Noticed an unusually high electricity bill or concerned that your home’s eating up more power than it needs? There are a number of electrical issues that result in wasted electricity in your home.
Below, we uncover five common domestic electrical problems that could be wasting electricity.
DIY electrical work ends up costing you more
“Shonky short cuts” and “DIY electrical work” go hand in hand.
Why do people, time and time again, put their lives at risk by trying to do electrical work themselves?
That was indeed a rhetorical question, but it seems there is an answer. It usually one (or both) of the following reasons:
1) To save time
2) To save money
Sound familiar? Along with either one of those reasons above comes the inevitable action of cutting corners.
We want things faster. We want things cheaper. And DIY electrical work appears to give us that… on the surface.
But amongst getting it wrong, causing more damage (which in the long run will cost you even more money!), wasted resources, and the undeniable risk of serious injury or even death from clumsy DIY electrical work, is it really worth saving a couple of bucks?
Bad, old, or faulty wiring
Bad wiring is never a good sign.
Old, worn out wiring is susceptible to easy overload: 20 or 30 years ago, when the wiring was first installed, it wasn’t being loaded up with high-tech LED TVs, advanced audio systems, and all the other devices we couldn’t imagine living without. Today, that same wiring system is being loaded up with a ton of appliances. Regular overload can result in frequent shutdowns, and, depending on the severity of wiring damage, overheating can result in electrical fire.
Not only does faulty wiring present a electrical fire hazard, but bad wiring can also “leak” electricity, resulting in more output than you actually need.
(Also keep this in mind that if you’re thinking about selling or buying.)
Globes: can you tell your LEDs from your fluorescents?
The typical household contains a variety of light globes, including:
And did you know that LED lights use up to 90% less energy than incandescent lights?
Or that the life expectancy of an LED globe is up to 50,000 hours?
There’s 8760 hours in a year, so we’re looking at around 5-6 years of life – and that number’s based on the assumption that the light is on constantly!
You can read more about the important benefits of LED lighting (including safety and environmentally friendly, recyclable globes) in this blog post.
You have a ton of vampire appliances
No, this isn’t a new spin off about the toasters or flat screens of Twilight.
Vampire appliances, as the name suggests, suck.
That is, even when they’re not in use, many large and somewhat modern electrical appliances continue to draw electricity even when they’re turned off. The main culprits include cable TV boxes and DVRs.
Now, thanks to today’s technology, this is beneficial for us as we can quickly power up a dormant device at a moment’s notice (today, we wouldn’t really accept anything less, right?) but your dormant devices, continually sucking power, could be contributing to a rising electricity bill.
Is your washing machine in hot water?
In the laundry, your washing machine could be using more energy than it really needs to. Did you know that up to 90% of energy used by your washing machine (especially an older one) goes to heating the water?
Can you lower your temperature setting? Or could you wash in cold water more frequently? These small changes can help reduce the energy required by your washing machine.
How to properly check your electricity bill
The most seemingly obvious way to quickly check and compare your electricity bill to previous months would be to look at the total amount due. But what this doesn’t tell us is that rising energy costs might be the reason for that higher fee.
What you should really be looking at is usage.
This shows how much electricity your household is using, no matter what the current or past rates are. This way, you can see the periods you tend to use more power, and where you might have outliers showing low energy use.
Maybe electricity costs soar in summer when you use your air conditioner, but fall in winter, while at the same time, your gas rates rise, thanks to your gas ducted heating system.
Of course, it’s all circumstantial and we’d rather not compromise heating or cooling during winter and summer, so checking your usage rather than the cost can help you identify peaks and troughs throughout the year (and compared to other years when kids still lived in the house, but now the number of people in your household is down to two.)
Are you wasting electricity… and money?
Worried about faulty wiring or keen to find out more about making the move to LED?
Briggs Electrical are a group of dynamic, modern, qualified, and experienced electricians in Melbourne helping homes just like yours identify and repair electrical faults that could be costing you money.
From new wiring solutions to lighting installations and everything in between, we’ll help modernise an outdated electrical system that will save you money and energy.