Rising energy bills are like the engine warning light in your car; they indicate that something is wrong without pinpointing the problem. As a result, the rising rates continue to stretch your budget month after month until you find a solution that works. But rest assured, there are many effective ways of lowering your energy bills.
Ready to start lowering your energy bills? Keep reading to learn about six common reasons why your utility bills are spiking and how to fix them. Some of these problems are easy fixes, and others require professional assistance. Let’s take a look at common energy-robbing causes and ways to fix them.
1. Energy Sapping Light Bulbs
Your choice of light bulbs determines the amount of energy you use to light your home. Many people don’t realize that there are four different types of lightbulbs, including:
- Compact fluorescent (CFLs)
- Light-emitting diode (LED)
Since incandescent and CFL bulbs disperse light and heat in all directions, they waste a lot of energy and product life. In contrast, since LED bulbs emit light in one direction, they last longer and use about 75% less energy than other bulb types. So, you can save money and energy by making the switch to LED lightbulbs wherever possible in your home.
Also, to ensure your LED light bulbs comply with the strictest energy-saving requirements, make sure there is an ENERGY STAR certification stamp on their surface.
2. Poor Insulation
According to ENERGY STAR.gov, heating and cooling your home account for 43% of your total annual energy spending. This fact is why your home’s insulation is so important because it prevents hot or cold air from escaping to the outdoors. When precious conditioned air seeps out unsealed openings, your HVAC system works overtime to normalize the temperature inside your home. So, without question, poor insulation is a significant contributor to high energy bills.
Since many structure faults are hard to find, it is easy to assume that your home is well insulated when it isn’t. For example, conditioned air can flow through hidden crevices in walls, floors, and roofs.
You can improve insulation in doors and windows by redoing the caulking. However, the hidden energy zappers require insulation experts like Superior Insealors technicians. They use spray foam insulation to seal cracks, gaps, and holes in your home’s envelope, including attics, crawl spaces, garages, and home theatres.
3. Old Energy Guzzling Appliances
Even though a 1999 model washer/dryer may work just fine, it costs more to operate each month because the older model is less energy efficient than a newer one.
Since its inception in 2011, the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient program has successfully given consumers an easy way to identify energy-saving products. For example, new washing machines with the Energy Star label require 25% less energy than the 20-year-old agitator washers. This saving is significant, considering that appliances account for about a third of your monthly energy costs.
4. Peak-Hour Energy Use
Energy rates vary according to demand. Since the highest demand time is typically around dinner time (4 p.m. – 9 p.m.), you can save money by running your dishwasher or air conditioner very early in the morning, in the middle of the day, or later at night. The on-peak and off-peak schedule can vary from region to region, but the typical weekday schedule is:
- Super Off-Peak: (12 a.m. – 6 am), (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
- Off-Peak: (6 a.m.-4 p.m.), (9 p.m. – 12 a.m.)
- On-Peak: (4 p.m.- 9 p.m.)
5. Unseasonable Weather
Lengthy bouts of extreme climate change can double your utility bill as you struggle to keep your home warm or cool. In addition, since your HVAC requires so much energy to combat adverse weather, your utility rates rise due to increased demand during peak hours.
If you live in an area with regular periods of hot or cold weather, there’s not much you can do other than schedule your vacation to San Diego during those periods. You may laugh, but many Arizonians (Zonies) and North Dakotans (Snow Bunnies) travel to San Diego each year for exactly this purpose.
6. Phantom Power Drain
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and seen an array of tiny LED lights flashing back at you? These illuminates belong to all the electrical appliances and gadgets you left plugged in.
Although it may be convenient, you can drain up to 10% of your energy use by keeping your television, smart speakers, computers, and small appliances plugged in all the time. Even though the savings are small compared to big machines, it is a money drain you can easily prevent by unplugging your devices when you are not using them.
Controlling Your Energy Costs
Whether it is old appliances, incandescent light bulbs, or poor installation, it’s possible — and important — to find the reason for your rising energy bills and do something about it.
You may even find more than one cause. But, you can eliminate one of the significant causes by having your home insulation evaluated by Superior Insealators.