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How Air Conditioning and Heating Costs Compare

If you’ve noticed that your energy bills rise over the winter, your heating system is probably to blame. While Concord and the areas surrounding it have more mild winters compared to much of the country, heating bills still can put a strain on your budget.

As you try to be more energy efficient and keep your utility bills down in the winter, learn more about how heating and air conditioning costs compare, why it costs more to heat your home, and what action you can take to reduce your bills.

How Much Higher Are Heating Costs Than Air Conditioning Costs?

In the United States, homeowners use more than four times as much energy to heat their homes in comparison to cooling them. This large difference in energy translates to costs being nearly double to heat a home versus cool it. Since Sacramento has a Mediterranean-like climate, heating costs aren’t as high as they’d be in colder climates. However, even in the Sacramento area, winter energy costs tend to be higher than summer energy costs.

Why Does Cooling Your Home Cost Less Than Heating It?

If you’re interested in lowering your heating bills over the winter, the first step is understanding why cooling your home tends to cost less than heating it. Find out more about the two main factors that affect heating and cooling costs below:

1. Temperature Differences

One of the biggest reasons ACs tend to use less energy and cost less to run is due to the difference in temperature it takes to cool a home versus heat it. When the outdoor temperature is much higher or lower than the temperature you want your home to be, your HVAC system will have to work harder to adjust your home’s temperature. Since the winter tends to produce larger temperature differences than the summer, your HVAC system will usually have to use more energy during the winter.

For example, in Sacramento, the warmest day typically reaches a high of around 100℉ while the coldest day will be around 39℉. If you keep your home’s temperature around 72℉ in the winter, your heater will need to change the temperature by 33℉. In contrast, your AC will only need to change the temperature by 28℉ in the summer to reach your preferred temperature. As a result, your HVAC system will have to change the temperature by an additional five degrees when heating, resulting in higher heating costs.

2. Heating a Home is Harder Than Cooling It

When your heating system runs on energy or gas, it has to convert its energy source into heat unless you use a heat pump. In contrast, a cooling system only has to remove heat from the air in your home, transfer it to your exterior unit, and then release that heat into the air. Since converting energy into heat is harder than transferring heat outside, your heating system will have to use more energy compared to your AC. The greater difficulty in heating a home translates to higher energy costs.

How Do I Lower My Heating Bills Over The Winter?

On cold winter days, you shouldn’t have to go without heat to keep your costs low. Though winter heating costs are almost always going to be more expensive than summer AC costs, you can take a few actions to lower your bills. Review some of our top tips for lowering your heating bills below:

  • Upgrade to a more energy-efficient heating system: Older heating systems tend to be less energy-efficient compared to older systems. By investing in a brand-new energy-efficient heating system, you can lower your utility bills during the winter. Typically, furnaces last around 15 years, so if your furnace is nearing that age or older than it, you’ll want to consider furnace replacement services from a trusted HVAC professional.
  • Regularly maintain your HVAC system: As your HVAC system ages, wear and tear will cause your system to run less efficiently. You can keep your HVAC system running at peak efficiency in the winter and the summer with regular maintenance. An annual maintenance plan, like Big Air Beyond, can help keep your heating and cooling system in great shape, as your system will receive regular inspections and maintenance.
  • Set your thermostat lower in the winter: Another way to reduce your heating bills is to set your thermostat to a lower temperature over the winter. By keeping your thermostat lower than you’d set it in the summer, you can make it so your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home. Since 65℉ tends to be the best temperature to sleep in, you can also turn the thermostat down at night to reduce energy and get better quality sleep,

Choose Big Air for Heating and Cooling Services in Concord and Sacramento

If you’re looking for HVAC services near you in Concord or Sacramento, California, turn to Big Air. Our certified HVAC professionals can install a new heating or cooling system, make repairs to your furnace or HVAC system, and provide annual maintenance. Due to our wide variety of services, we’re well-equipped to help you lower your energy bills in the winter and summer. Through our partnership with Bonney, we also offer several financing options and coupons to ensure any HVAC service you need fits your budget.

Learn more about our heating and cooling services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please schedule an appointment online or call us at 925.687.7942 .

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