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how to lower electric bill, how to save on electric bill

how to lower electric bill, how to save on electric bill

Do you want to save money on your electric bill?

If you live in Vancouver, Washington, you can save on electric bill without making significant changes or sacrifices. From turning off electronics when you’re not using them to making your home more energy-efficient, there’s a lot you can do starting today. Follow these tips to reduce your consumption and learn how to save on electric bills.

how to save on electric bill, how to lower electric bill

1. Utilize LED Light Bulbs

Why are you still using dated incandescent light bulbs? Modern LED lights are better than traditional light sources – they last longer, utilize less energy & the quality of the light is also superior.

Light bulbs use a relatively small amount of electricity. However, it can add up over time, given the number of lights you have throughout your home and office. LEDs are cheaper than they’ve ever been. To maximize the savings, it’s worth replacing your most-used bulbs with LEDs.

2. Don’t Use Appliances During Peak Hours

Avoid using appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers during peak hours that are usually between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on weekdays. This is when your local power company usually charges the highest electric rates.

So, you can save yourself some money by washing dishes clothes and doing laundry during off-peak hours such as early morning or late at night. Since they won’t be working under constant strain, this will also reduce the wear and tear of those appliances and prolong their lifespan.

3. Use The Dishwasher

It sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out!

Try using a dishwasher instead of hand washing your dishes, especially if you have a big family. Dishwashers use a fraction of the energy it takes to run hot water and rinse several sets of dirty utensils.

Also, check out the “energy saver” button on your dishwasher, which adjusts the electricity usage according to how dirty dishes are.

So, it will only use as much water and electricity as necessary during that cycle instead of increasing the energy bill by heating a full load of water, which most models do automatically.

4. Use A Drying Rack Instead Of A Dryer

Some things need to be dried, but if you use your dryer too often, you’ll notice increased usage on your electric bill. Suggestions below might be helpful if you want to know how to save on the electric bill.

For sweaters, sweatshirts, blankets, gloves, and socks are better off air-dried than using a dryer.

If you have clothes or blankets indoors during the cold weather, consider using a drying rack. You could also hang clothes outside to let them drip dry.

If using a drying rack is not an option for you, then hang dry your clothes on a clothesline instead of using an electric dryer. Again, it would be best to do this whenever possible, especially during the summer months.

5. Unplug Appliances Not Being Used

Unplug any appliances that are currently idle but still plugged into an outlet. This is because machines continue to draw power even after being turned off unless entirely unplugged. Hence, it adds up to energy waste on your part.

In addition, some continue to draw power even when turned off, such as PlayStation gaming system, coffeemaker, or some TVs & DVD players. So, unplug them!

Although it might seem like common sense, make sure everything (including kitchen appliances) is turned off before going into standby mode with a power strip. Or, plug your devices into smart power strips that will automatically shut off when not in use. This is one of the best ways to cut down on high utility costs.

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6. Clean Or Replace Filters Of Your HVAC Systems

Keeping your HVAC system clean is vital for its long-term performance. Not only will a dirty filter make it work harder and waste more electricity, but it will also cause the system to wear out sooner.

In the long run, if you are replacing/cleaning your dirty filters once a month, it can cut the electric bill by 75 percent.

Most systems do not require changing the filter monthly, but you can do for better efficiency. Please refer to your HVAC system maintenance guide on the best recommendations on frequency of filter changeouts. Or speak to a Miller’s heating technician for more information.

7. Avoid Opening The Fridge/Freezer Often

Unless necessary, avoid opening the fridge or freezer’s door frequently. This is important, especially during the summer months, as cold air from inside the fridge is released every time a door is opened, and warm air gets drawn in.

This increases the energy usage for your fridge/freezer to maintain its interior temperature.

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8. Install A Programmable Thermostat

The first thing most people do when trying to figure out how to save on the electric bill is lowering the temperature of their air conditioner.

So, you need to install a programmable and smart thermostat that will automatically regulate your home’s temperature over a day.

You can also install one in your water heater so you won’t have to pay for hot water all day long if you aren’t using it.

9. Seal Air Leaks Around The House or Have  a Pro do it

A drafty home can be a sign of poor insulation and ventilation. Fixing this issue will improve your comfort and energy efficiency and repair any leaks. Your situation may be improved and your system may run more efficiently with an Aero-seal Duct Sealing and repair service. Please ask a Miller’s representative about this amazing new service for your home.

With the newest technologies, such as Aeroseal duct sealing, we can make your home heating system 70 to 80% more efficient in some cases. The patented Aeroseal technology is a  method of sealing ducts from the inside. A tightly sealed duct system will allow for decreased energy consumption, decreased thermal loss, and longer equipment life.

