Ever – increasing electricity bills are a great source of frustration and economic insecurity. With the extreme changes in the climate, it seems like no matter what you do, you can’t keep up with the skyrocketing electric bills. However, don’t lose hope just yet! There is a lot you can do to lower your electric bill. For example, switching to a smart thermostat or smart AC controller for automated heating/cooling can save you a lot on bills. Read ahead to find out why your electric bill is so high and how you can get it under control. With these handy tips, you will be saving big bucks in no time!

Causes Of A High Electric Bill

While you may think you are doing all you can to save electricity, you may have picked up some unfavorable habits over the years that are making your electricity bill skyrocket.

1. You are lazy about AC maintenance

Electric Bill, Mechanical Engineering

Air conditioning costs account for 17% of total home electricity expenditures. In more humid climates, this figure increases to 27%. Neglecting maintenance can make this number grow exponentially. For example, if your AC filters are blocked, your air conditioner will have to work harder to provide the same level of cooling, thus consuming more electricity. Moreover, regular AC maintenance will also save you expensive repairs down the line.

2. You Have Leaky Doors and Windows

Windows and doors are major sources of air leaks. Even when your walls are well – insulated, if the weatherstripping or caulking on your doors and windows has worn out, your air conditioner or heater will struggle to do its job properly. As a result, it will have to work overtime, leading to an increased electric bill. Before you start loading up on caulk and weatherstripping, it’s important to know exactly where the air leaks are. Read this handy blog on finding and fixing air leaks to ensure your electricity bills stay as low as possible.

Electric Bill, Mechanical Engineering

3. You Use the Most Energy During Peak Times

If you have been wondering why your electricity bill is so high despite limiting your usage, look at when you consume the most electricity. Electric companies charge higher rates during peak times to limit excess energy consumption. Therefore, if your electric bill is still too high, you can save your electricity bill by not using the electronics at the same time as everyone else!

In summers, peak hours are usually between noon and 6PM when everyone is blasting their aircon units at full. Simply limiting usage during this time, or running your AC at a higher temperature, can make a difference and help you lower your electric bill. Other than the aircon unit, avoid using the washing machine, vacuum, dishwasher, and other appliances at peak hours to keep your energy consumption in check.

4. Your Home Is Inadequately Insulated

Inadequate insulation could also be the reason why your electric bill is so high. As a general rule, heat travels from areas with a higher temperature to areas with a lower temperature. Consequently, indoor heat is trying to escape outdoors in the winter. As a result, your air conditioner struggles to maintain a cooler temperature during the summer, and your heater struggles to maintain a warmer temperature during the winter. Proper insulation prevents heat transfer through conduction, convection, and radiation – making it easier for your air conditioner to maintain your desired temperature. Your AC no longer has to run overtime to heat or cool the room. This saves energy and prevents a high electric bill.

Electric Bill, Mechanical Engineering5. You Have an Old HVAC System or Other Old Appliances

Old air conditioners use a shocking amount of electricity. An average air conditioner can last for 10 – 15 years. After that, as they get older, individual parts, such as the compressor, become less efficient. Older compressors use considerably more electricity. As Energy Star regulations become stricter, newer air conditioners have a much higher EER and SEER rating than older ones.

Apart from air conditioners, older appliances, such as refrigerators or washing machines, can be massive energy hogs. Natural wear and tear decrease the efficiency of older appliances, and they have to run overtime and draw excess electricity. As technology improves, newer appliances are becoming more efficient. An old refrigerator consumes 35% more energy than an Energy Star certified refrigerator. Get rid of appliances when they have reached the end of their lifespan. If you don’t, you will spend more on expensive electricity bills.

6. You Run Your Hot Water Heater at a Very High Temperature

Your water heater’s temperature could be why your electric bill is so high. Water heaters account for 14 – 18% of your total utility bill. Thus, you can save a lot on your total electricity bill if you cut down on water heater costs. But unfortunately, most households keep their water heater at a higher temperature than required. Most water heaters come with a preset temperature of 60C. However, experts say you can safely set them to a temperature of 50C. Setting your water heater at a lower temperature will reduce energy consumption and prevent scalding injuries!

Another ingenious method of saving money on your water heater bill is insulating it with a water heater blanket. This will prevent heat loss, and the water heater will not have to work hard to maintain the desired temperature.

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7. You Keep a Spare Fridge

Many people like to keep a spare fridge in the basement, unaware that it could be why their electric bill is so high. However, even if you are not using your extra fridge, it consumes energy if plugged in. If your spare fridge is mostly empty, consider if you need it at all. If you must keep an extra fridge, ensure it is always full of something, or unplug it. So the next time you wonder why your energy bill is so high, look at the spare fridge lying in the basement and consider flipping it.

8. You Still Use Incandescent Light Bulbs

If you are still using incandescent light bulbs, they could be the main culprit behind your high electric bill. Incandescent light bulbs consume a lot of energy compared to LED bulbs. It is estimated that the average household could save €200 per year by switching to LED bulbs. Not only are LEDs cheaper, but they are also very long – lasting. Once you invest in them, you won’t have to change your lightbulbs for years. So what are you waiting for? Make the switch now!

Electric Bill, Mechanical Engineering

9. You Frequently Use the Dryer

Using the dryer for every load of clothes is a major cause of high electricity bills. A simple clothesline can make a drastic difference if you want to lower your electric bill. Each hour of using a dryer costs anywhere between 24 and 72 cents. So if you use your dryer for every load of laundry, the cost can quickly add up. To avoid these costs, whenever the weather is good, skip on the dryer and hang the clothes outside to dry. Your wallet will thank you!

10. You Cool Your Entire House Even When You Don’t Need to

Most people only occupy 1 – 2 rooms at a time. However, they still turn on the air conditioning for the entire house. This is a massive waste of electricity and leads to excessive bills. To get around this dilemma, you can create HVAC zones. HVAC zones use dampers to let you divide your house into zones and set a different temperature for each. Your AC will no longer have to work unnecessarily to cool your entire home.

11. You Use Your Dishwasher and Washing Machine Too Frequently

Electric Bill, Mechanical Engineering

Appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines are notorious energy hogs. Apart from their energy consumption, they also need loads of hot water, thus increasing your water heater usage. Fortunately, saving money on washing machines and dishwashers is very easy. You just need to be a bit more responsible. For example, never run your dishwasher for a small load of dishes. Instead, wait for it to fill up completely, then run it at the end of the day. You also don’t need to run your washing machine every day. Instead, keep a designated day or two to do the entire week’s laundry. These simple and easy steps will greatly help you lower your electric bill.



Via: Cielo Wigle

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