The average homeowner spends more than $1,200 per year on electricity costs alone. That’s more than $100 per month just to power your appliances, keep the lights on, and make sure your home stays comfortable year-round.
Sometimes, those costs can be even higher. If you notice that you have an overly high electric bill coming to your home every month, you don’t have to accept it.
There are things you can do to lower your energy costs and keep your budget intact. You just need to identify what’s causing your bills to increase.
Here are a few of the most common reasons homeowners experience high power bills and what you can do to fix the problem in your own home.
1. Your Appliances Are Old and Outdated
As your appliances age, they become less energy efficient. As the components wear down, the systems have to work harder to produce the same effect. This means your appliances will need more electricity to keep working the way they did when you bought them.
Though those increases in your electric bill are often gradual, some appliances can change suddenly.
Think about how old your appliances are. If they’re original to your house or you haven’t updated them in more than ten years, it could be what causes a high electric bill each month.
Updating those appliances with newer models will help you lower your bill each month for the foreseeable future.
2. There are Gaps Around Your Doors and Windows
Your doors and windows are responsible for as much as 25 percent of your home’s energy loss. The draftier they are and the thinner the glass is, the more the outside temperatures can influence the inside of your house.
Take a look around the exterior doors and windows throughout your home. If you can see daylight around the frames or feel a breeze when the wind kicks up, you’ll want to get them repaired as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that drafts aren’t the only source of energy loss. When the sun shines directly into your windows, it increases the ambient temperature inside your house. The warmer your rooms get, the more your HVAC system will have to run to keep your home comfortable.
Installing window tint film can help keep your energy bills lower month to month. Just take care to find out more about the types of film available so you can get the best option for your home’s needs.
3. Your HVAC System Isn’t Running Well
Your home’s heating and cooling system runs several times a day, almost every day of the year. This means it’s going to see some significant wear and tear, no matter what you do.
The more wear and tear it sees, the harder it has to work to keep your home comfortable. This is often why your electricity bill is so high.
Scheduling a regular tune-up once in the spring and again in the fall (before the first freeze) will help you keep your system running smoothly for years to come. During those tune-ups, your repair technician will be able to identify minor issues and fix them before they have a chance to become expensive problems.
4. Unused Appliances Are Still Plugged In
Your appliances’ power cords conduct power from your home’s electrical system to the appliance themselves. All you have to do is plug them into an active power outlet.
Though this is convenient, it’s also problematic. Anytime you leave your appliances plugged in, they’re using power. It may be a trace amount, but it can still lead to an overly high power bill.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix. Unplug appliances that you don’t use often and plug them back in when you’re ready to use them again.
This will help you keep your bills lower as long as you do this regularly.
5. There’s Extreme Weather in Your Area
It should come as no surprise that extreme weather will cause your electric bill to increase, regardless of the season.
During winter, extreme cold will cause your heating system to turn on more frequently just to keep up with the temperatures outside. During summer, extreme heat will force your HVAC system to run more often thereby increasing your electric usage as long as the extremes last.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to lower your energy costs during those weather conditions. Just know that they’re temporary and once temperatures go back to normal, your electric bill should, too.
6. The Electric Company Raised Their Rates
Every electric company charges for the power you use at different rates. Sometimes, energy providers even change their rates by the season or to keep up with rising demand.
This is one of the most common high electric bill causes homeowners have to deal with.
Take a look at your current electric bill and compare it to the same time last year. If your electric company has changed their rates, you’ll see it reflected on your bill.
You can always try to speak with the company and discuss your concerns. If they’re not willing to work with you, consider switching to a different electric company that charges lower rates. You’ll pay an activation fee, but it could end up saving you hundreds over the course of the year.
7. There’s a Fault in Your Home’s Wiring
Sometimes, the cause of a high power bill isn’t easily identified. If you can’t figure out what’s contributing to your rising energy costs, call your electrician.
There could be a flaw with your home’s wiring that’s causing the bill to go up each month.
If they find the problem, let them fix it as soon as possible. This will keep your home safer and will save you money in the long-run.
You Can Always Fix a High Electric Bill
You don’t have to settle for a high electric bill. Be proactive and look for these common causes in your home.
Once you pinpoint the cause of your high electricity bill, do what you can to get it fixed. The sooner you do, the lower your bills will stay.
Looking for more tips and tricks to help you keep your home’s maintenance costs as low as possible? Check out our latest posts.