Check for damage or defects in the weather, stripping around all your windows and doors to ensure you are not losing too much-heated air. Cold air can also enter your house through electrical outlets, light fixtures, AC units, and gaps in your insulation.

Check your attic and basement, and ensure you don’t have any major leakages. Replace any broken seals or missing weather-stripping, and replace the insulation for any significant gaps.

Heat loss can occur through tiny cracks around windows or doors that have been improperly sealed over the years.

Get smoke candles or incense sticks at your local hardware store, and use these to check for leaks. Then, light them in different parts of your house and walk around to see if airflow extinguishes them.

You can then seal up these cracks with caulk or weather stripping that you can purchase from any home improvement store. This will go a long way towards keeping the cold air out during the winter months, which means you won’t have to heat as much space to keep it comfortable inside.

It will also help keep warm air inside during the summer months, so you won’t have to run your air conditioner quite as often.

10. Close Off Rooms That Are Not Being Used

It is not uncommon for homeowners to have a room or two that they rarely use. If you’re constantly running out of space, think about using one of your spare rooms as a storage area or guest room. Kids also love having their own space while they’re away at college – it’s great for when they come to visit!

Suppose you have several rooms in your house that are not being used for anything. In that case, you might consider shutting them off and making them off-limits for everyone. This will ensure that you don’t have to heat or cool this space.

If moisture does start to build up inside, keep the doors closed in these spaces and use a cheap dehumidifier.

11. Use Insulated Curtains

Solar heat can escape during the evening, so close the blinds and curtains, at the very least, to help with insulation. Insulated curtains are an excellent investment for maximum nighttime energy efficiency. In addition, when it gets cold outside, they’ll help trap the most heat for ultimate warmth.

When it’s warm outside, open up the windows wide and enjoy the breeze while letting in all that free solar energy to help reduce your bill.

12. Use Energy Audits

There is a high chance that your utility company might offer free energy audits that can identify ways to save more on electric costs. Vancouver, Washington residents who want to use the least amount of power possible, should ask their local providers about these services and take advantage of them today! Maybe they can discover some free home energy audits provided by their electric company.

Plenty of energy audits shows people how they’re using their energy and what they can specifically do about it. These audits help keep people accountable and give them a real chance to take control of their energy consumption habits.

13. Use Energy Efficient Appliances

If you need to invest in new appliances, then be sure to get appliances with high energy saving ratings or receive an appliance energy audit. Find out where you’re wasting the most electricity/gas and address those issues first.

For example, getting a gas water heater may save you money. Alternatively, you could reduce the usage of electric heaters – running water for 5 minutes uses less wattage than leaving the heater on all day.

14. Upgrade to a High-Efficiency HVAC System

Upgrading to a new efficient HVAC system is a great solution if your current HVAC system is old, not efficient or does not work properly. A trained Miller’s heating expert can help you determine this. Sometimes you need to have a professional evaluate your system to test for things you cannot see. Like whether or not the system has the proper load capacity for the number of rooms you have and if he ducting is setup efficiently or if is is preventing the heat and air from reaching certain areas of the home.

Conclusion

Are you still searching: how to lower the electric bill? The bottom line is that no matter how much money you earn, it can be challenging to keep up with these rising costs when everything else seems to be going up too.

But there are ways to control our electric bills and cut down on energy use by implementing simple changes around the house.

It can’t be denied that heating and cooling our homes is costly, but it doesn’t have to mean you spend more than necessary. There’s no reason why this should happen with a bit of creativity and some simple tips we’ve compiled for Vancouver, Washington residents.

Contact the experts at Miller Heating & Air Conditioning to help you save on your electric bill now.

 

 

45 thoughts on “6 Toxic Air Conditioning Smells and What They Mean

  1. We have a portable air conditioner until 12 BTU when it’s on it draws the smell of creditor in the house.. we have a wood forced air furnace.
    How ca we solve the problem

    Many thanks

    Jen

    1. Hi Jen,

      Unfortunately, we do not service portable AC units. We recommend contacting an HVAC contractor in your area who does.

    1. Hi Dee,

      We actually don’t work on window AC units. We recommend calling other HVAC companies in your area to see who does.

