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Saturday November 17th, 2018 10:16AM

Freezing December, January results in higher power bills

Home heating systems in our area worked overtime in December and January to keep up with a combined 33 days of below freezing temperatures.
 
Jackson EMC spokeswoman April Sorrow said that all translated into high energy consumption for the corporation's members.
 
"We haven't seen numbers this high since 2011, which of course was the blizzard that hit north Georgia, but we're almost as high as we were that year," Sorrow said.
 
The increase in kilowatt hours from December to January resulted in an average increase of $40 dollars per residential bill.
 
"The fact is, absolutely the outdoor temperature impacts what's going on inside," Sorrow said.  "When your heating system has to work very hard to heat that indoor air even to 68 degrees, it can cost more money."
 
According to Sorrow, below freezing days in the two months were more than twice as many as last year.
 
In kilowatt hours, Jackson EMC members used 112 million more in January than in December.
 
 
 
Energy Efficient Heating Habits 
 
Nearly half of the electricity used at home goes to condition the air inside. To impact cost, the HVAC unit needs to run less. 
 
Set your thermostat to 68 degrees. 
Homes with heat pumps: In the winter, nighttime setbacks and frequent thermostat changes will increase energy costs and are not recommended. Programmable and smart thermostats designed for heat pumps permit setbacks without increasing operating costs.
Only set the thermostat to “emergency heat” in the event the heat pump is not working. Because emergency heat costs nearly twice as much to operate as the heat pump during normal operation, it should not be used except in the case of system failure while awaiting repairs.
Check and/or replace air filters every 1–2 months. Dirty or clogged air filters restrict airflow and cause your compressor to work harder, increasing costs.
Use the fireplace sparingly. It draws your home’s heated air up the chimney.
Ensure proper airflow to indoor supply and return vents, and around your outdoor unit. Do not block indoor supply and return vents with furniture or other objects. Keep the outdoor unit free of leaves, grass, shrubs, snow, or anything else that can block airflow.
 
Cut energy use everywhere else
 
Activate “sleep” features on computers and office equipment that power down when the equipment is not in use for more than an hour. 
Do full loads when you use clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers.
Use dimmers, timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs, which burn longer and use less energy.
Turn off or unplug any unused appliances or lights. 
 
Plan long-term
 
Insulate floors, walls and attics to keep homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter. 
Get your air conditioner tuned-up. Consider a maintenance contract that provides a checkup twice a year, prior to peak cooling and heating seasons.
If your HVAC unit is 10 years old or more, consider replacing it. New models are more efficient and may lower your electric bill. 
 

 

Source:  Jackson EMC

 
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Freezing December, January results in higher power bills
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