High utility bills are a major concern for many American households today, and it should come as no surprise that appliances account for a major portion of those bills. But the… ahem… burning question is: which appliance is guilty of being your home’s energy hog? Hawaiian Electric was wondering the same thing, so they did a study (based on the annual energy usage for a family of four, and a cost per kWh of $0.34); here are the results:
A/C (central system) – $1,445
Water heater – $952
Second refrigerator – $680
Lighting – $544
Home entertainment systems – $408
While the numbers will vary according to the size of the household, amount of usage, etc., the point is that if you’re not careful, your appliances can end up costing you much more than you imagined.
So how can you keep your bills under control? Firstly, look at your home as a complete system, with each component working together. A good example of this is the way the central A/C (if you have it) works with lighting. Central A/C systems will monitor a home’s temperature and work to keep it within the set range. If a home is equipped with traditional incandescent light bulbs, these will cause the A/C to work harder to keep the home cool, as these types of bulbs actually produce more heat than light. And that’s a spike in the energy bill right there.
Secondly, get an energy audit with a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor. An energy audit will reveal any energy deficiencies in your home, and the energy auditor can provide cost-effective solutions to rectify those deficiencies. For more information, contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor in your area.