High Summer Energy Bills? Here Is What You Need to Know
May 18, 2021
As the summer heats up and your AC is working overtime to keep you cool, energy conservation is likely at the top of your mind. During the summer, energy companies, especially those in the South, experience high demand for electricity. Since everyone wants to cool their home, the demand for electricity increases—and energy companies raise their rates to account for it. While you can’t change the rates, you can take a few steps to use your energy more efficiently and lower your overall energy costs.
If you want to improve your energy conservation and lower your energy bills this summer, learn more about the common causes of high summer energy bills and how you can reduce them.
Common Causes of High Summer Energy Bills
Before you can lower your summer energy bills, you may want to know more about some of the common causes of higher energy costs. For example, higher demand, inefficient thermostat use, and unsealed cracks can all cause your bill to skyrocket over the summer.
Find out more about some of the main causes of excessive energy costs and their solutions below:
Problem 1: Clogged or Blocked Vents
Over time, lint and debris can clog your vents and cause them to work inefficiently. You may also have furniture or other items obstructing these openings. Dirty air filters are another common culprit for blocked vents. When vents are clogged, your ventilation fan will have to run more frequently to cool your home in the summer. This excessive ventilation fan usage requires extra energy and can increase your energy costs.
The Solution? Check Your Vents for Obstructions
One quick way to lower your energy bill is to check all your home’s vents for obstructions. If you spot debris clogging up your vents, clear it away from the opening. You should also make sure furniture is placed at least 6-inches away from vents on your walls. Additionally, you should maintain routine air filter changes.
By unclogging your vents, you’ll make it much easier for your ventilation fan to circulate cool air throughout your home. Since your ventilation fan won’t have to run as frequently, you’ll likely see a lower energy bill.
Problem 2: Unsealed Cracks and Openings
Leaky doors, windows, attics, and crawl spaces can invite heat and warm air inside of your home while letting your cool air escape. This extra heat makes your AC run more frequently to keep your home comfortable. Without having a professional home sealing service to address these openings and cracks, you’ll see a rise in your energy bills, as your AC will have to use up more energy.
The Solution? Professional Home Sealing Services
Since cracks and openings cause your HVAC system to run more frequently to cool your home, have an expert complete a Home Performance Audit. Using professional-grade equipment, your home sealing professional can detect openings in your home and close them for good. This service is the secret to keeping the cool air inside your home in the summer and keeping the cool air out in the winter.
Problem 3: Insufficient Insulation
Another source of warm air getting into your home and making your AC work harder is insufficient insulation. According to a North American Insulation Manufacturers Association study, around 90% of U.S. homes are under-insulated. If you have high summer energy bills, your floors, walls, and attics’ insulation may be at fault.
The Solution? Replace Inefficient Insulation
When you want to prevent cool air from quickly escaping your home during the summer, you can check your insulation. You’ll typically find insulation throughout your attic, walls, and floors. If your insulation is damaged or made out of low-quality materials, it can let a lot of cool air out of your home. By checking and replacing inefficient insulation, you can lower your energy bills significantly. Due to the job’s complexity, many homeowners turn to a home energy services company to replace insulation for them.
Problem 4: Excess Water Heating
On average, water heating uses about 18% of a home’s energy consumption. One of the major reasons it takes up so much energy is that many homeowners have their water heaters set to too high temperatures. The cold winter temperatures sometimes require higher water heater temperature settings. However, homeowners often forget to lower them again in the spring. When you set your water heater to excessive temperatures, your water heater will need more energy. This increased energy raises your energy bill and sets back your energy conservation efforts. Not to mention, it also presents dangerous scalding risks and can present summer problems for your water heater unit.
The Solution? Lower Your Water Heater’s Temperature
Since setting your water heater’s temperature to too high levels can raise your energy use, take a moment to check your water heater’s settings. If you discover that your water heater is set above 120-degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll want to lower it. By lowering the temperature, your heater won’t have to work as hard, saving you on energy costs. Additionally, anything above 120-degrees can cause scalding, so you’ll also be protecting yourself from injury by lowering the temperature. If you are not sure of your temperature or how to turn it down, contact a local expert (like those at Newcomb and Company) for help.
Problem 5: Inefficient Thermostat Use
While your thermostat is crucial on hot days, many people don’t know how to use it efficiently. For example, many people leave their thermostats at cold temperatures when they’re away from their homes all day. This inefficient thermostat use can raise your energy bills, wasting energy to keep a home cool when no one is around to enjoy it.
The Solution? Use Your Thermostat Efficiently
One of the easiest ways to lower your energy bill and improve your energy conservation is to use your thermostat efficiently. When you leave your home during the day, set the thermostat to a higher temperature than normal. This simple action will make it so your HVAC system doesn’t have to use up so much energy while you’re gone. You can even purchase a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature for you when you’re away.
Turn to Newcomb and Company for Home Energy Services in Raleigh & Wilmington
Besides the work you can do around your home, one of the best ways to lower your energy bill is to partner with a home energy service company. When you need eco-friendly services designed to lower your energy bills in Raleigh, Wilmington, or the surrounding areas (like Knightdale, Clayton, Cary, Garner, Castle Hayne, Leland, and Carolina Beach), choose Newcomb and Company.
After you schedule service with us, we’ll perform a Home Performance Audit to spot potential energy issues, such as poor ventilation, ineffective insulation, and unwanted air filtration. Based on this audit, we’ll take action to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Need help? Call now.