You’re not alone if you’ve recently received an unusually high electric bill. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that almost half of all U.S. homeowners have experienced a spike in their energy bills at some point in the past year.
One of the best ways to reduce energy bills is by scheduling regular HVAC maintenance. This involves ensuring all the components of your heating and cooling system are in good working order, from the filters to the thermostat.
We will explain the top reasons for higher-than-usual electric bills and how to solve them:
1. Your Appliances Are Inefficient
Home appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, and water heaters are big electricity guzzlers. If your appliances are especially old or outdated, they could consume more energy than necessary and drive up your electric bill. Upgrading to more energy-efficient models can help you save money on your electricity bill in the long run.
For example, air conditioners like newer models of central air conditioners can save up to 60 percent in energy costs compared to older air conditioning systems.
Water heaters are another principal electric bill offender. Newer models are designed with more efficient insulation and better temperature control that can help save money on your energy costs.
2. You’re Using More Electricity
If you’ve been using more electricity than usual, this could contribute to an increased electric bill. For example, if you’ve been keeping your air conditioner running for extended periods or using more appliances than usual, this can cause your bill to go up. Additionally, if you’ve recently added new electronics to your home that use electricity, such as a new television or desktop computer, these can also contribute to higher energy costs.
Some tips to control your electricity usage include:
a) Unplugging appliances when not in use
b) Using energy-efficient lightbulbs
c) Utilizing natural lighting whenever possible
d) Take advantage of natural ventilation instead of air conditioning or heating.
e) Installing a programmable thermostat to save energy costs
3. Vampire Appliances
Vampire appliances, also known as phantom loads, continue to draw power even when turned off or not in use. Common culprits include your TV and cable box, computers and game consoles, small kitchen appliances like toasters and microwaves, chargers for phones and other devices, and even the thermostat on your air conditioner. To reduce the energy these devices use, be sure to unplug them when not in use or connect multiple appliances to a single power strip and switch it off when they are not in use. Additionally, installing more efficient appliances, such as Energy Star-rated models, can help you save money on your electric bill.
4. Your House Is Not Insulated Properly
If your home is not adequately insulated, the temperature outside can easily affect the temperature inside. This means that if it’s colder outside, it will be harder to keep your house warm, and vice versa when it’s hot. Some tips to increase insulation: check your windows and doors for air leaks, add weatherstripping or caulk, and install insulation in the walls or attic.