  2. I have an odor in my home that smells like sulfur and sometimes the odor is like a ginger with onion smell, cause at times it causes my eyes to burn, occasionally nose runs a little, it also makes me cough every now and then. The smell gets really bad when I run my hvac. It’s a central unit. Some when I run my hot water seems like it’s coming through my drains,had my water company to check things out it’s not the problem.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Your HVAC system smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur most likely indicates a natural gas leak. Although on its own, natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma to alert people of a dangerous leak. Don’t take this lightly. If you smell a rotten-egg-like odor in your home, natural gas is likely the culprit, and immediate inspection is a must. While low level exposure is not hazardous to your health, high levels reduce oxygen in the blood, and can lead to loss of consciousness and death. Gas is also highly flammable and explosive, resulting in dozens of deaths each year. If you notice this smell, open the windows to your home right away, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company.

    1. Hi Mick,

      An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      We do not work on window ACs. However, if it is smelling like gas we recommend that you turn it off to protect your healthy until you have a professional come out to inspect it.

    2. My ac smelt like a gassy smell chemical of some sort i called matenace and told them i was smelling something… He said nothing he can do tonight just shut it off, Be there by 8am. i felt kinda disoriented..my friend shared this ad to me and it helped me feel so much better you really have the answers and i thank you so much !! Marie Dillon youngstown ohio….. T Y.

      1. Hi Marie,

        We are glad you found this article helpful and hope maintenance was able to fix the situation for you. If you do smell gas again, turn off your HVAC system in order to protect your health until a professional can look at it.

  3. My home smells like a car or vehicle with a really bad exhaust leak. Its really strong like oil or fuel burning thru an exhaust leak on a vehicle. What could it be??

    1. Hi Shelly,

      Even in HVAC systems not powered by gas, exhaust fumes can still result if fluids leak from essential components. To avoid a dangerous situation, have your system professionally assessed. Burning oil and other fluids can release large amounts of toxic gases, different in chemical makeup than in natural, liquid form. These particulates can be hazardous to your health, depleting oxygen and resulting in an array of health issues.

    2. My AC unit smells like the tip of a match. The red part. Not sure why or what but is this ok to run until the smell burns off? Or will it?

      1. Hi Nickie,

        Is this the first time using your unit in a while? If so, we recommend letting it run for 20-30 minutes to see if the smell goes away. If it does go away, it probably was dust on your unit burning off. However if the smell continues please contact your local HVAC company so a professional technician can assess your system. If you are in the Vancouver, WA or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help if the smell persists!

    1. When you say it smells moth balls do you mean that it smells moldy or musty? If so, an air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

      1. Hi Sandy May, Sounds like you have a similar situation to Lukie. When you say it smells moth balls do you mean that it smells moldy or musty? If so, an air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

  4. Hello,
    For well over (3) months, there has been a foul odor ( I would describe as a dead animal) coming from my bedroom AC vent. It was strongest (3) mos ago, for the first (2) days it was unbearable. The latter few mos, it would come and go. I have removed the vent and inspected for animals but found nothing? Oddly, even at its strongest, it is unnoticeable once the AC is running? Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. That is an unusual situation. Normally when our customers smell something like that there is a dead animal within the duct work. Where do you live? If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we can have one of our technicians come out to inspect your system.

  5. Hi
    There is a odor coming from my Air Conditioner Unit, that smells like musty or someone’s butt that hasn’t washed! I have been smelling it for at least a week or more! I am a asthmatic it causes me to cough and I feel nauseous at times. How do I solve this problem! Upon turning it off I looked inside I do see mold spots.

    1. An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. It’s also important to keep up on annual maintenances of your system in order to keep the indoor and outdoor units clean of mold and dirt.

  6. There is like a rubber smell or electrical coming from the vent. Was checked and nothing was found

    1. Electrical odors could indicate a mechanical problem with your AC fan or compressor, wiring issues, or electrical component failure. Made with a variety of metals and chemicals, prolonged exposure to these fumes is not healthy. The first few times the unit kicks on, it may emit a burning odor that can smell electrical and dusty, give it 20 to 30 minutes and see if the smell dissipates. If it does, it probably was just the dust burning off. If it continues, contact a professional HVAC technician to check out the problem and make repairs. An electrical odor typically is a problem within the motor or the wiring. Attempting to fix either of these items can result in severe injuries.

  7. We had a new central air unit and furnace installed today. I keep smelling something. Its aerosol type smell. Kind of like spray paint.

    1. Hi Patti,

      I would recommend calling the HVAC company that installed your new central air and furnace and explain what you are smelling. Since you just had it installed, it should be free for them to come out and make sure everything is ok with your system.

    2. That is exactly what I smell! We just had it replaced about an hour ago and the smell is making me extremely nauseous ?

