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3 Culprits to a High Electric Bill That Are Easy to Fix
3 Culprits to a High Electric Bill That Are Easy to Fix
June 02, 2024

3 Culprits to a High Electric Bill That Are Easy to Fix

Electric bills can sometimes surprise you, particularly when they seem to increase out of nowhere. There may be several common culprits behind soaring costs, but the good news is that they're often easy to address. Neighborhood Electric has three primary causes behind your high bill, how they may impact you, and how an electrician may be able to help.

1. Outdated Appliances

One fundamental cause of high electric bills is energy-hogging appliances like old refrigerators, which use twice as much electricity as their modern counterparts—similar claims apply to washers, dryers, and dishwashers.

What Can Be Done To Save Energy

  • Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances: These models use less electricity, helping reduce power usage. Look out for any appliances marked "Energy Star". Investing in energy-saving models could significantly cut back your power usage!
  • Maintain Your Appliances: In many instances, performing essential appliance maintenance can significantly improve efficiency and cost savings. From clearing filters and testing seals to ensuring everything runs efficiently, maintaining them regularly will make your energy consumption much less wasteful!

If you need advice or assistance upgrading or maintaining your appliances, an electrician could provide invaluable guidance and even help install more energy-efficient models.

2. Insulation and Drafts

Another primary source of discomfort can be inadequate insulation and drafts in your home. Without adequate insulation, heat from winter months escapes through gaps that should keep it inside, while incredible air escapes in summer. This leaves heating and air-conditioning systems working harder than necessary to make your living spaces comfortable, leading to higher electric bills.

How to Solve It

  • Seal Drafts: Check windows and doors for drafts that need sealing; use weather stripping or caulk to close any gaps between panes that allow air in. This simple yet cost-effective measure could have an enormously positive effect.
  • Improve Insulation: Installing insulation in your attic, walls, and floors can help your home remain at an even temperature by decreasing HVAC load and electric use. This may significantly lower your energy usage costs as a homeowner.

If you need help installing insulation in your home, contact an electrical repair service. They can assess its needs and suggest improvements that could significantly improve comfort levels for residents.

3. Phantom Loads

Phantom loads, more commonly referred to as vampire electronics, refer to any device that draws power even when turned off or in standby mode—such as televisions, gaming consoles, and chargers left plugged in—even when not actively in use or when unplugging from power outlets. Although each device might use relatively minimal energy individually, their cumulative usage adds up and can have a noticeable impact on your electric bill.

How to Tackle This Issue

  • Unplug Devices: Make it part of your routine to unplug devices when they're no longer being used, including phone chargers and kitchen appliances, which don't need constant power sources. This routine applies particularly to phone chargers, which could use some space.
  • Use Power Strips: Plugging multiple devices into a power strip equipped with an on/off switch makes it simpler to turn them off all at once when you're finished using them—simply flipping the switch is all it takes!
  • Invest in Smart Plugs: Smart plugs offer an effective solution for managing vampire electronics, providing remote power management and automatic shutoff when devices are no longer being used.

If you need assistance managing these "phantom loads", consulting an electrician could prove immensely valuable. They can identify which devices are consuming too much power and offer solutions for dealing with them effectively.

Bonus Tips

Aside from these three key issues, there are other steps you can take to manage your electric bill more effectively:

  • LED Light Bulbs Are A Great Upgrade: Consider switching out traditional incandescent bulbs for LED ones as they use significantly less electricity, last much longer, and offer significant cost-savings.
  • Maintain Adjusted Thermostat Settings: Maintain reasonable thermostat settings year-round; in winter, aim for 68degreeF when home, dropping to 60degF while away; during the summer, it should ideally reach 78degF as your ideal goal temperature.
  • Maintain your HVAC Systems: To keep them in peak condition, regular HVAC system servicing should include cleaning filters and servicing them at regular intervals to keep them running smoothly and cost-efficiently.

If these changes seem cumbersome or intimidating, an electrical service may assist by conducting a home energy audit to identify where your house is wasting energy and what solutions may be to fix the situation.

Neighborhood Electric

An increasing electric bill may be frustrating, but often, its causes lie with easily rectifiable issues that require little more than upgrading old appliances, improving insulation, or managing vampire electronics to bring down usage and save money. Remember, if ever in doubt or confused, contact Neighborhood Electric immediately to make informed choices that benefit both home and wallet.