12 Oct Remove Energy Clogs & Reduce Your Energy Consumption!
We depend on electricity for so many things in our daily lives. From toasters, blenders, coffee makers, TV’s, phone chargers, clocks, hair dryers, lights, portable heaters, vacuum cleaners, computers, printers...it seems like we plug more electrical devices into our home’s electric system with each passing day. As a result, our energy consumption continuously rises, which increases our electric bill.
How do we balance the use of these electrical devices without paying more than we need?
Fortunately, our electric bill provides clues or patterns that highlight opportunities to conserve energy.
How do our electrical bills provide clues to reduce energy consumption?
By reviewing the last 12 consecutive months of our electric bills, we can tell if we use most of our kilowatt-hours (or kWh) in the summer (called cooling loads), in the winter (called heating loads) or year-round (called baseloads).
For instance, if we use more energy in the winter and summer (vs. spring and fall), then examine the HVAC system. Home heating and cooling systems require electricity. Additionally, check the insulation levels in your home. However, if our electric bills show consistent use electricity usage throughout the year, review the baseload use. The baseload includes things like water heating and plug loads.
In order to reduce your baseload consumption you need to understand your electric plug loads. Electric plug loads are the electronic devices we plug into our electric outlets every day. For example, reduce your plugs loads by increasing lighting efficiency. So, turn off electronics, such as TVs and computers, along with lights when not in use. As a result, you will reduce your and overall energy consumption.
Identify Energy Clogs & Hidden Electric Plug Loads to Reduce Energy Consumption
Hidden electric loads are electric devices that impact your electric bill. In some cases, hidden electric loads operate in the background, quietly adding to your electric bill each month. In other cases, hidden electric loads operate in plain sight, but you would never guess they could be so expensive.
How can we identify the hidden electric loads that have the greatest impact on our electric bills and optimize their use? The usual suspects include:
- heating and cooling systems.
- window air conditioner units.
- pool pumps.
- space heaters.
- heating blankets.
- heat pumps.
- well pumps.
- hot tubs.
- electric water heaters.
- incandescent lighting.
10 Hidden Electric Clogs to Check Today
To minimize the impact of hidden electric loads on your electric bill, consider the following list to see if any of the items play a role in your home:
- Inefficient Heating System – Improving the overall efficiency of your home’s insulation and air tightness level reduces the electric use of your furnace distribution fan and lower your electric bill.
- Inefficient Cooling System - Improving the overall efficiency of your home’s insulation and air tightness level reduces the electric use of your home’s cooling system.
- Pool Pumps – Swimming pool pumps often run continuously during the summer months. The pool pumps, running at full speed, can be expensive to operate.
- Space Heaters – Improving the overall efficiency of your home’s insulation and air tightness level reduces the need for electric space heaters and heating blankets.
- Heat Pumps – If homeowners don’t have a thermostat designed for use with heat pumps, try minimize using a night setback until the proper thermostat can be installed.
- Dehumidifiers – Dehumidifiers that run continuously increase electric bills. Do not run dehumidifiers unless the conditions in the home require it.
- Well Pumps - Avoid over-watering lawns because well pumps constantly in use significantly impact electric bills.
- Hot Tubs - Insulated covers combined with managing the hours of operation for the electric heaters and pumps will save large amounts of electricity.
- Electric Water Heaters - Reducing hot water consumption where possible with electric water heaters will lower your electric bill.
- Incandescent Lighting – Switching to LED lightbulbs will offer immediate and significant savings on electric hills.
The good news is that electric energy efficiency is happening all around us. From LED lighting to high-efficiency air conditioning to energy efficient homes, the opportunity to conserve electricity is at our fingertips. We just need to reach out and grab it.
Conduct an Energy Audit to Reduce Energy Consumption
When done properly, an energy audit pinpoints the true sources of energy waste in your home from hidden electric loads. The energy audit provides a roadmap for creating a more comfortable, energy efficient home.
However, an energy audit by itself doesn’t improve the conditions of the home. An audit identifies wasted energy consumption and provides recommendations. So, homeowners need to implement and install the high priority recommendations. As a result, your utility bills decrease.
Energy projects are often a partnership between the homeowner and a quality contractor. Typically, homeowners take the lead on simpler tasks. Action items like replacing light bulbs and turning things off are great DIY habits. Also, review your electronic devices and stop unplug certain devices that reduce your plug load. However, other recommendations require a professional. For example, installing a high-efficiency air conditioning, identifying hidden electric loads, air sealing your home or adding insulation means partnering with a quality contractor.
GreenHomes America believes home energy projects are more successful when homeowners understand the problems and possible solutions. As a result, we help you learn and understand home comfort issues. Only when you understand the root causes of a problem can you follow a process to resolve them.