If you’ve compared your electric bill with a neighbor’s and found your bill to be notably higher, even though your homes are similar in size, you might be wondering why—and how you can lower your bill.
Even though homes and families may be similar, you may have a hidden energy drain causing your bills to be higher. Here are five energy hogs that may increase your energy use.
1. Old Fridge or Freezer in the Garage
That second fridge or freezer may be costing more than you think. If the model was produced prior to 1990, it’s likely using twice as much energy (or more!) than a newer Energy Star rated model. If it’s located in the garage, it may run constantly in the summer, which could lead to higher electric bills. It might be time to rethink that spare fridge that’s out there holding beverages; instead, bring those drinks into the kitchen refrigerator and retire the spare.
2. Cooling or Heating an Uninsulated Area
Cooling or heating an uninsulated workshop or garage can be expensive. For example, if a homeowner heated an uninsulated shed to keep several half-empty buckets of paint from freezing, they’re paying more to keep paint warm than the paint was even worth. Pet owners have been known to heat and cool an uninsulated garage to keep pets comfortable, not realizing that this might be costing more than heating their actual home. If you really want to heat or cool these types of spaces, they need to be well insulated and heated and cooled efficiently, perhaps with a ductless minisplit system.
3. Hot Tub
The average operating cost of a hot tub is $250 per year. But that amount may be higher if your hot tub is an older, less efficient model or if you live in a colder climate. A smaller hot tub with better insulation, a cover and a pump that runs on a lower voltage will use less energy than other models. In the long run, getting a “good deal” on a used hot tub may cost more in energy bills than a newer, more efficient model.
4. Swimming Pool
If you have a swimming pool, consider installing a smaller, more efficient pump and reducing how often it runs. Putting it on a timer can be a convenient way to reduce operating time. You can also look at installing a larger filter and maximizing the flow of water through the pipes by making them larger and reducing how sharply the corners turn. These measures could cut your electric use for the pool pump by as much as 75%. Consult with a pool installation specialist to find the most efficient setup that will still keep your pool clean.
If you live on acreage or a farm, you probably have several pumps, including irrigation, well, septic and sump. If you’re like most of us, you use those pumps until they break down. Consider replacing the oldest and most used pumps over time with new, more efficient ones that are sized correctly for their task. Also, make sure you’re eliminating leaks in the water lines.
IMAGE: FAMILY VELDMAN | ISTOCK .COM
Posted: 8/6/2020 3:26:28 PM