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Check Your Electric Use This Month

We have all probably heard the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers.” April usually gets me excited, not for the May flowers, but for the lower electric bill this month.

April is historically one of the months of the year that many of us see our lowest electricity use. While heating and cooling are sometimes needed in April, they are not typically needed as much. Living in an all-electric home has really made me appreciate months like April.

Any time the blower on your furnace is not running, you are saving money. I am able to use my thermostat to see how many hours the furnace runs. For the month of February, my furnace ran almost 370 hours — that is an average of nearly 13 hours a day — and this past February was not even that cold compared to previous years. I am looking forward to seeing how much that number goes down during the month of April. 

Now, just because April should traditionally be your lowest use month, it might not be. One of the appliances that usually gets a workout in April is the dehumidifier. With the extra rain in the spring, many of us have a dehumidifier running to help eliminate some of the additional moisture. The problem with most dehumidifiers is that even with the ENERGY STAR® logo, if not set properly, the energy use can really add up. The average 30-pint dehumidifier uses 300 watts while the average 70-pint dehumidifier will use around 700 watts. Many times, I will see dehumidifiers turned down so low that they never shut off, and that additional run time can increase your bill.

After heating and cooling, heating my water is the next biggest expense that shows up on my electric bill. This would be the case for most of you reading this that have a traditional electric water heater. An electric water heater costs a lot when it runs for long periods of time. In a 24-hour period, it might run for an hour just to maintain the temperature in the tank. You throw in some laundry and showers, and that number can escalate. It would be very easy for an electric water heater to add $40 a month to your bill, and if you have a daughter like mine who likes to take hour-long showers every night, that number could easily double. 

April is a good month for you to check your electric use and remember it as a baseline throughout the year. Since it is historically a lower-use month, it can give you insight into what you are using without the added cost of your heating or cooling system running every day.

As for me, I think the only way I will get a lower bill in April is if I buy a timer on my water heater to avoid those long “April showers.”