Why does my power bill rise with the summer heat?
You sometimes probably wonder why your electricity bill is higher at certain times of the year. If you’re paying close attention, you may have noticed that the spikes generally occur during the warm summer months and cold winter months. That’s because your heating and cooling system is working harder during these months to keep the inside of your home comfortable. When there is a larger difference between the outside air temperature and the temperature you have the inside of your home set at, you use more energy to maintain the comfortable setting you like.
During the summer, on top of it already being warmer outside, you may have kids at home during the day while they are out of school for the summer. They are likely seeking refuge from the warm temperatures outside and using more electronic devices, like TV’s, gaming systems and other electronics.
So what can you do to help save energy during the warm summer months, and the cold winter months that are in the not so distant future?
Raise your thermostat.
We recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees during the summer months and 68 degrees during the winter months. When you are away from home, you can bump the thermostat up during summer and down during the winter by 7 to 10 degrees if you have a programmable or smart thermostat. You can save up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling costs by adjusting your thermostat while you are away.
Use your drapes.
If the sun shines directly on a particular side of your home, keep the drapes closed in the summer and open during the winter. During the summer this will help keep the sun from raising the temperature in your home and during the winter it lets the sun help keep your home warm.
Adjust your water heater temperature.
The recommended temperature for your water heater is 120 degrees, but you can bump it down to 115 degrees if you are comfortable with that setting. This will help save on water heating costs and standby energy loss if you have a tank unit.
Make the upgrade to LED bulbs.
They use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Plus, they emit less heat, which means less work for your A/C. Don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
These are just a few ways you can help save money during the warm summer months, and also when the temperatures turn cold in just a few short months from now. For more tips and tools on how to save, visit the Energy Efficiency section.