Have you ever noticed that your energy bills seem to increase during the hot summer months? While some type of increase is expected during the summer, if you find yourself asking, “Why is my energy bill higher than I expected?” there are some measures you can take to help reduce costs on your bill.
It is important to remember that your energy bill is a direct reflection of your consumption – so your air conditioning, lighting, appliances, and other electrical devices may be using more energy than you might expect. While your air conditioning system may be working hard to keep up with the hot temperatures outside, there could be other reasons behind the rise in your energy bill.
As you may expect, your air conditioning system is one of the biggest contributing factors to your summer energy bill. It is essential to have a professional conduct an annual tune-up of your cooling system to ensure it’s functioning at its best. It should include basic maintenance like air filter replacements and vent and coil cleaning, to name a few. Annual tune-ups can help ensure that you get the most out of your equipment and that it will be running at peak performance for years to come. You can contact a local heating and cooling specialist to see if they can offer annual service contracts so you won’t have to worry about scheduling a yearly appointment. Homeowners who do not carefully maintain their equipment may find that their units have worn out parts and are running less efficiently (and using more energy).
Another reason you may notice your energy bill rising more than usual in the summer months is because cool air could be escaping from unsealed doors, windows, and other areas of your home. It is good to check your house each year for places where air could escape, including open fireplace dampers, drafty windows, doors, and attic entryways. Any gaps could cause the conditioned air to leak out of your house, making your air conditioner work harder to make up for the lost cool air.
Your local hardware or home improvement store will offer various weatherstripping, sealants, and other solutions to help prevent conditioned air loss. If you are unsure of where you might be losing the most cool air in your house, you can also ask your local heating and cooling specialist to perform tests to identify any major problem areas quickly and efficiently.
While it is nice to have cool air in your house in the hot summer months, you likely do not need to have your air conditioning working hard all the time. If your family leaves and returns to the house around the same time because of school, work, or other activities, consider installing a smart thermostat that will automatically adjust the thermostat to a warmer temperature while you are away and a cooler temperature shortly before you arrive back home. Smart thermostats help ensure that your air conditioner only works hard to cool your home when you will actually be there, and isn’t wasting energy cooling an empty house.
The blinds or curtains you use can impact the temperature in your home. In fact, blinds and curtains that are lighter in color will help reflect the sun’s light instead of absorbing it. You can also keep solar heat out of your house by closing blinds and curtains when the sun is shining directly on those windows. Tip: It is also helpful to use insulated shades.
You can help keep your summer energy bill down by ensuring you use your appliances as efficiently as possible. If you run your dishwasher or washing machine, ensure that you run it at full capacity to reduce the need to use it as often. If you iron your clothes daily, consider doing all of your clothes for the week at one time. You can also check to ensure your appliances are ENERGY STAR rated. These appliances are specifically designed to use less power and thus help keep your energy bill low.
Ready to switch energy providers and take control of your energy bill? Contact Indra Energy today to talk to our team about the perfect plan for you.