  8. I have had a gas smell for several months. Called gas person in February. It ended up being my gas stove/oven per the gas company. Now that the air conditioner on, I still smell a gas smell or paint thinner and I hear an airy sound as well. Have not located the source of the airy sound. Gas people said that I am hearing the gas travel up the wall. Tested; no gas indicated. Called heating/air to do maintenance and to check as well. New roofing in the community. Could this be it. Can smell back draft from neighbor’s vehicle. Which is the problem or all?

    1. Hi JJ,

      When the HVAC company came out to do the maintenance, what did they have to say about the gas smell and airy sound that you have been hearing?

      1. They said it was the upstairs neighbor’s air conditioner. As of this week, the gas people found out that the gas smell was the gas meter and fumes from a stove that I had not cooked on in a month. I still have the air sound. Do you think it is air from a pipe that needs fixing or insulation or something stuck in the vent?

        1. It’s difficult to determine the exact cause of the air sound without investigating it in person, but I did speak to a technician and they think insulation would help.

  9. my new 4 ton heat pump began emitting a strong metallic like odor, like aluminum in ac mode. it doesn’t smell at all in heat mode. my evap coil is aluminum. is that what i’m smelling? my old unit had copper coil and i smelled nothing.

    1. Hi James,

      I checked with one of our service technicians. He said that normally that type of smell is emitted during heating mode. Your unit’s indoor coil may be leaking refrigerant, which can give off a metallic smell. We recommend having the company who installed your heat pump come out to take a look. If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help!

  10. Hi, my air conditioner had recently started to leak water, at first it was small leaks, but then in day 2 the leaks got more severe, to the point where at certain points it was dripping water, i woke up today to a small puddle on the floor under the ac unit (split). There werent any odors inside the room, but i noticed when i smelled the area of the floor where the puddle had been that it smelled like chemicals, and the puddle had a bit of a pinkish hue to it, although otherwise i have not seen the pink hue. The AC still cools as normal, but i have refrained from using it after that. What could that smell be? and is it leaking water or something else.

    1. Hi Maiz,

      I spoke with one of our service technicians. He said that it sounds like water is leaking from your system either because a condensate line is clogged or the copper line isn’t insulated and it’s dripping from there. You would need to get a service technician out to look at your equipment in order to determine the cause of the smell and to stop the water from continuing to leak. If you are in the Vancouver, WA or North Portland area we would be happy to help by sending a technician out to take a look.

  11. james cox on july 10 wrote that his 4 ton aluminum coil ac gave off an aluminum smell. my new aluminum coil 4 ton carrier heat pump does the exact same thing. metallic smell in ac, no smell in heat. my house cools really fast and i’ve had this unit for a year with no recharges. what’s going on here? just hypersensitive to aluminum sell?

    1. Hi Adriaan,

      It sounds like your system is running well and most likely doesn’t have a leak. I spoke with our Service Manager and he thought it might not even be the coil causing the smell. Often times IAQ products emit ozone which can smell metallic. Do you have any IAQ products as a part of your HVAC system? In order to further diagnose the issue, we would recommend having an HVAC company come out to take a look at it. It’s difficult to fully determine the cause of the smell without being onsite.

  12. We have 1-yr old central AC unit. It emits smell when the fan is constantly on and AC is off. When the AC turns on the smell gradually disappears. When the temperature drops to the needed one, the AC turns off and the smell reappears again. The smell is quite strong. Not the mold or musty for sure. And not the rotten eggs either. Some sort of “technical” smell. There is no smell when the fan is constantly on and the unit in the heating mode. The reason of keeping the fan constantly on during the air-conditioning hours is to prevent building mold inside the system.

    1. Hi Vlad,

      Could you explain the “technical” smell in a little more detail? Is it an electrical smell? If it is an electrical smell, it could mean you have a mechanical problem with your AC fan or compressor, wiring issues or electrical component failure. Exposure to this smell/fumes can be very unhealthy. We recommend having a local trained HVAC technician come out to your home and inspect your unit. If you are located in Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR (our service area) we would be happy to send someone out.

      1. Thanks for reply. The smell is vaguely comparable with the smell of burning transformer coils, but not exactly. I know the smell of burning transformer very well. It’s different. The same smell appeared in my previous house from AC unit after living there for 10 years. A year later I moved. And now the same smell at the new place from a brand new AC unit. Amazing. I’m going to ask the guy who installed it to drop by and chek the unit when the pandemic is over.

  13. There is a paint thinner smell coming from my AC vents in my apartment. I called the manager, but her response was not promising. Is it safe to stay in my apartment?

    1. Hi Meghan,

      We would recommend getting a professional HVAC technician out to asses your system right away. Your AC does use an assortment of chemicals in order to run; it sounds like your AC could be malfunctioning (hence the smell) and needing repair. If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help! Our phone number is 360-695-6500.

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