Some of These Myths About Electricity Use May be Costing You
Cutting your home’s electricity use starts with your HVAC system, since in most households, it’s responsible for half of the energy you use. These are the most commonly held myths about heating and cooling that many homeowners perceive will lower consumption, but in reality, they increase it.
- Buying efficient HVAC equipment automatically saves money. While this is partially true, the efficiency rating is only part of the equation. Your home’s energy efficiency also impacts how much conditioning it needs. Improving attic insulation and sealing air leaks are affordable projects to lower energy bills.
- Installing a system that’s larger than you need. Too large a system will increase energy bills, decrease comfort and shorten the system’s life. A system that’s too big runs in short cycles. Its energy use at start up is the highest, along with the wear on the parts. When choosing a new system, make sure the contractor does a load calculation for your home using Manual J to learn the precise size it needs to be.
- Closing off a room that you seldom use cuts electricity use. This practice can backfire because it actually stresses your system and causes ductwork leaks, which drive your energy use up, unless the room is small and far from the furnace.
- Turning the thermostat way up or down will condition your home faster. In reality, this doesn’t work. Your system heats and cools at the same rate regardless of your temperature settings.
- Turning the heat pump thermostat down at night in the winter saves energy. While this is true with combustion furnaces, it’s not with heat pumps. Heat pumps have an electrical coil that serves as a supplemental system that uses far more energy to heat than the pump does. If you use a heat pump, make sure it’s paired with a programmable intelligent recovery thermostat that overrides the supplemental coil or leave the thermostat at the same setting day and night.
To learn more about cutting electrical use with your HVAC system, contact Balance Point Heating & Cooling, proudly serving Fort Collins homeowners for more than 15 years.