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Factors That Contribute to a High Electric Bill in the Summer

By Tiffany Reynolds

Summer is right around the corner. That means spending more time outdoors, taking vacations, and relaxing by the pool. For some, it also means dreading the time when the electricity bill arrives. If you’re one of those people, you probably find yourself wondering why your bills keep going up, even if you’ve taken steps to reduce your costs.

Guess what? Summer doesn’t have to mean exorbitant energy bills. With Power Wizard, you can find the best plans for your needs featuring the most affordable rates. Power Wizard can even take care of signing you up for a new plan and monitoring the market to ensure you’re always on the best plan. That way, you can spend more time enjoying your summer and less time worrying about how you’re going to pay for your electricity usage.

Do you find yourself wondering why you have a high energy bill in the summer? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Your Electric Bill High in the Summer? Here’s Why

Several factors can contribute to a high electric bill in the summer. Here are a few of the most common ones.

Many People Run Their Air Conditioners More in the Summer Months

Summers in Texas can be brutal, with some days topping out well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That means you’re likely running your air conditioner a lot more. The more you run it, the more electricity you use. Unless you have a flat-rate energy plan, that increase in energy consumption is going to lead to increases in your summer electric bills.

Other families in your area are likely running their air conditioners more, too. The increased demand can impact energy prices, leading to higher electricity rates. If you have a fixed-rate plan, you aren’t subject to these rate increases, but you are if you have a variable-rate plan. Your energy provider could increase your rates without telling you, leaving you with a shocking surprise when your statement arrives.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

Making sure you’re on the right energy plan can help you avoid sudden and unexpected rate hikes during the summer (and other times of increased demand). If you find yourself overwhelmed by your options, Power Wizard can help. We’ll go through the trouble of seeking out the most suitable energy plans for your needs. From there, you can choose the one that makes the most sense.

Your Air-Conditioning Unit Is Old and Out of Date

An increase in use isn’t the only way your air conditioner can contribute to high electric bills. If your unit is old and outdated, it may not be running as efficiently as it should be. It may cycle on more frequently or pull extra power to keep your home comfortable. Even if you set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature and take other measures to  reduce your energy consumption, you may still see significant increases in your power bills.

Ideally, you should schedule annual maintenance for your air-conditioning unit before the summer. A thorough inspection will ensure there are no potential issues with your AC system and that it’s working at its best. If your unit is more than 10 years old, you may also want to consider replacing it with a new, more efficient model.

Appliances and Electronics Are Contributing to Standby Power

Take a look around your home. How many appliances and electronics do you have plugged into wall outlets? Now, how many of them are you currently using?

If you’re like most people, you leave several electronics plugged in 24/7. The thing is — items like your television, gaming consoles, laptops, lamps, toaster oven, coffee pot, and phone chargers still pull power even when you aren’t actively using them. These “vampire” appliances and electronics contribute to what’s known as phantom energy, or standby power. Over time, the small amount of power each item draws can really add up, and you’ll see it reflected in your high summer electric bills.

You Failed to Change Your AC Air Filters

When your air conditioner pulls air into it to cool, that air travels through a filter. The filter traps airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Some also capture bacteria and viruses. That way, the air your unit pumps back into your home is clean and cool.

Over time, everything your AC air filter captures builds up, and your unit has to work harder to pull in air. The additional stress means your air conditioner is using more electricity. It also means your air conditioner can wear down sooner, which can lead to premature breakdowns and the need for a replacement. Not only will you be paying higher energy bills, but you may also need to pay for expensive repairs, or a new AC altogether.

The general recommendation is to change your air filter every three months. Ideally, however, you should check it once a month and change it if you find it dirty.

How Can You Combat This Seasonal Spike in Your Bill?

One of the best ways to combat the seasonal increase in your energy bill is to make sure you’re on the best electricity plan for your needs. Rather than researching numerous energy providers and their plans, you can use Power Wizard to make the process easier. You provide your ZIP code and service address, and Power Wizard does the rest.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

Power Wizard’s algorithm compares hundreds of electricity plans within a matter of seconds and generates a list customized just for you. You’ll be able to see if you should stay with your current plan or if you would save money by switching to a new one.

Even with the best energy plan, there are still things you can do to help lower your high electric bills in the summer months. Here are a few additional tactics to try.

Utilize Ceiling Fans

Rather than relying on your air conditioner alone, allow your ceiling fans to shoulder some of the load. As the fans circulate air, they can cool a room by approximately 4 degrees, allowing you to adjust your thermostat a few degrees accordingly. On more temperate days (or nights), you may even be able to keep your home comfortable with ceiling fans alone.

Note: Make sure your fans spin in the correct direction. During the summer, they should  move counterclockwise. As they move, the blades will force cool air downward. Additionally, ceiling fans are most beneficial when there are people present. Be sure to turn your fans off when you leave the room to avoid wasting electricity. 

Use Energy-Efficient Tactics During Peak Times

If you’re on a variable-rate plan, your bill is likely affected by higher energy rates during peak periods. These are times when energy demand is at its highest. Some  energy-efficient tactics to try include:

  • Run major appliances (washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher) after sundown during off-peak hours, and only run full loads.
  • Use cold or cool water to wash clothes.
  • Alter your breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus at home to avoid using your stovetop or oven as often.
  • Install and use a programmable or smart thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature automatically during specific times of the day.
  • Close the drapes on windows that receive direct sunlight during the day to limit heat gain.

Even if you have a fixed-rate plan, you can still use energy-efficient tactics to reduce the overall demand on the grid. That can help keep rates lower overall.

Are You Paying Too Much for Electricity?

Are you dreading the summer season because it means paying a high electric bill every month? Understanding what’s causing the increase in your energy costs is a start. Taking steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency can also help.

If you’re still paying too much for electricity every month, it may also be time to examine your energy plan. Your rates may be higher than necessary, or your energy provider may have increased its fees, leading to excessively high electric bills.

Are you unsure of whether your energy plan is right for you? Visit Power Wizard today to start  comparing your options and find the best plan with the most affordable rate for your needs.

Let us find you the best plan in seconds and start saving.

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