There are certain things in life we can’t control: cost of living in certain cities, the stock market, who will win the next world cup?
However, there are others where you have a say on how they’ll turn out, such as: what are you having for dinner tonight, whether you’ll paint your house today or tomorrow, and deciding to make an effort to lower your electricity or energy bills.
That last one is something that would benefit most people. So in the spirit of making your life easier, we’ve made a list of the most common reasons why your energy bill is so high and what you can do about it.
1. You Have Old School Light Bulbs
Energy efficient light bulbs or LED lights, which consume very less power, can save up to 80% of energy when compared with traditional light bulbs. Depending on how big your home is, that can translate to substantial savings.
2. Look for Power-hungry appliances
Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators are the most energy consuming appliances. You need to be very careful when using these appliances otherwise, your energy bill will skyrocket.
When you use the washing machine, you should wait until you have accumulated a full load of clothes. Try to use cold water for the wash instead of hot water, and choose a low-heat option for drying. All of these tips are also applicable when using a dishwasher.
When it comes to the refrigerator, saving energy is much easier. Set the refrigerator temperature between 37° and 40°F and the freezer between 0° and 50°F. Move your refrigerator away from heat sources, and reduce the frequency of door openings as much as possible.
3. Your AC’s Air Filters Are Dirty. Needs HVAC Maintenance
Dirty air filters block air flow. This causes your AC to work harder (which brings your utility bill up) while not really achieving much of an improvement when it comes to cooling your home. Change those filters every month. Set a reminder on your phone if you have to.
Cleaning your air filters is a good starting point, but your heating and ventilation systems (and your furnace) have plenty of parts that need to be replaced or serviced every so often. Basic AC maintenance will make your systems last longer and save you money every month.
4. You’re Not Running Your Appliances Efficiently
Clean the lint filters in your dryer. Set the water temperature to either cold or warm in your washer. Get a programmable thermostat so that you can adjust your home’s temperature when you’re away. Use power strips to plug in your electronics. These will help reduce wasted electricity when the devices are not in use.
5. You Might Have to Replace Your Appliances
When did you get your dishwasher? How about your dryer? If you got them when your firstborn was a baby and now he’s off to college, chances are there are plenty of more modern models that use energy more efficiently.
6. You May Need Additional Insulation
Your AC and heating unit can account for up to 70% of the energy use in your home. Some insulation materials have better thermal resistance than others. Some homes have poor insulation or insulation gaps that cause their AC or heating systems to work harder than they should have to. Installing additional insulation may fix this issue and lower your electric bill.
7. You May Need an Energy Audit
If you believe you’ve done everything in your power to improve the energy consumption at your home, but your bills haven’t gone down, you may need an energy audit. Have a professional evaluate what are the biggest culprits for consuming energy in your home and adjust accordingly. This could save you up to 30% of your energy bill.
8. Watch out for added power consumption by Seasonal appliances
Weather is a significant and challenging factor for getting an unexpected hike in your electric bill. If the weather is hotter or colder than usual, chances are that the energy bill will increase due to the use of air conditioners, dehumidifiers, hot air furnaces and more.
During the time of extreme cold and heat, cooling and heating systems need to be kept on continuously. Therefore, you can expect an unusually high energy bill during those periods. Holidays and vacations can also make a huge impact on the energy bill.
9. Don’t leave your appliances on standby mode
One of the main reasons for getting a high electric bill is keeping electronic devices in standby mode even when you are not using them. Don’t leave appliances plugged in if you are not using them for a while. Even if these devices are kept idle, they are using energy while waiting for your command. This is known as “vampire power.”
You can save a significant amount of energy by unplugging these devices from the wall socket when they are not in use.
In order to reduce an energy utility bill, you also need to take care of some other things. An electric heater is by far the largest energy consumer in most homes and, if your hot water tap is leaking, it will drastically increase your energy bill. Also, be sure your meter isn’t running when there is no electricity being used in your home.
10. Replace your old electrical appliances with new ones
Over time, the electronic appliances in your home degrade and lose efficiency. They’re also more likely to have issues caused by their use over time. Both of these facts can lead to older appliances becoming “energy hogs” in your home.
In addition, older appliances weren’t made at the efficiency standards that are required today. Even in their prime, they will draw more electricity to generate the same amount of power than a comparable appliance today.
If your house is full of older appliances, you may want to consider upgrading to newer technology to reduce your electric bill.
This is particularly true if they’re appliances like refrigerators, dryers, and dishwashers that use a lot of electricity to begin with. Upgrading to more efficient appliances in your home could lead to significant annual savings