Is your electric bill higher than expected? Your heater might be to blame


During the winter months, it’s expected that our utility bills will go up some, as we spend more time inside trying to stay warm.

But many people have said that they’ve seen a spike in their utility bills lately, and it’s more than they’re prepared for.

Weather is the driver of utility consumption – HVAC experts say that heat pumps are significant contributors to high utility bills. Many people in the south have heat pumps, which are great when they’re in the air conditioning mode, or “for heat” when the temperature outside is warmer than 40 degrees.

When the outside temperature drops below 40, heat pumps aren’t able to source any heat from the surrounding air and end up bringing auxiliary heat strips into play.

Those strips work a lot like a space heater and use a lot of electricity.

In December of 2020, the Tennessee Valley saw majority of the temperatures in the 20s and the 30s.

Those dips in temperatures like we saw – cold overnight and warming up during the day – forces your heating appliances to work harder too.

Huntsville Utilities suggests if your bill is exceptionally high or, you feel it’s incorrect to call them at (256) 535-1200. They can take a look at your consumption and maybe identify an appliance or a heating unit that may be contributing. HU officials also say older heat pumps are especially inefficient in cold weather.

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