the TV. This technology is similar to OLED, although they are not organic LED diodes.

This advantage makes PLED and plasma have better contrast than an LED panel. However, PLED also has an advantage over plasma: its screen is completely matte, reducing the reflection that can be generated by any point of light in the environment. And it is that by the very nature of plasma panels, its glass must always be bright. Sometimes this glare was reduced with anti-reflective coatings, but this diminished the glare emanating from the panel.

PLED also shares the advantages of LED panels

Although we are clear that PLED is like a kind of ‘super plasma’, this technology also includes characteristics of LED televisions, such as electronic image processing, this being the same as that of an LED panel. This eliminates the ‘motion blur’ sensation of plasma TVs in high-speed images, since like LED technology, PLEDs also have three image processors that interleave frames.

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Despite the reduction in consumption, PLED screens continued to consume slightly more than LCD panels. In addition, they share the same problem as plasma screens: the ‘burn’ effect when playing still images for a long time.

The OLED was peeking around the corner

Although it was a great advance over plasma panels, the technology did not fully catch on. In addition, they were presented in a context in which the OLED was taking more and more shape (although they were still very expensive to produce) and LCD-LED panels were much cheaper to produce. In addition, with these Technologys the use of elements such as phosphorus and gases was completely eliminated, depending more and more on electronic and digital processing.

In fact, if you asked LG at the time what panels were going to be the future, the company was quick to respond with OLED. And indeed, today it is the technology in which LG has bet the most in recent years.

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Smart Home

tricks, tips, direct streaming and furniture purchases from TV

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A couple of years ago Movistar decided to include in its Movistar Plus+ on-demand television platform a series of applications called Living Apps, which allow enjoy different services and content.

They’re available without having to download them from any application store and accessible directly from the decoder menu as long as we have a UHD or UHD Smart WiFi model.

Now the operator has decided expand your collection of Living Apps with a new one focused on decoration and style in the home, for which it has opted for IKEA as a specialist in this type of task.

An app to bring IKEA experts to your TV

Ikea

The app is already available in Movistar Plus+ and according to those responsible, it is designed to “inspire you with the best accessories and decoration fashions for this new season”

To do this, once we have accessed by first going to the main menucoming into “Apps” and subsequently looking for the “IKEA”we will be shown content related to furniture and decoration with interior design trends, tricks to give old furniture another life and varied content to prepare the home for the changes of season.

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Although for the moment the contents are not very abundant, presumably they will add more over time, there will be Live videos with brand professionalsa chat where you can ask questions and you can even buy different products directly from the decoder by scanning a QR code on the mobile.

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For example, within the IKEA Living App there are sections like “Always Something New” where it is possible to know the new products of the manufacturer for this new season, “IKEA Wellness”a space that they say is designed to enhance comfort at home and “Homes with Psychology”seven episodes dedicated to specific rooms in the house.

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There are also other sections for DIY lovers such as “Decorating Ideas and Advice”, Ready in a Pis Pas”with tips for organizing the environment or “Easy Tricks” to get the most out of the rooms.

In addition, through the section “IKEA Live”it is possible to access their shopping events broadcast live in streaming starring interior designers in their establishments that will also be available later to see them deferred whenever we want.

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Smart Home

so you can configure this useful help

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Although our star use is to set timers, music or ask for the time and time, you can ask Alexa for many more things, some as useful as serving as a guardian in your day-to-day life: perhaps if you have left a tap running, if it the washing machine or dishwasher has finished. If you did not know or are not very sure how to make Alexa act on beeps or water, keep reading.

A little over a year ago, Amazon added a series of most useful improvements and functionalities for the home: the audible and in-person detection capabilities. Specifically, we refer to this pair of algorithms:

  • Water Running or running water detection. Thus, by listening to the environment, it is able to find out if there is water running around the equipment, for example because we have left a tap open or because there is a leak.
  • Appliance Beeping Detection. In this case, it refers to the ability of the assistant to listen to the different beeps produced by your electrical appliances when they finish their functions, thus allowing us to act accordingly.

What happens at that moment? If you have developed the corresponding routine, you will receive a message on your mobile. In the first case, it is also possible to program a notice that warns that we are spending more water than normal brushing our teeth, for example. The second is especially useful with household appliances that do not have to be smart, such as microwaves, ovens, refrigerators. So, if you leave the fridge open, Alexa will tell you goat.

How to configure these functions

To benefit from these functions it is necessary to go to the section of the Alexa routines from the application. There you can configure the routine you want so that Alexa executes automatic actions for daily milestones, for example, that the washing machine program has finished.

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In the Amazon Alexa application, tap on Further, which you will find in the lower right corner. There select routines and click on the “+” in the upper right corner to create a new Routine.

Alexa 2

There are four steps. The first is to name it. After in “When” Choose “sound detection“. Within that option you will see both options beyond the beep or the water such as snoring, crying baby, coughing or barking dog that can give you new ideas, for example a lullaby sounds when your little one cries. Then choose which device and in what time range. Finally you will have to add the action you want. So, if you want it to reach your mobile, choose “Notification” (yes, you will have to have the notifications of said application activated). However, in “alexa says” You could also choose what the Amazon voice assistant’s response would be by simply typing it in “Custom”.

Photo by Bailey Alexander on Unsplash

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