We’ve all experienced the hardship of receiving bills in the mail. The envelope sits on your kitchen table like so many others. But this one is different. This one holds the reminder you dread seeing, the electric bill.
Okay, so maybe the electric bill isn’t the one you dread seeing most each month. But it probably isn’t your favorite monthly obligation either. If the amount you pay for power bothers you then you might want to give some thought to the causes of the problem. And if you’ve never looked at how much it costs to run your major appliances then the following figures may surprise you. You just might find out that it’s time to replace one of the appliances you own with one that is more energy efficient.
This article does focus on electrical appliances. If your home relies mostly or entirely on gas to power your appliances then please find out which gas appliances consume more energy.
The place where you keep your perishable foods is not just an appliance. It’s a safe where you trust the hundreds of dollars you spend on groceries will be protected. So keeping your electric usage to a minimum is just one aspect of this appliance. You may have the most energy efficient model available, but if you fail to maintain it properly it may still use more electricity than is necessary. If you have not already read my article on refrigerator maintenance please take a moment to look at it today.
According to a study concluded in 2009 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration titled “Residential Energy Consumption Survey” or (RECS), the average American household spends 6.2% of its electrical costs each month on appliances as a group. Your fridge is quite likely the most expensive appliance to power in your home. If you have an old refrigerator then you could save hundreds per year simply by switching to a newer, energy efficient model. You might cut your energy costs by as much as ? for this one appliance according to information available on Energy.gov.
Unless you use a laundromat or send everything you wear to the dry cleaner you’re spending some of your monthly electric cost on these appliances. The washer and dryer, because of the work they do, are probably next in line behind your fridge in terms of energy use. Unlike most appliances your washer and especially your dryer may also contribute to other energy related costs by putting a great deal of heat back into the house. For this reason the placement of your laundry area may have a big effect on your cooling costs in the warmer months.
Aside from the soothing hum of a window unit there’s not much to be happy about if your home is cooled by a small air conditioning unit. Size is not everything when it comes to electrical cost, and a little air conditioner can make a big dent in your bank account. The same may be true of portable electric heaters. Keeping a home without a central heating and cooling system comfortable during hot and cold months can be a big burden on a homeowner living on a tight budget. But replacing these small units with more efficient central system components is often financially out of reach. There is hope in some cases though. Some utility companies provide help to homeowners who need assistance financing such upgrades.
Homes which require removal of excess moisture in the air have an added cost that can really impact the monthly electric bill. Dehumidifiers may add as much electrical usage as a refrigerator or freezer unit, according to data available on the Nebraska utility website, Cornhusker-Power.com.
Though you may not think if your water heater as an appliance it is probably using more electricity than any single operating part of your home, aside from your heating and cooling systems. A high electric bill can sometimes be due mostly to an inefficient water heater.
About the Author
Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.