Winter is one of the most exciting seasons. You think about Christmas, spending time with your family, and sitting on your sofa, enjoying a hot chocolate while reading your favorite book.
While you’re enjoying your time indoors, you may not immediately notice that some habitual changes have occurred. Not only that, but your electricity bill is suddenly higher than normal. Why is this happening?
If your electricity bill costs have suddenly skyrocketed, you need to know why and how to reduce them. In this post, we’ll go into the reasons why electricity bills tend to be higher in winter, and some ways to lower the price.
Reasons for the Price Increase in the Electricity Bill
1. The Weather Is Colder
Obviously, winter comes with very low temperatures. When you’re outdoors, you may have to throw multiple layers of clothes on you to keep you warm, but indoors you have to feel cozy.
Winter makes you plug in various heating units, bake multiple delicious meals in the oven, boil more water for tea or hot chocolate, and even cook longer to make soup or other warm meals.
Let’s not forget that you tend to take hotter showers or even baths, something that isn’t needed during the summer months.
With so many activities meant to keep you warm, it only makes sense the electricity bill will be higher. You’re using a lot of appliances for longer periods than you do in other seasons.
And if you live in an area where the weather gets very cold, or if your windows are not properly sealed, the house will quickly feel like a big refrigerator. This causes you to use heaters more.
2. You Need Light for Longer Periods
We all know that as winter approaches, the day gets shorter and shorter, and by the time you even manage to do anything, the sun goes down and daylight is replaced by darkness.
If it gets dark at around 5-6 PM, you can’t just drop everything and go to sleep. Of course, you’re going to turn on the lights and go on with your activities.
This is exactly what adds to the electricity bill cost. You need to compensate for the absence of the sunshine, but you’ll pay for artificial light in return.
3. Generators Work More
Generators are responsible for transmitting electricity to your house. When you’re using electricity, a very complex process is taking place. It all starts with the generator sending power through the grid, after which it arrives at the local network in your area. Then, electricity is delivered to your house.
Since the electricity demand is higher during winter, the costs are going to rise too. Let’s not forget that you’re not the only one who is going to use electricity more than usual.
There will be multiple people using electricity at the same time, so generators have to keep up with that. The consumption overall will be bigger too. It only makes sense that prices are going to rise in this scenario. Power generation and delivery will cost more overall.
This is another reason why you may notice the electricity bill showing a higher number than what you’re used to seeing.
4. More Entertainment Is Necessary
Since you’re mostly indoors and don’t want to spend too much time outside due to the colder weather and the darkness, you need ways to entertain yourself.
The last thing you want to do is spend time in bed staring at your ceiling. There are multiple activities you can perform indoors, but most of them require electricity.
For example, you may play on your computer, watch more TV, play music, and other such things. These will increase electricity consumption.
What’s more, you’ll most likely clean more around the house. Using the vacuum cleaner might become a more frequent thing, and the same goes for using the washing machine.
If you use them more often, more energy will be consumed and, as a consequence, you’ll have to pay more when you receive the bill.
How to Reduce Electricity Consumption During Winter?
If you’re tired of paying more for electricity and want to reduce the costs, there are a few ways to do this. Here’s how you can save some cash on your energy bills:
Seal Your Windows
Did you know that sometimes, the cold air gets into our houses through openings around our windows? The warm air we’re trying our best to keep inside is escaping and being replaced with the cold one from outside. You should solve this as soon as possible because it will just cause you to use the heater for longer and consume more energy as a result.
What you can do is seal the openings around your windows, door frames, and even the chimney. If you spend time sealing up all the cracks you find, you’ll notice the change in your air, and you’ll see that you won’t have to turn up the heat so often anymore.
Add Thicker Layers
You may be more comfortable wearing thinner clothes indoors but doing that during winter could raise the electricity bill costs.
Instead of sitting in front of your heater the whole day, you could just try getting your thicker clothing for the season out of the closet. For instance, you should wear a nice, warm sweater, and put on some warm socks.
Use some warm blankets in bed or just cover yourself with the blankets while you’re watching TV. It’ll feel cozier at times, and much better than letting the heater run endlessly. Besides, it’ll do wonders for your bill.
Only Wash in Loads
It might be very tempting to wash the clothes in the machine as soon as you see it half-full, but this simply increases the electricity costs by consuming more energy. Why do you need to run so many cycles, in the first place?
If you want to see a lower number on your bill, you should only run the washer when there’s a full load of clothes.
The same goes for the dishwasher. Understandably, you can’t stand seeing your dishes dirty, but you don’t have to run the machine when there are only 2 plates inside.
Turn Off the Lights
You don’t have to leave the lights on in a room that nobody is using. You should always make sure to turn off the lights when you don’t need them, and maybe use lower lighting when it’s evening.
If you’re simply relaxing and watching some TV or using your laptop, you don’t need the lights on. On the other hand, if you want to have some light, you should just light some candles or have a lamp nearby. This will be enough to give you a light source.
Also, ensure that all your bulbs are on high efficiency and if possible, put some timers on your lights. This applies to festive lights as well in case you already have them up.
Cook Larger Meals at Once
When cooking, you should consider preparing larger amounts of food at once, rather than turning on your oven daily. Also, you should cook multiple meals with each use, as this will make sure there is less energy consumption in the long run. It’s better than turning on the stove each day.
If you only have simple foods that you need to cook, you don’t need to consume that much energy. You can use a microwave or a toaster oven.
Leave the Oven Door Open
Have you been cooking? Well, after you’re done, you can let the oven door open so you can get some extra warmth in your house at the end. This means you won’t have to turn on your heater for that – you can just let the heat from the oven fill your house while the oven is cooling down. Isn’t that a great idea?
Replace Old Appliances
It may be difficult to say goodbye to an old appliance that you hold dear, such as a fridge. However, your wallet will thank you.
Old appliances have a tendency to consume more energy than newer ones, as they’re not that energy efficient as modern units. Particularly if they’re not working properly or if you use them very rarely, you should look for new machines to replace them. Sure, it’s a considerable investment, but you’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
You might want to consider a low wattage space heater before buying a whole-house unit. These low powered heaters will not be hard on your pocket and will usually be small, quiet and portable.
The Bottom Line
Winter brings us many exciting events, but it also brings pricier electricity bills. Outdated appliances, unsealed windows and constant use of electric devices could lead to this.
If you are aware of what’s causing your bills to skyrocket during winter, then you should do your best to prevent this from happening. If you use the advice provided in this post, reducing your electricity bills will be a piece of cake.
Jesse Pinkman is a passionate HVAC professional writer who grew up repairing any home appliance on which he could lay his hands. He is responsible for ensuring that every article we publish is SPOT ON. When he’s not in the office, he enjoys hiking, watching football, and spending time with his family.