With the advent of the Internet, urban myths have spread to the extent that repeated retelling can have us wrongly believing someone’s original speculation is fact. While this can be entertaining, the fun factor disappears when believing incorrect information costs money.
Electricity bills are high here in Indianapolis, because our cold winters and relatively hot summers call for residential HVAC installations to run pretty much year-round. Understanding exactly how your HVAC system uses electricity should effectively counter a couple of myths, then pay off in behavior that saves money.
Understanding Energy Efficiency
The efficient use of energy, and the term “energy conservation,” are sometimes used interchangeably. This is inaccurate:
- Energy Efficiency is the practice of reducing fuel consumption while maintaining the same level of service.
- Energy Conservation is the practice of reducing service to reduce consumption.
Most homeowners are happy with the programmed environments delivered by their HVAC systems, so they want to maintain that level of service while striving for the former, not the latter.
- Is it more fuel-economic to slide your thermostat across to a very high setting when you first get home in the winter? Many people believe this will heat up the house faster, thus switching off the furnace sooner and saving money. Actually, the practice can cause the system to “overshoot”; the temperature will go up higher than you want, thus wasting money. Plus, even if you watch it closely, the system won’t arrive at your desired temperature any faster than if you had set the thermostat there in the first place.
- Is it true that leaving the A/C running all day at a moderate temperature saves cash? There’s a school of thought that contends that it’s cheaper to cool a home from a middling temperature than to ask your installation to cope with an overheated house. During moderate summer temperatures, this isn’t true. If your home is well-sealed and -insulated, you’re better off just turning your A/C off if nobody’s going to be home. The exception is during excessive heat, when you want to avoid forcing your cooling system to recover from 85 or 90 degrees inside the house.
Of course, everyone’s home and usage patterns are different. All across Marion County, satisfied customers rely on Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for advice on how their HVAC systems use electricity specifically applicable to their unique circumstances.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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