As we enter August, summer in Massachusetts is in full swing. It’s hot. It’s humid. And energy costs across the state are skyrocketing. Take one look at your energy bill and you might find yourself ready to begin a new life in the woods – completely off the grid. But before you start packing, take the time to consider whether some of these common factors are behind your rising energy costs.
Why is My Electric Bill So High?
There are a lot of reasons that your electric bill might be climbing, but these are some of the most common.
Reason #1: Energy Vampires
Be honest, when was the last time you unplugged your TV? Probably never, right? When you’re not using it, you turn it off, and that’s it. But did you know that appliances are sucking energy even when you think they’re turned off? The usage adds up – and you pay the price. So how can you stop it? Are you going to crawl under all your furniture to plug in a device every time you want to use it and unplug it when you’re done? Not likely!
What You Can Do About It: Smart Power Strips
We love energy saving gadgets, and we think that smart power strips are pretty useful. These strips cut power to multiple devices when you turn off one “master” device. What does that mean? For example: if your TV is off, does your game console need to be on? Of course not! The power strip senses that the TV is off and cuts power to your game console, DVD player, or other devices you designate.
Reason #2: Outdated Appliances
Still using an old refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, or other large appliance? Take a look and see if you can find an Energy Star logo. If not, it’s not certified energy efficient. Big appliances use a lot of energy anyway, but when you’re using old, outdated appliances, that energy bill is going to be high – and you pay the price.
What You Can Do About It: Energy Star Rated Appliances
Consider whether it might be time to replace those old models. Many homeowners are hesitant to replace large appliances because they can be expensive up front, but they are a small investment intended to lower your energy bill. On top of that, Mass Save offers rebates and incentives for making your home more efficient, and there are available rebates to help cover the cost of new appliances.
Reason #3: Leaky Ducts
You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your home’s ductwork, but you should! Think about the past few weeks: in this hot New England summer, we’re willing to bet your central air conditioner has been working overtime! Your HVAC system spends a lot of energy cooling all that air – but what if your ductwork is leaking? That cool air escapes into your walls and all that energy is wasted.
And the same principles apply to your heating system during the winter. Like it or not, the cold months are coming, and leaky ducts are a sure way to spend a fortune on heating costs.
What You Can Do About It: Duct Sealing
Call in a qualified contractor. They can test your system in order to locate and seal those leaks, so your HVAC system can keep your home cool – and use less energy to do so.
Bonus: Ductless Mini Splits
Don’t have ductwork in your home? If you’re looking for an affordable, energy efficient way to cool your home in the summer and heat it during the winter, you may be interested in a ductless mini split air conditioning system.
Reason #4: Air Leaks
Okay, we know what you’re going to say: Didn’t we just cover leaks? Well… not fully. Leaks in your ductwork are a big energy waster, but so are other air leaks in your home. That nice, conditioned air is pretty good at finding ways to escape from your home: through small cracks in your walls and around your windows – even through your electrical plugs! You want to keep that air inside, not share it with the world!
What You Can Do About It: Air Sealing
There are some simple ways you can DIY sealing some of these leaks. You may want to insulate around your windows or doors or install foam gaskets inside your electrical outlets. But the best way to know that your home is truly sealed is to call in a professional. A contractor can test your home for leaks and do the work of sealing it up, so you can feel confident in your home.
Mass Save Home Energy Assessment: Your #1 Solution
Keep in mind that every home is different. Your energy bills may be high because of one or more of these common reasons, or maybe you have another problem that’s harder to spot. That’s why we recommend receiving a no-cost home energy assessment from Energy Monster.
During your assessment, an energy technician will inspect your home to determine where you may be wasting energy and what can be done to improve it. An energy assessment is a great way to save you money because your technician will provide you with a customized report about your home’s energy needs, helping you decide what needs to be addressed right away.
The best part? Energy Monster can help you solve all of these common causes of high energy bills! When we perform your assessment, you’ll receive energy-saving goodies like smart power strips and energy efficient light bulbs. We can help you look and apply for rebates and incentives to cover the cost of Energy Star appliances or even insulation updates. We’re also a qualified contractor that can help you with duct sealing and air sealing. It all starts with your home energy assessment. What are you waiting for? Start lowering that bill by scheduling your assessment today.