During the winter months of the year do your cringe at the thought of opening your electric bill when it arrives in the mail? And once you look at it, do you ask yourself, “why such a high bill?” But it doesn’t take a genius to realize that it’s your heating system is causing the spike in your bill.
We all want a comfortable living environment without the outrageously high energy bill. This article will show you how heating your home can add up and what you can do to keep your bill low while keeping your home energy efficient and comfortable.
If you have an electric furnace the heating elements typically use 5000 watts each. One heating element uses the equivalent of 80 60 watt light bulbs turned on at the same time. If you run your furnace for at least 12 hours a day for 25 days it can add an extra $150 dollars to your bill for the month.
Do you use space heaters space heaters? Space heaters consume enormous amounts of energy, up to 1500 watts, which is the equivalent of 26 lightbulbs. A single space heater running 12 hours a day will add $2 a day to your bill. Over 25 days of cold temperatures that’s $50 dollars in additional heating costs. And that $50 extra is from one single space heater. But most likely, you probably operate several which drives your energy costs up even more.
Your water heater and clothes dryer are also big energy consumers. They both use about 4000 watts which will cost you about $0.40 an hour in cold weather. Water heaters may need to run almost continuously to maintain water temperature. If you have an electric hot water heater and it’s not insulated then it’s working harder to heat your water. If it’s 50 degrees in your garage or attic, your water heater has to work harder to get the water temperature up to 120 degrees. Again, this could easily add another $1 per day to your bill
So what can you do now to control your energy usage and lower your electric bill? If you have a central heating system, run your thermostat at 70 degrees. Every degree above 70 increases your bill by 10%.
By installing a programmable thermostat to lower the heat in your home when you’re at work and while you’re asleep, you can save even more.
Run space heaters only when you need them. Don’t let them run while you’re asleep or out of the room.
Put an insulation jacket around your water heater. They cost about $20 and can be purchased at most hardware stores. This will help to keep the water warmer longer.
Your clothes dryer can be used more efficiently to save you money. The most obvious tip is to clean out the lint filter after each laundry load. This lets the moist air flow freely and saves drying time. Another tip is to toss a dry towel in the dryer with your wet laundry. This will keep the clothes circulating and retain heat that would otherwise be vented out therefore cutting your drying time and saving you money.
Weatherproof your home by sealing gaps and holes where wires and pipes go through exterior walls. This will make a big difference. Older homes with single pane windows are notorious for being drafty. By simply caulking and weather proofing old windows, this can make your home more comfortable and save you money.
Doors can be even draftier than windows. Cold air can enter your home at both the bottom and top where they meet the threshold. You can use a door snake or weather strips to stop any drafts.
No one likes to get unexpectedly high bills during this time of the year. With a bit of understanding you can manage your bills and in many cases make your home more energy-efficient year-round.