Why are my electric bills higher this winter?

With one of the coldest winters in recent memory upon us, most people won’t associate that with having a higher electric bill.  Most people understand a higher bill in the summer, especially in this region, but are baffled as to why their winter bill so expensive. The answer to that question in most cases is simple…electric heat. From space heaters, to electric strip furnaces, to heat pumps, a frigid wintertime can drastically raise the normal home’s winter electric usage.

Space Heaters

Let’s go through why these devices can cause a higher bill and we will start the big one……space heaters. These portable devices can be bought just about anywhere, from the big box stores to local hardware stores and are fairly inexpensive.  They claim to SAVE you money on your heating bill, but in truth, they usually end up costing you more.  Space Heaters use around 1,500 watts of electricity, which might not seem like much, but that usage would be comparable to fifteen 100-watt light bulbs burning all at once or around 10 flat screens TVs all on at one time. That wattage really adds up if your space heater runs for long periods throughout the month.  To save money with a space heater, you would almost have to turn your central heat or air completely off and close yourself up into a room with just you and your space heater.

Electric Resistance Strip Furnaces

Inexpensive Electric Resistance Strip Furnaces are usually found in apartments, rental property and in homes that do not have natural gas heat available.  The furnace uses electricity to heat up strips that are then distributed throughout your duct system by the blower fan. It’s basically like a giant space heater tied to your ductwork.  Baseboard heaters are also a form of electric resistance heating

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the most energy efficient way to heat a home with electricity. Heat pumps look just like your A/C unit outside and functions similarly. In the winter, instead of transferring heat from inside the home like it does in summer, it absorbs heat from the outside air and transfers that heat to the indoor air through an efficient process. However, when the temperature gets too cold outside to retrieve enough heat from outside air, the pump relies on the emergency heat from an electric resistance strip furnace. For more information about heat pump visithttp://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/heat-pump-systems.

Finding Ways to Save

If you are unsure of what type of heat you have in your home and need to find more ways to save on your electric bill, then contact North Little Rock Electric for a FREE Home Energy Evaluation that will educate you on how to make your home as comfortable and energy efficient as possible. Schedule your appointment today by calling 501-992-4034 or Click here to use use the online form.