Have you noticed a spike in your power bill lately? Here are some helpful tips that might explain why!
- Do you have an electric water heater? It may be worth having someone look at this to ensure it is functioning properly. If it’s older, a failing element can cause it to draw much more power than usual.
- Do you have electric baseboards? Cold weather will obviously cause these to come on more frequently, but check for air gaps & drafts in an effort to overcome heat loss.
- Are you living in a duplex, condo or other apartment? It’s possible that a neighbour might have something wired into you by mistake (or intentionally!)
- Some newer washers & dryers have an “automatic” mode which will cause them to turn on and off at odd hours without your knowledge. Make sure this feature isn’t turned on!
- How old are your appliances? Older fridges and freezers, especially when beginning to fail, will draw obscene amounts of power. Additionally, check the seals for air gaps which will cause the unit to run more, and suck more juice.
- Do you have any new gadgets in the house? New TVs, computers, stereos, etc can all contribute to your consumption.
- It may seem silly, but check infrequently power outlets, for example, in the garage. Is something plugged in that never used? I discovered a radio in my garage that was plugged in all winter, on very low volume. It doesn’t seem like much, but this could have amounted to a lot of money in the long run!
- Is there a gamer in the house? New video game consoles draw a lot of power and are running constantly.
- Finally, if you’ve noticed a big power spike and nothing else seems to explain the problem, make sure your meter isn’t damaged or malfunctioning. Shut off all breakers and check to see that it isn’t still spinning!