$256.86 a month. That’s my average electricity bill. That’s not counting my gas bill. And, like most people, I had little clue as to where it was really going. That was until I took the advice of a colleague and made a list of every major appliance in my house, made a trip down to my utility company and, through that discussion, got a dose of reality. I discovered that I had a number of ‘energy-guzzlers’ in my house that, unknown to me, were costing me more than I would have imagined. They were hidden ‘energy-guzzlers.’
I listed 10 major appliances and estimated the average number of hours each one was run on a monthly basis. I was able, through my energy company, to determine what each appliance was costing me, and received some great tips on how I could significantly reduce my monthly electricity bill.
The average ‘cost per kilowatt’ in my area runs $0.17 per KWH (kilowatt hour), which doesn’t seem like much, until you start adding-up all the kilowatt hours generated by all your appliances. In this and subsequent blogs, I’ll share what I discovered and what I’m doing about cutting my costs.
The first ‘energy-guzzler’ I discovered was my refrigerator. I found that, running 30 days a month, this beloved appliance was costing me around $30.00 a month. That’s a dollar a day. It’s about 7 years old and seems to do the job. When I was asked how often I moved the beast out and cleaned the ‘coils,’ I had to think about it. I think the last time was when we put in new flooring, which was…3 years ago. I was told that not cleaning the coils, especially during the summer, was causing it to work harder and burn more electricity. Something I didn’t know. I was next asked if the ‘seals’ on both the refrigerator and
freezer compartment were airtight. Again, I wasn’t sure. He told me to take a dollar bill, put it in the door of each compartment, and close it. If I was able to pull the bill out easily, I had a ‘seal’ problem and might need a door adjustment or have to replace the seals.
As soon as I got home I pulled-out the refrigerator from the wall and found that the coils were completely covered with lint, which had attracted a fair amount of dust, and that a dish cloth had somehow fallen behind the refrigerator and was covering part of the coils. I still am wondering how a kid can lose one of his toys back there. Next, I tried the dollar-bill trick in both the cooler and freezer unit. Guess what? The bills didn’t even stay in the same spot, but just slid down the edge of the seal. Not even close to being airtight. It was leaking cold air out the seals, and we are in the process of getting new seals.
So…I have discovered the first of 10 energy-guzzlers in my house, and am now on a mission to search and destroy these ‘energy-guzzlers’ and reduce my electricity costs.