Arizona residents have the winter-best of all worlds: sunny, warm days; nippy, cozy nights. But we have many nights well below freezing, and that’s when we use our heating systems. Why does it cost so much to heat our homes and offices in the winter? Is there any way we can save money on heat this year?
Why Heat Costs More Than Necessary
Even in an energy-efficient home, heating costs twice as much as cooling. Air conditioning “moves” air; you aren’t making anything.
Professor John Grumbine says, “If you heat with electricity, you are converting electrical energy to heat energy. It takes a lot of electricity – meaning it’s expensive – to make heat.”
7 Ways to Save Money on Winter Heat
It’s cheaper to move air than to “make” warm air, and that’s what your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system does in the wintertime. Here are 7 more ways to save money on home heating this winter:
Don’t forget your vacation setting – If you leave home during winter holidays, don’t turn your HVAC unit off. Set your thermostat 6° cooler than usual. This consistency in heat setting is more energy-efficient.
Get an energy audit – An energy audit can save money by exposing areas in your home that are energy-losers.
Install a programmable thermostat – Stop fiddling with the thermostat! A programmable thermostat can save money on utility bills while you enjoy increased comfort. You can set your home’s heating and cooling remotely, after you leave or before you return home.
Keep vents clear – Even if it’s “the only place” the tree can go for best decorating, don’t block any vents during the holidays. You’ll reap the benefits of good air circulation and put less strain on your HVAC unit.
Seal your chimney flue – Leaving your chimney open is not the same as leaving a window open. It sucks out the warm air and lets cold air inside.
Take advantage of windows – Open curtains and shades on your south-facing windows during the day and close all curtains and shades at night.
Use fans – Circulating your cool air upwards can force warm air away from the ceiling, where it gets trapped.
Save Money with HVAC Maintenance, Repair
Fall and spring HVAC maintenance is minimal for homeowners that want to save money on heating and cooling costs. When your HVAC system is working at maximum efficiency, you’ll get longer life from the unit itself and lower utility bills.