Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 decade ago

What energy usage costs the most?

I was for sure it was air conditioning... but maybe it will be the heating? I bought my first home and obviously the bills are more expensive, but I had no idea they would be this much compared to my apartment. I have had to use the A/C every day this Summer and my bills have been almost $200.00... however the last three weeks I used it maybe two or three hours every couple of days, and it only saved me $20.00 off this bill!!! What is causing my energy costs to be so high? We run fans a lot because I thought it was cheaper haha. Thanks guys

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Of course household energy usage depends on where you live, how well build and insulated your house is, and how you personally use energy.

    When we lived near the Mason Dixon line, our largest utility was electric for the A/C that had to be on for about 2 months in the summer.

    Now we live much further north and there is almost no need for A/C (maybe 2 or 3 days each summer) but a whole lot more need for heat.

    Both homes were heated by gas but this home now uses considerably more than the former one but also less electric.

    Some things to do, turn the A/C up to 78 degrees or so and run ceiling fans blowing downwards to make it feel cooler. Only run the fan in the room where you are however, fans do not cool air they only move it and in so doing make us feel cooler. Leaving a fan on in a room not being used is wasting the electricity that it takes to run that fan and since most electricity used in a house is used to make heat (of all things) due to the inefficiencies of appliances, running anything you don't need will make your A/C run more often.

    I have assumed that you are talking about central A/C. If you are using window units instead, and are not going to use a room for more than 15 or 20 minutes, turn off that unit and shut the door. Same for fans and lights, TVs, stereos, computers, etc. All make more heat than anything else.

    To make your house use less energy winter and summer, make sure it is insulated to the proper standards or higher for your area. Insulation standards by zone of the country are available from several websites. Search for "insulation standards" and you should get good results.

    Also, check for leaking windows, stuck open dryer vents (consider not using the dryer in the summer and using a clothesline instead), doors that don't shut tight, etc. Any hole in the wall or leaky gasket around a window or door over time will admit a lot of heat (or cold).

    If you have the budget, newer A/C central units can be purchased that are far more efficient than ones made even 5 years ago. Same for furnaces for winter. If you can afford to change it out, go ahead - don't wait for it to fail. The savings can pay for the change out in 5 years or less!

    Another large electric user is refrigerators, freezers and dehumidifiers. Because these run a lot, they use a lot of power year round. And, since refrigerators are located in your living space, they pump heat out of the box and into the air which your A/C unit must then remove.

    Same thing goes for these. Check door for leaking gasket and make sure it is cleaned out underneath so the coils can ventillate properly. Consider replacing a fridge if it is more than 5 years old for the same reasons outlined above. If buying a new fridge, look for the energy usage lable and make your choice among the ones that use the least energy in the size range that you want.

    In short, use only what you need, shut off what you don't and change out for high efficiency whenever you can.

    Any help?

    Source(s): Study and experience.
  • Johnny
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I have only two words for you..."Budget Plan ". Most utilities already know ( if its an older home) what the expenses where the year before. I live near Chicago and the electric and gas bills in the last 4 years have both gone through the roof. A/C is your biggest cost for electric by far,thermostat timer, window fans and and even cooling just the rooms you use can save you money. Heating your home that same way will save you a little money too. Planting trees around your house and using room darkening type shade or even awnings over window will keep the sun from entering. If you have an attic , make sure to install an attic fan. The temps in there can reach 120 degrees or more and that will heat up the room underneath. That's a few things I've done to my home since I started paying the bill...Man! I sure do miss living with mom and dad : ) . Good Luck

  • 1 decade ago

    a couple things. You wanna save money, buy a programmable thermostat for both heating and cooling. Program the heating to a lower temp while you are not home. For example, if you go to work at 9:00a.m. and like the house at 70 degrees, but dont come home until 5:00 p.m. program your themostat to heat at 65 degrees while you are gone, and heat back up around 4:00 p.m. your house will be cozy when you come home and it wil save you alot of money. The same is not true for cooling. If you keep your house at 65 degrees in the summer. maintain the temp all the time because it takes a lot more energy for the A/C to lower the temp inside your house. For winter, try insulating large cracks around the exterior of the house where heat may escape. Use a can of spray insulation from the local hardware store. Check around windows for large gaps and caulk them up too. If oyu have old windows, try buying the plastic insulation kits - they keep the cold out. Check around doors for poor seals that leak air. Theese tips will help for both heating and cooling, they take little time and are very cost effective. For summer, ask your electric utility provider about a interruptible service. This is only applicable for central air. Essentially they will install a second meter for your cental air unit, and when the demand for electricity form everyone running their A/C is high, it will interrupt your service for a maximum of 2 hours before you can use your A/C. While this sounds like a long time I have never seen the service kick back on in less than a hour. Check with your utility provider for details. The benefit though is that they provide your utilities at a lower cost to you because your willing to let them install a interruptible service - did I mention its free! Check it out

  • 1 decade ago

    the answer is heat if you have electric heat not buy much though. your appliances are rated in kw, which stands for kilo (or 1000 ) watts and thats what you pay for on your electric bill.your bill gives you kw used and has a price for kw/hr which is kilowatt hour if you multiply the kw of the appliance you use times how long you use it times thekw/hr rate you can determine how much it costs to use it. heat rises naturally and a well insulated attic will cut your cooling costs alot , alos the instalation of attic fans sucks the heat out of your attic that will help alot. hope i was of some help if you have more questions e-maile me at . i am an electrician of 18 years. also you can have your ducts checked for leake you may be losing air pressure to your vents . put your hand by each vent and it should feel the same at each vent.

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  • 1 decade ago

    ac is allot but heating is more if electric, gas furnaces are cheaper to run, But what your saying sounds like poor insulation, check the attic and weather stripping around all doors, you can spray in insulation which will save allot on the bills, also check the calibration of your thermostat and make sure its reading properly to cut on and off, good luck

    Source(s): building engineer
  • 1 decade ago

    Freezer's, Refrigerator's, or any electric big appliance's. Some have tags that say min. amount of "amps" required to run. The more the amps the faster the meter spins. Sorry to say.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The A/C is alot yes, but, you may also have energy consuming things on, (Microwave,clock,computer etc) maby try turning the microwave clock off, or somthing like that

  • 1 decade ago

    Check out this website for some tips on reducing your bill

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


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