Why your electric bill is so high

Why your electric bill is so high

Everyone nowadays is thinking in terms of “green.” Doing everything to ensure a brighter and cleaner earth for future generations. Volunteering, recycling and adorning anything that moves with solar panels to conserve energy.

Energy. The mysterious force that makes our world turn. It radiates from the sun and lightning, but can be found in the most mundane places like the washing machine and refrigerator.

From light bulbs to hair dryers to central air, nearly everything in a home uses energy, and nearly everything costs money. And you know things have gotten a little out of hand when your energy bill comes and you feel the need to unplug everything, pack up the family and move to a farm deep in the country. But this kind of extreme isn’t necessary, so slow down, cowboy, all that needs to be done is a simple cutback. Whether it be minor, or an all-out purge, it may help to reduce bills and conserve a little energy.

Here are 10 reasons why your electric bill is so high, several of which you probably never expected:

1. Appliances use energy, even when they are “off.”
Standby button1
“Standby” is the new “off” and yes, it does take energy (and costs money) to keep that little orange light glowing. They siphon energy like a parasite.

2. Virtually anything in a charger.

Sure, if you’re charging your phone, more power to you (pun intended). But an electric toothbrush, vacuum cleaner and power drills can be super wasteful when sitting idle.

3. Things that just aren't being used.

That old television in the guest room, the VCR that hasn’t been used in years and the empty power strip in the basement that are all plugged in aren’t helping your electric bill.  Time to pull the plug on those energy hogs.

4. Computers, monitors and laptops.
Desktop PC

When left on or plugged in and you’re not around, they are happy to drain your energy dollars. Enough said.

5. Personal settings on appliances.

While super convenient, it’s also super effective at draining useful power. Some appliances, like coffee makers and microwaves need to stay plugged in to maintain the settings that are programmed such as time, date and power level.

6. The big things.

Clothes dryers, dehumidifiers and the like use a lot of energy, not to mention the washing machine and dishwasher that also use gallons upon gallons of water. Turn these things off or don’t use until necessary. Instill a “laundry day” policy in your home when the washing machine and dryer are only plugged in on, say, Wednesdays.

7. Hair dryers, curling and straighting irons.
Curling Iron
These things are amazing gifts to humanity, but can suck up a surprising amount of power. Take baby steps to cut back. And remember, keep them away from water sources or you’ll experience some real electricity.

8. Unnecessary lamps.
Energy Hogging Lamp
Sure, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to have a lamp or two on when no ones in the room, but it can and will add up to something awful. When no one is using it, turn it off.

9. Window units and space heaters.
Space Heater
While these can be a quick fix for a lower energy bill when heating and cooling and a cheaper alternative to central air, they can also be a nightmare if overused or used improperly. Choose heaters and air conditioners that are best suited for room size, and don’t have them in every room. Heavy, dark drapes and insulated windows can contribute greatly to savings.

10. The kitchen.

Home to many useful appliances, the kitchen is often the hub of the home. But it can also be a valley of wastefulness. Refrigerators, ovens and microwaves can become very inefficient when put into corners and cramped spaces where proper circulation is unavailable. And contrary to popular belief, keeping an old fridge is NOT cost or energy efficient. If you’ve got an older one, it may be a good idea to invest in a new one.

Have any tips of your own? Share them with the rest of the ProudGreenHome community in the comment section below.

Topics: Appliances, Cost of Ownership, Dehumidifiers and Air Purifiers, Energy Audits, Energy Star, Lighting

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