Have you noticed a worrying trend where your electricity bills are increasing, even when your energy usage remains the same? If you’re scratching your head over why this might be happening, it’s time to seek answers.
The first thing to do is carry out an energy audit. The exercise enables you to pinpoint the source of excessive electricity consumption and look for ways to reduce it. Here are some of the reasons that could lead to high bills.
The Air Conditioning Unit is Malfunctioning
A malfunctioning air conditioning unit is one of the primary electricity guzzlers in any home. The compressor may run continuously, even when the AC is not in use. It leads to high electricity consumption and damages the unit in the long run.
Other issues are leaks that cause the coolant to escape. As a result, the AC has to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, using more power. Schedule AC repair services immediately if you detect issues. Sometimes you may not pinpoint the issue but be on the lookout for:
- Strange noises emanating from the unit
- The AC kicking on and off frequently
- Inconsistent temperatures
- Higher than usual electricity bills
Lack of regular maintenance may also lead to issues. The system needs a thorough cleaning, filters, and parts replaced, and the wires checked to ensure they are in good condition.
Outside Lighting Is Not Energy Efficient
If you have outside lighting that is not energy-efficient, you will notice significant electricity bills. When bulbs burn for too long, or there are more than enough lights illuminating the property’s exterior, you’ll use more power.
One way to counter this is by using solar-powered lights. They’re environmentally friendly and use less electricity. Next, install motion sensors. The other option is to use timers to switch the lights on for specific periods.
Besides, check if the indoor lighting requires upgrades as you carry out the exercise. Incandescent lights use more power, have a shorter lifespan, and are not environmentally friendly. Replace them with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that consume less energy and last longer.
The Water Heater is Damaged
A damaged water heater may also lead to high utility bills, especially if your family uses hot water frequently. A leak or flood will cause it to work harder and ultimately use more electricity. Check for signs, such as water on the floor around the unit or a drop in water pressure when using hot water. Sediment build-up is another reason for early damage and inefficiency. Have the tank regularly flushed and cleaned to remove sediment.
Old appliances use more electricity than new ones. Replace any ten years and older with energy star-labeled models. The label signifies that they meet specific energy efficiency standards. If, however, you’re unable to replace old appliances, find out whether they can be properly insulated. Install a power strip to ensure that everything is off when not used.
The Insulation Isn’t Good Enough
The heat from outside gets into the house, and the AC has to work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures. Check whether there are any gaps where the heat is escaping and seal them up. Cover any cracks around windows with weatherstripping, caulk, or insulation. Check the attic as well to ensure it’s adequately insulated. Use spray foam or fiberglass insulation on the walls, floors, and ceilings.
Your Kids Are Home for the Summer
If you have kids at home for the summer, they will use more electricity. They’ll be home all day, using the AC, lights, fans, and appliances. You may also find that they leave the lights and AC on. If possible, teach them to switch off the lights and AC when no longer needed.
Vampire sources are devices that use electricity even when turned off. Examples are laptops, phone chargers, standby coffee makers, and digital TV converters. Unplug these when not in use to save energy. Besides this, switch off appliances when not in use. For instance, leaving the computer in sleep mode uses more electricity than when it’s shut down.
Keep Track Of The Changes
As you make changes to your electricity use, keep track of how much you save. Check your bills to see the difference in cost from earlier periods or when compared to other properties. Continue with the changes until you achieve an ideal efficiency level. Also, carry out periodic energy audits to keep track of appliances’ efficiency and power usage changes.