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The Relationship Between Energy Use & Our Weather

Every time the temperatures spike or drop it leads to spikes and drops in energy use. This affects energy costs and impacts the climate we live in.

Specifically, every time temperatures rise above 90 or fall below 40, it begins stressing your heating and cooling system. The more it runs, the more it’s pushed to capacity, the less efficiency it will have. It drains both energy supplies and your total expenditures.

Now let’s add in other variables, such as wind, cloud cover, and precipitation on the outside, not to mention living conditions, lighting, and use of appliances on the inside. Every residential or commercial property is different in both the amount of energy it uses and how efficient it operates.

The worst offenders come from your air conditioning system. As temperatures rise, cooling demands increase and begin to use electricity up to peak capacity. So much so that it can account for up to 50 percent of your energy bill.

The easiest solution is to switch your ACs fan setting to auto and leaving your thermostat at a higher temperature when you leave your home for extended periods of time. Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat, and replace your air filter monthly to ensure your HVAC system is as efficient as possible. Having your equipment serviced both in the spring and fall through a maintenance plan will keep equipment operating at peak efficiency as well.

Inefficient heating systems and supplementing them with portable heating units also eats up electrical demands, especially as the temperatures continue to drop. Wind, ice and snow can snap lines and impact grid systems indefinitely, worsening the problem.

If you build an airtight environment throughout your home, it will work better at keeping the heat inside and the cold outside. Improving the insulation in the attic of your home or updating your windows to double or triple pane glass can dramatically reduce energy bills. Consider zone heating to heat only the rooms you visit the most.

Humidity also plays its part by making the air feel sticky and warm. The warmer you feel, the lower you move the thermostat in order to stay comfortable. This causes your air conditioner to continue running longer than necessary. You keep the temperature setting lower the more the humidity lingers in the air. Getting control of the humidity levels year round will improve the comfort of your home, adding moister to the air in the winter and removing it in the summer can also reduce your energy bills.

Ceiling fans are great at helping you feel cooler while using far less energy in the process. They can also help circulate heat in the winter by reversing the fan’s blades to force lighter, warmer air back down towards the ground.

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