Is It Cheaper to Heat a House or Cool a House?

Friday, August 20, 2021 - 12:00am
Is It Cheaper to Heat a House or Cool a House?
This post was written with the expertise of Rhode Island HVAC Services, a company that provides HVAC service in Providence, Rhode Island.

In the summer, you need to take some time to keep the home cool from the higher temperatures that go on around you and to be more comfortable while the hot weather goes around. But when the winter comes, you may need to switch gears and turn on the heat to help you from freezing. As you make some of the changes in your home from one season to another, you may wonder whether it is cheaper to heat the home or cool it?

It usually takes more energy to heat a home compared to cooling one. This means that your energy bill is going to be more expensive during the winter when you try to stay warm. There are several reasons for this including the average temperature ranges, issues with insulation, and the nature of cooling a space compared to warming the air. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons that heating your home is going to cost more than cooling a home and some of the ways that you can help your energy bill as low as possible.

Temperature Variations

The temperature variations will be a big reason why it is more expensive to heat a home compared to cool it. The temperature change that is demanded by these systems will be an important determinant. Let’s say that you live somewhere that has an average high temperature of around 87 degrees in the summer but it goes down to 28 degrees in the winter. In both seasons, people generally like to keep the home somewhere around 74 degrees, which is the middle of what is considered “room temperature”.

In the summer, the home only needs to go down 13 degrees in order to reach this comfortable temperature. This requires less energy to do because it is not by much. However, going from 28 degrees up to 74 is a much bigger jump, 46 degrees, so it is going to take a lot more energy to reach that when you are heating the home. This can be a big reason why you are paying a lot more for heating the home compared to cooling it.

Moving vs. Heating

The way that the heating and cooling process works can make a big difference in the cost. Heating a space means that the heater has to make heat and this can take up a good amount of energy. You will not be able to get warm air out of the environment which means that you will need to create it. This is done by turning gas into electric energy and then using that to turn into heat energy. This uses a lot of processes that can drive up the cost.

Cooling the space will require that the machine is moving the heat, or taking it out of the house. It can then replace it with some cool air. This is an efficient cycle. This does not cost as much to get done and can save you more money compared to handling the heat. There is a similar process done through a heat pump to help heat up your home, but this is not a process that is used widely and it isn’t effective in really cold weather.

Reducing Your Energy Consumption

The best way to make sure that you keep those energy bills as low as possible is to find some of the steps that you can reduce your energy consumption. By monitoring how much you use the heat and the air conditioner during the year, you can help with this. For example, by keeping the room a few degrees cooler in the winter, such as at 72 rather than 74, you can help save some money. And do the opposite in the summer. Turn the air up a few degrees, such as leaving it at 76 rather than 74, and see what a difference it can make.

Take good care of your appliances too. When an appliance starts to get older, it will not be as efficient as before. This will require it to use up more energy in order to keep the home cool or warm depending on the one that you use. Doing routine maintenance can get it to work better and helps the machine last longer than before and can keep those utility bills as low as possible.

Keeping Your Home Comfortable

Heating your home is going to be more expensive than keeping it cool. Due to the processes that are used to help keep the home warm and the difference in temperatures, the cost will go up more in the winter than you will see in the summer. By watching how well the appliances are working and the maintenance that is done on the appliances, you will be able to keep the utility bill as low as possible.

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