Even though two homes may have many similarities, there may be hidden energy hogs causing one home's utility bills to be higher. Here are five energy hogs that increase energy use.
1. An old fridge or freezer in the garage. That second refrigerator or freezer may be costing more than you think. If the model was produced prior to 1990, it is likely using twice as much energy, or more, than a new Energy Star-rated model. If it is located in the garage, it may run constantly in the summer, which leads to higher electric bills.
2. Cooling or heating an uninsulated area. Cooling or heating an uninsulated workshop or garage can be expensive. If you really want to heat or cool these types of spaces, consider adding insulation.
3. Hot tub. The cost to operate a hot tub can be exponentially higher if it is an older, less efficient model. A smaller hot tub with better insulation, a cover, and a pump that runs on a lower voltage will use less energy. In the end, getting a "good deal: on a used hot tub may cost more in energy bills in the long run.
4. Swimming pool. If you have a pool, consider installing a smaller, more efficient pump and reducing how often it runs. you can also look at installing a larger filter and maximizing the flow of water through the pipes by making them larger. These measures could cut your electric use for the pool pump by as much as 75%. Consult with a pool installation specialist to find the most efficient setup that will still keep your pool clean.
5. Pumps. If you live on acreage or a farm, you probably have several pumps, including irrigation, well, septic and sump. You probably use those pumps until they break down. Consider replacing the oldest and most-used pumps over time with more efficient ones that are sized correctly for the task.