There are many reasons you may be noticing an increase in your utility bill. While your air conditioning is the largest appliance you may own and it does utilize a lot of electricity it is not the only reason you see higher bills than you’d like. We may not realize some of these things that contribute to this or we forget about them. With school ending and summer vacation beginning, there are family members home more during the day, watching television, cooking, going in and out of the house, using appliances and other gadgets, and maybe even dropping the thermostat down because they are hot.
Here are some things to think about:
- Does turning the air conditioner off during the day will save on utilities? – This is a popular belief however, it does the complete opposite. When you turn on or turn down your air conditioner it can take up to 1 hour per degree you are trying to cool down. For example – If it is 84 degrees when you get home and you turn it down to 78 degrees, it can take up to 6 hours of running continually to reach this temperature. Everything in the home, including carpets, furniture, cabinets etc., are hot and the air conditioner has to cool all of these items down too.
- Pool pumps are running longer – Reduce the operating time of the pool pump to 6-8 hours in the summer. And be sure to clean your pool each week and empty the skimmer basket frequently.
- Utility companies may have a service price increase – And with the record high temperatures we had last summer, you will notice the difference in your bill each month.
- Utilize blinds, shades and awnings where you can – These can all help with retaining the cooler temperature in your home while maintaining the settings on your thermostat.
- “Plug” all air conditioning escape routes – Try to limit the amount of times you walk in and out of the house, opening the door each time. Keep doors open for a limited amount of time. And be sure all windows are closed if the air conditioning is on.
All of these play a factor in your electric bill. We recommend calling the utility company and taking advantage of their time of use plan that best fits your schedule. The utility companies also offer an annual budget plan where you pay the same amount year round which is helpful when planning your budget.
These steps will help:
- Installing programmable thermostats
- Changing your air filter monthly
- Running the pool pump during off peak hours and limited hours
- Use window coverings to help keep the sun light out
- Use the barbeque grill instead of cooking inside
- Close all doors and windows when the A/C is on
- Keep the temperature on your thermostat steady with no extreme highs or lows
These are just some ways to help balance out those dreaded summer utility bills. Happy Saving!