Where are You Using the Most Power in Your Home?

Power bills are often one of the more mysterious of the expenses we have to pay each month. Fluctuating as they do, even as the weather remains something of a constant, it has by far the greatest range from peak to valley that we’re likely to see, barring a giant unfixed water leak. Oftentimes, the greatest energy hogs are not always the ones we might guess. So where, exactly, is all that electricity coming from?

Heating and Cooling. The most obvious answer, of course, is the power needed to heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. An estimated 43% of all your power expenses for the entire year go towards keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. In fact, counting the approximate 12% that goes towards heating your water, and more than half your bill is going towards keep us comfortable in our own home.

Fridge Control. Ok, so that’s a no brainer. After all, there is a reason the bill spikes in winter and summer, after all. So what are the other culprits? A big one on the list is the kitchen refrigerator. There was a reason why your mother told you to keep the fridge door shut; even a new “Energy Star” rated model will use up around 415 kilowatt hours a year. The fuller and especially the older your unit is, the more power it sucks up. So for Pete’s sake, make decide what you want before you open that door!

Power in Your Home

Dry up the losses. Your noisy washing machine might seem like an obvious culprit, but the true villain in the laundry room is your clothes dryer. It takes a lot of energy to spin and heat those heavy wet clothes. The US Department of Energy estimates that dryers consume anywhere from 1800 to 5000 watts of power per cycle. This can come out to $85 or more per year. Not exactly chump change.

TV and Computer Usuage. Finally, we come to the electronics section of the bill. Chances are these days if the computer isn’t on in your house, the television is. And for most of us, it’s just as likely that they both are at the same time. Unfortunately, these two devices are also very costly energy hogs, even when turned off. And if you have a HD tuner/DVR device connected to your TV, than your consumption is only worse. Be sure to totally power down these devices when not in use to help minimize energy drain.

There are a lot of small tasks you can do to help minimize your bill; unplugging chargers and devices when no in use, or setting your heater on a timer so you’re not heating an empty house. Getting rid of older inefficient appliances and properly sealing windows and doors can also go a long way to maximizing your energy dollar.

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Ed Michelson
About the Author:

Ed Michelson is a real estate blogger for HomeVestors of America, Inc., America's largest real estate investors. For more tips on real estate investing, visit HomeVestors Franchise.

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