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Why Is My Electric Bill so High?

by Hickerson Brothers on August 19, 2016

Why Is My Electric Bill so High?Some of us put the utility bill off to the last minute, others pay it late, and others simply set their bills on auto-pay and try to keep electricity costs out of mind.  None of us enjoy paying bills, but neglecting to look at your monthly statement is always a bad plan.  Mistakes are made all the time, and often they aren’t due to a bad meter-reading or faulty meter.  In many cases, the mistakes are in how you use electricity on a daily basis.  If you feel that you’re spending too much on energy each month, there are ways to find out and things you can do to decrease energy use on a daily basis!

Address Heavy Energy Uses

What is using up the largest amount of energy in your home?  Unfortunately, the answer is heating and cooling.  Whether it’s climate controls, your water heater, or your refrigerator, the largest percentage of energy consumption comes from moving heat around in your home.  Outdated, aging, or damaged systems will all cause decreases in efficiency that can lead to higher energy bills.  Proper maintenance, improved air filtration, and repairing damages will improve functionality and lead to better performance.

Replace Antiquated Systems with Energy-Efficient Systems

Since heating and cooling is a substantial part of home life (do you want to live without a refrigerator?), it’s important to buy energy-efficient appliances.  If you’re already looking at a new appliance, be sure to search for the ENERGY STAR seal on any new appliances.  If it lacks this seal, it means that the appliance has either failed to meet the qualifications needed for basic energy-efficiency, or it has not undergone the testing in the first place.  In either case, buying an ENERGY STAR approved appliance is the first step in finding an energy-efficient system.

Even if you currently have an energy-efficient unit, it may be worth an upgrade.  Older systems are less energy-efficient when compared to new systems and they face problems with performance losses over their own lifetime.  A well-maintained system retains its peak performance better, but it isn’t perfect.  If you’ve had the same appliance for 10 years or more, consider an upgrade.

Improve Habits

Every little bit helps.  It’s up to you to decide which measures are worth taking and which are not worth the saved costs.  If you enjoy having a well-lit home at all times, then, while turning off the lights while not in a room is cost-effective, it may not be for you.  You can, of course, switch to energy efficient lighting such as LEDs or CFLs.  Making the switch to high-efficiency lighting means you’ll save money no matter how long you leave the lights on or off.

But there are other tricks you can follow as well.  Use your central air less.  Turn the system off while you aren’t home or purchase a smart thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule and habits.

There’s also a small amount of electrical energy spent on devices you leave plugged in throughout the day.  Power supplies maintain a low-level current drain when they’re plugged in.  In fact, any device (computers, TVs, and game systems) all maintain a small charge that powers the device when it’s plugged in.  The easiest way to prevent this drain (and save yourself up to $100 a year) is to disconnect the devices.  Placing these devices onto power strips will give you a single contact point to turn them all off without having to constantly unplug everything.

So you see?  Saving energy is a combination of what you’re using, proper maintenance, and good energy habits.  Improving any of these areas will help you to reduce your energy bill, so it’s a good idea to do a yearly evaluation of your home, or simply monitor your energy usage month-to-month when the bill comes due.

Hickerson Electrical is your source for all home electrical services.  We’re ready and willing to deliver top-quality service to your home at a moment’s notice.  So call today at (703) 594-3913.

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