Why does my power bill rise during the winter months?
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 cold winter months and warm summer 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 winter, the cold weather means our heating systems are running, sometimes constantly, to give us relief from the frigid temperatures. If you are closely tracking your energy use through our online portal, you will notice that when the temperatures drop, your energy use rises. We also tend to stay at home more when the weather is cold. By spending more time at home, we're also using lights, heat, TVs and other electronics. All of this adds up to an increase in energy use.
So what can you do to help save money on your electricity bill during the cold winter months, and also the warm summer months that are in the not so distant future?
Adjust your thermostat.
We recommend setting your thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter months and 78 degrees during the summer months. When you are away from home, you can bump the thermostat down during the winter and up during summer 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.
Upgrade your thermostat.
A programmable thermostat will let you customize your heating schedule to save money, while a smart thermostat gives you even more energy-saving options and allows you to control your HVAC system from anywhere with your smartphone.
Use your drapes.
If the sun shines directly on a particular side of your home, keep the drapes open during the winter and closed in the summer. During the winter, it lets the sun help keep your home warm and during the summer this will help keep the sun from raising the temperature in your home.
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 cold winter months, and also when the temperatures turn warm in just a few short months from now.