Most homeowners are aware how weather affects their energy bills: when temperatures plummet, you turn the heat up; when temperatures climb, you turn the thermostat down. You’re using more energy to reach thermostat set points, so your expenses go up.
But the weather can affects your energy bill in other, less obvious ways. Read on so that you’re aware of how to keep your expenses down at the height of the cooling and heating seasons.
In Ohio, we deal with high humidity in the summer. Humidity that climbs over 50-55 percent can make us feel hot and sticky, even in our homes. Most of the time, your air conditioner will remove enough moisture so that you don’t feel that warm. But when the A/C coils are dirty, the condensate drain is clogged, the refrigerant charge is too low or your air filter is dirty, your home won’t be dehumidified sufficiently. High humidity prevents the perspiration on your skin from evaporating to cool you down. For most people, the remedy is to turn down the thermostat. But that’s not an efficient way to run your A/C.
Keeping your A/C in good working order through preventative maintenance will help you control higher humidity this summer.
Obviously, extreme heat and extreme cold spells will boost your utility bill as you try to make your home comfortable by turning the thermostat up or down. But thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding can also affect your bill.The cost of energy is determined by supply, demand and how much is stored. So whenever a refinery, power plant or part of the grid is damaged by storms — even when the affected area is many miles from you — a run on gas or oil supplies to meet demands for power puts more pressure on the energy infrastructure and prices rise. High air and water temperatures can prevent power plants from using the affected water supply for cooling, thereby inhibiting energy production.