There are a few season specific factors that drive up energy costs during winter, but there are also a few household tips that could lower your utility bill.
People use more electricity during winter because they want to stay warm. Logically, the more electricity you use, the higher your utility bill will be. Fortunately, there are also many things you can do to lower your winter bill.
Why Is My Winter Utility Bill So High
Trends show that consumers use more energy in the winter months than they do in summer as they turn on their heaters, electric blankets and enjoy long hot showers.. Besides using more energy to get warm, people also spend more time at home than during summer. This trend has been only amplified as COVID-19 entered our lives and imposed self-quarantine. Whenever the demand for power goes up, the cost of power generation and delivery goes up as well, as the grid becomes more taxed. This is also reflected in your utility bill.
A faulty meter
A faulty electrical meter could be giving the power company incorrect readings concerning your energy use so make sure that the readings are accurate.
A faulty HVAC or wiring
Your heating unit could be to blame for spikes in energy usage if the unit is malfunctioning or if it hasn’t been maintained properly. Leaks, dirty filters, and debris that blocks vents can also put additional strain on your heating unit, causing it to work harder than usual. Old or faulty wiring can both increase your utility bill as well as pose a safety hazard. The largest indicator of wiring problems are flickering lights, especially when an appliance like a hair dryer is running. Make note of any noticeable change in the function of your home’s large appliances.
Double-pane windows are built to be much more energy-efficient than single-pane ones. Drafts and leaks equate to lost heat and wasted energy, both of which contribute to a higher bill.
Tips On Lowering Your Winter Utility Bill
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can lower your United Illuminating utility bill during winter.
Make sure that your home is weatherized
Do whatever you can to seal and protect your home from the outside factors. Although insulation can be a hefty investment, just like a new pair of doors and windows, there are also many cheap ways to weatherize your home such as by using insulated curtains to add a bit of insulation to your window and trap heat at night. Black and heavy curtains are an excellent investment for maximum nighttime energy efficiency.
Dress for the occasion
Set your thermostat to the lowest temperature in which you still feel comfortable while wearing a comfy sweater, socks, and sweatpants. Use blankets to stay warm at night. The more you move around, the lower the temperature you’ll need on your thermostat.
Reverse the ceiling fans
Use ceiling fans during winter to circulate heat. When they rotate counterclockwise, pushing air down to keep you cool. But, when you reverse the direction, they move the hot air that gathers at your ceiling down and make your home feel warmer.
Close the garage door and chimney damper
Keep your damper closed whenever you aren’t using your fireplace. If you never use your fireplace, seal the chimney flue.
Make use of free and residual heat
Back in the 19th century, the family wood-burning stove was used both to cook and warm the house. Today’s modern ovens are not very good at heating the home, but you can still benefit from a bit of the heat after baking. The sun provides us with free, clean energy and you don’t even need solar panels to make use of it. All you have to do is open your curtains and let the sunshine in.
Being energy smart in winter equates to year-round savings. The best part about saving energy in winter is that many of these techniques will also help you save money in summer. At the end of the day, the concept is the same: you need to keep outside air out, keep inside air in and minimize energy waste. The end result of maximum energy efficiency is maximum savings throughout the year.