Reasons Your Utility Bills Are High
If you are like many in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus areas, you may be concerned about the recent utility bill you received in the mail this month. Don’t be alarmed. It’s very reasonable to see a spike in your utility usage for the month of January we just had, and here’s why:
The drastic low temperatures that we experienced to start the year off certainly is the main culprit of the damage done to your electric and utility bills. Almost half of the month of January saw low temperatures in the single digits and below zero, which was significantly lower than the average low of around 20 degrees. This cold weather not only kept our heating systems busy, it also kept our bodies inside. When you spend more time indoors and at home, it will of naturally result in more utility usage.
Lack Of Insulation
Whether due to poor attic insulation or leaks or drafts in your windows, the effectiveness of your insulation was really put to the test this January. Even if improving the quality of your insulation is not a project you are able to take on in the foreseeable future, it’s important to know that you should credit a part of that spike in utility usage to that amount of heating and cooling lost during extreme weather months.
Continued Heating System Usage
Did you know that your heating and cooling system can account for up to or more than 50% of your overall utility usage? Through the cold-temperature stretch we experienced, your heating system was likely operating more often to maintain the level of comfort you desired. With more system usage, you will certainly see the impact on your utility bills.
Inefficient Furnace Operation
If your heating system is 15+ years old, it’s likely that there has been significant efficiency loss since it was installed. If you see your bills continue to increase year over year, it might be time to schedule for maintenance or consider system replacement altogether.
To sum it up: do not be alarmed if your January bills were significantly higher than your average monthly bill (or even last January's bill).
While there is no need to panic just yet, you should keep a watchful eye on that bill for the upcoming months. If the usage continues to be drastically higher than normal, and the monthly temperatures aren’t extreme enough to warrant it, this could be a sign of a bigger issue that should be looked into.