The short answer is: yes! But faulty wiring is only one possible answer to climbing electric bills in your home. Homeowners across the Lowcountry, Hilton Head, and Bluffton frequently ask us, “Can faulty wiring increase electric bills?” But the answer to the frustrating increase in electric bills could be several things. In order to pinpoint the problem, you need to have your home’s systems checked by a licensed residential electrician. So, yes, faulty wiring can increase your electric bill, but there may be one or more other things to investigate to lower your electric bills and keep your home and family safe.

7 Things that Can Increase Your Electric Bills

In this article, we’ll discuss some common things that can increase your electric bills, including faulty wiring, and what we can do to fix those problems. Keep in mind that some of these problems aren’t just draining your budget, but they can also cause electrical safety hazards, so please contact Live Oak Electrical Services in Bluffton, Hilton Head, and the Lowcountry if you have any of these issues. Do not attempt to fix it yourself!

1. Faulty Wiring

Since today’s question is, “Can faulty wiring increase electric bills?” let’s start there. Check if you have any of these signs of faulty wiring in your home. If you notice any of these signs of faulty wiring, contact us right away:

  • You can see frayed or loose wiring anywhere. Check for frayed appliance cords as well.
  • A circuit breaker keeps tripping, or a fuse blows frequently. This can be a sign that you’re overloading the circuit, or that there is faulty wiring.
  • Discoloration or scorching of outlets or switch plates can indicate overheated, faulty wiring as well. If these areas feel warm or hot to the touch, it could be an electrical fire hazard!
  • Lights flicker or dim frequently when there’s no storm or any other obvious reason for them to do so.
  • A buzzing noise from any area with wiring. When electricity flows correctly, it should be silent.
  • A burning smell around any electrical outlets, faceplates, or wiring indicates emergency level danger!
  • Messy, disorganized wiring isn’t always a sign of trouble, but it can indicate poor-quality installation, which can indicate wiring problems. The best electricians in Hilton Head, Bluffton, and the Lowcountry will take care to keep your wires organized to avoid faults.

Thermostat Wiring

Your home’s HVAC system can be one of the biggest electricity draws, especially with faulty wiring. Although this isn’t common, it is an avenue your electrician should investigate if you notice your heating and cooling systems run excessively or at the same time.

Old Wiring

Many of the grand old homes here on the coast are plagued with older wiring that isn’t sufficient to support modern electrical demands from all of our appliances and electronics. Every decade, a licensed residential electrician should thoroughly inspect your home to ensure wiring is up to code, safe, and efficient.

If your home hasn’t had an electrical inspection lately, contact us to schedule an appointment. We can find and identify problems, then make needed electrical upgrades to keep your electric bills down and your home safe.

“Invisible” Wiring Problems

Although it rarely freezes and thaws here, it’s not unheard of. Our coastal areas can also be prone to flooding and other groundwater issues that can impact wiring. Sometimes animals chew on your wires too.

2. Appliances Draining too Much Electricity

Older appliances draw more electricity than newer, more efficient ENERGY STAR appliances. Sometimes, the appliances themselves have faulty wiring and run too hot. Faulty appliance wiring can even cause electric shocks! Sometimes, an appliance just needs regular maintenance.

Washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and other appliances should remain on a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that they function safely and efficiently. Furthermore, some appliances sneakily draw power even after you turn them off. Computers, printers and entertainment systems are classic examples. If you have them plugged into a power strip, simply switch off the power strip when not in use.

3. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Issues

Make sure to have your HVAC systems cleaned and maintained regularly. Switch out filters and have the ductwork, wires, and cables checked too. Leaks in ducts and faulty wiring can definitely drain extra electricity here.

4. Seasonal Energy Use Changes

In summer, we use our air conditioners. In winter, you might pull out a space heater, or use the hot tub. And let’s not forget holiday lighting! Watch your energy bills for seasonal changes, and you may see other ways of cutting back.

5. Water Heater Leaks

Hot water pipe leaks and water heater problems can make your water heater work overtime to maintain the level of hot water, which will drive your electric bills up. Make sure to follow your water heater’s maintenance schedule and check for leaks.

6. Draftiness and Insufficient Insulation

If you live in an older home, it may be time to update the insulation, weather stripping, windows and doors, and to check for drafts that can cause seasonal electric bill spikes. Your heater may have to work extra hard to keep it warm in the winter, and your AC will have to work harder to keep you cool in the summer, all of which drains too much electricity, even if your wiring is just fine.

7. Circuit Breaker Shorts

Older circuit breakers can have troubles, so if you notice frequent shorts of fuses burning out, that could very well be the problem. To find out which circuit is causing trouble, you can turn off all the circuits and then switch one on at a time to see how fast the discs spin. The faster they spin, the more likely there’s a problem on that circuit.

Why Are My Electric Bills So High?

Contact the licensed electricians Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Lowcountry homeowners trust for top-quality diagnosis and repair of home electrical problems. Live Oak Electrical Services can help you find out why, and make excellent repairs.

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