The heat of the summer has turned to cold winter days and perhaps you’re thinking that with no air conditioner constantly running, your electric bill may be a few dollars cheaper. But you open your bill each month and that is definitely not the case. So you’re asking, “Why is my electricity bill higher in the winter?” There are a few season specific factors that drive up energy costs, plus a few household tips that could also be affecting your bill.
WE USE MORE ELECTRICITY IN WINTER
Trends show that consumers use more energy in the winter months than they do in summer. Air conditioners and ceiling fans transition to space heaters, electric blankets, and a higher demand for hot water. Trends also show that people spend more time in their homes in winter months, so more electricity is being used for more hours than the summer months. The electricity bill will fluctuate along with the power consumption.
IT COSTS MORE TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY
The path that electricity takes to get from the generator to your home can be complex. The generator transmits power through the grid before it arrives at your local network, which then delivers the electricity to your home. Whenever the demand for power goes up, the cost of power generation and delivery goes up, as the grid becomes more taxed. Consumers will definitely see this reflected in his or her electricity bill.
Aside from these initial cost increases of the winter months, there are several ways that you can help keep your home more efficient in these winter months to balance cost:
REVERSE YOUR CEILING FANS
Ceiling fans can lower your electricity bill no matter the season. Changing the direction of your ceiling fan to clockwise and setting it to a lower speed can help the home feel warmer. A clockwise rotation pushes warm air in the room downward to bring up the temperature.
ADJUST YOUR WATER HEATER TEMPERATURE
If your water heater is set too high, this can waste a lot of energy. The recommended temperature for a water heater is 120 degrees.
CLOSE THE GARAGE DOOR
Keep the cold air as far away from the interior walls of your home by keeping the garage door closed.
CLOSE YOUR CHIMNEY DAMPER
Whenever you aren’t enjoying a fire, remember to close the chimney damper. This allows smoke to exit, but its also direct exposure to the cold temperatures when the fireplace isn’t in use.
SET A THERMOSTAT SCHEDULE
If your thermostat has a scheduling feature, take advantage of it to help manage the cost of heating your home. The temperature can automatically lower when your family is out of the house during the day or during the night hours. This will keep the demand on your heater, and electricity bill, lower and use energy more efficiently.
If after all of these small adjustments have been made and your electricity bill is still high, there may be larger issues present. An electrical inspection can help confirm suspicions and correct the issues. Some additional things to consider include:
PROBLEMS WITH THE ELECTRICAL METER
A faulty electrical meter could be giving the power company incorrect readings concerning your energy use. The power company can check to make sure that meter readings are accurate.
Your heating unit could be to blame for spikes in energy usage if the unit is malfunctioning. Leaks in air ducts, dirty filters, and blocked vents can also put additional strain on your heating unit, causing it to run longer and more frequently than what’s truly needed.
OLD, FAULTY WIRING
No matter the season, faulty wiring can make an appearance in your electricity bill. Since the number of devices being used in the home rises during the winter, it can often draw attention to issues caused by old or faulty wiring. The largest indicator of wiring problems are flickering lights, especially when an appliance like a hair dryer or space heater is running, or a noticeable change in the function of your home’s large appliances. A professional electrician should always conduct wiring inspections in your home, especially as old wiring may not be safe or up to code.
Use these tips and tricks to help keep your electricity bill under control this winter season and contact your trusted Mister Sparky OKC electrician today for all of your electrician needs!
Mister Sparky® of Oklahoma City, America’s On-Time Electrician, serves the Oklahoma City, OK area with a team of certified electricians in Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Yukon, and Del City. In addition to emergency electrical repairs, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, residential wiring repair,landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections. Call us today at (405) 213-0791 to schedule an appointment!