When it comes to saving money, the average homeowner will tend to look at their bills that fluctuate each month. This means their water bill, gas bill, and electric bill. As we are all well aware, energy bills can be staggering—particularly during the peak of summer or of winter, when you are using either your air conditioner or heater on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
As it ends up, your HVAC systems account for over half of all your energy costs. So if you’re using an electric system such as an electrically powered furnace or heat pump, then you’ll be paying even more. But, this certainly isn’t the only contributor to high electric bills. Fortunately, our are Coeur d’Alene, ID electricians here to share with you some of the reasons your electric bill may be too high, and what you can do about it.
You Have Improper Insulation
You’ll notice that most of these tips all come back to how you’re using your HVAC units—are you using them efficiently? If you don’t have the right type of insulation in your home, then no, you are not. The heating and cooling that is provided by your comfort control systems could be leaking through a drafty attic or crawlspace.
Your Ductwork Is Damaged
This is another big energy waste. In fact, you may be losing up to 30% of your conditioned air through breaches in the ductwork—the conditioned air might be exiting your system before even reaching the vents intended for distributing that air through your home.
You Are Using an Outdated Thermostat
The old manual slider thermostats can be inaccurate, and if your thermostat is off by even just a couple of degrees, it could cost you significantly in energy costs. The simplest upgrade you can make which will significantly improve HVAC efficiency is to a digital thermostat. Other options include Wi-Fi thermostats or smart thermostats.
You Aren’t Using Your Appliances Efficiently
Using your appliances as efficiently as possible starts with investing in Energy Star products. These appliances are built with efficiency in mind. However, even if the systems themselves are high efficiency, you may not be using them as efficiently as you could be.
This means keeping your air conditioner or heater’s thermostat at a reasonable level, only using your clothes washer and dryer when you need it (versus using it for one shirt, for example) and staying alert to items that are plugged in but not currently in use.
You Aren’t Taking Advantage of Incentives
Depending on your community or neighborhood, incentives may be available for using high efficiency lighting and electrical appliances. Additionally, your electrical company may have a “time of use” rate where you are charged more for some hours than you are others.
Many homeowners aren’t aware that these times are often adjustable. Be sure to get in touch with your electric company and see if there are “hidden” ways in which you could be saving money!
ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.