Why is my electric bill is so high in summer is a normal question that most people ask during the hot months.
Based on my experience as an electric engineer and energy manager, I have compiled eleven of the main causes that cause a significant increase in the energy bill during summer that could be affecting you, and most important, how to avoid each one of these.
11 Reasons Why Your Electric Bill Is So High in Summer
The hot weather is a major reason for a high electric bill in summer.
You feel a sudden increase in the bill because usually, you might not use the air conditioner or even air fans during the spring, and then a big increase in temperature happens at the beginning of summer, which require you to operate the AC or any other cooling or ventilation device for many hours a day.
And air conditioning systems consume a lot of energy in order to bring the temperature down.
In order to overcome such an increase because of air cooling, you can check out these tips for saving on the AC bill.
Using AC When You Shouldn’t
In many cases, you don’t actually need to turn on the air conditioner in order to feel comfortable, and sometimes, you might need to turn it on, but you are using a higher capacity than what you need.
And sometimes, you might keep it on all of the time because you think turning on and off the ac costs more money.
Alternatives could be using a humidifier or a dehumidifier depending on the humidity level, or maybe just using a fan in order to circulate the air around the place as fans don’t use a lot of electricity.
And in some cases, you can just reduce the electric bill by setting up the temperature of the AC as high and comfortable as possible.
Check out these ways of economical use of the air conditioner.
Having a bad insulation in the walls, windows, or doors of a cooled space is very similar to keeping the fridge door open all the time when it comes to increasing the summer electricity bill.
It is always recommended to inspect the insulation in the walls between the different rooms, or between the inside and the outside of the place, and fix any spot that has poor insulation.
Also, inspect around the windows and doors in order to find any holes where the cold air escapes from and seal them, and you may consider using door sweeps in as the cold air is heavy and could escape from under the tiny space doors.
Opening The Fridge More Frequently
In order to avoid dehydration, you need to drink cold water and other drinks frequently, and that usually means opening the fridge more frequently that usual.
Whenever you open the fridge, you lose some cold air inside it, and now it has to work harder in order to substitute it and maintain the set temperature.
Try to use a freestanding water cooler instead, and if you drink cold beverages frequently during the day, you may consider keeping a separate small compact or portable fridge.
You could use a solar power hybrid cooler like the GoSun Chill Cooler as an alternative.
Because you sweat a lot during summer, you need to take more showers, and that requires using the electricity in order to heat water.
Consider using a solar water heater system in order to minimize the water heating bill.
Staying Up Late with Appliances on
As we tend to stay late during summer nights, and sometimes until the morning hours during the weekends, and this means using the lights more often, inside and outside in the garden, along with other appliances like AC, fans, TV, …etc.
Try to be conscious and turn lights off when not necessary as keeping lights on wastes electricity, and the same for all other electric appliances.
You may also replace the current lighting units with LED ones, use motion detectors in areas with frequent use where you or others tend to leave them on when leaving the room, and use solar lights for the outdoor lights.
Dusty Filters, Vents, and Cooling Coils
AC units, fridges, and water coolers need regular maintenance in order to maintain the highest possible efficiency when they are operating.
Dirty filters and air vends for AC, and dirty coils in the fridge and water cooler, all lead to reducing the efficiency of these appliances, which means that these devices would need to consume more electricity and for a longer period of time in order to give the desired output.
Change or replace the filters every 3-6 months, as per the manufacturer’s recommendation and the area are installed in, and clean the coils and air vents every 3-6 months depending on how fast the dust accumulates on them.
Leakage in Air Ducts & Broken AC Pipes
If your air conditioning system uses ducts in order to distribute the cooled air, then having cracks that the air leaks from.
And regardless if your system uses ducts or not, the gas pipes of the AC could have point where the gas leaks to the outside atmosphere, or their insulation might be broken at some point.
And all of these could significantly increase your summer electric bill.
If you notice a significant change in the cooling efficiency in a specific room or if you need to have your AC on at full capacity all the time in order to get the desired result, then the leakage could be a reason.
If you can’t inspect the ducts and pipes by yourself, then you better call a specialist in order to inspect them for you.
It is also recommended to make inspecting ducts and AC gas pipes part of the regular maintenance of the air conditioning system.
More Laundry and Ironing
Since you sweat and change clothes more often during summer, you will necessarily use the washing machine and the iron more often, and these consume a lot of electricity.
The solution to minimize their effect on the electric bill in summer is to use the washing machine fewer times with full load instead of more frequent operations with half loads.
Also, try to iron clothes in bulk instead of turning on the iron every time you have few pieces that you want to iron, as the first operation of the iron consumes a significant amount of energy in order to reach the desired temperature.
Peak Hour Consumption
Some companies have a peak hour billing tariff (aka day-night tariff), where they charge consumer a certain rate per kWh during certain hours of the day, and a higher tariff during another set of hours, usually the peak hours when everyone is consuming more electric energy.
Depending on your electric usage pattern, you might start using more electricity during the peak hours in summer compared to what you consume during the same hours in spring for example.
Being aware of this might be one of the reasons your electric bill to get so high all of a sudden.
Check out your electric bill or the utility company’s website in order to find out when these hours are, and try to shift as many of your electricity consuming activities into other hours of the day.
Mistakes happen, and sometimes, the electricity company employee registers a different reading from the one on the meter, which results in an electric bill that is higher than what it should be.
You can compare the reading on the latest bill with the reading on the meter, and see if the registered amount on the bill is significantly higher than the on the meter, and contact the company through a high electric bill complaint letter in order to rectify it.
Conclusion – Prevent a High Electric Bill in Summer
Any of the above eleven reason could be behind a high electricity bill in summer.
Try to study your behavior and check if there’s a problem with any of the systems or appliances that use electric energy and fix them with the provided tips above, in addition to these tips for saving on electric bill in summer.
If you think that his list of causes and solutions was helpful for you, then feel free to share it with other who might benefit from it.
And if you have any question related to this topic or to saving on electric bill in general, then please, tell me in the comments’ section below and I will happy to help you out 🙂
Are You a US Homeowner?
You might be eligible for installing a complete solar panel system for your house without a down payment, save on electric bill (or even eliminate it), increase the value of your house, and maybe get an extra $1,000 rebate!
SunPower is a leading solar energy company, and they can advise you on your eligibility.
Enter your zip code, and finish the 1-minute survey, and SunPower’s professional team will contact you shortly!