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Getting Ready For The Cooler Months: Why Heating Can Be More Expensive Than Cooling

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Once again, the time has come to begin preparing for the cooler fall and winter months. The break from sweltering temperatures is welcome, but the higher utility bill is not. Households often find that their energy costs increase during the winter, and many Concord-area homeowners wonder why heating their homes is more expensive than keeping them cool.

We’ll explore the answer to that question and a few suggestions for keeping your utility costs down as we move into the fall and winter.

Reasons Behind High Heating Costs

Heating costs across the country vary due to several factors, such as location, fuel prices, and local competition. As you try to keep your heating costs lower this winter, learn more about why heating expenses tend to be higher below:

  • Differences between outdoor and indoor temperatures: The bigger the gap between the outdoor and indoor temperatures, the harder your HVAC works to keep you warm. If your thermostat setting is 65° and it’s 29° outside, the HVAC must raise the temperature by 36° and keep it there. But if the outside temperature is 80°, the HVAC only has to lower the indoor temperature by 15°. Since the temperature differential tends to be greater in the winter, your heating system will have to work harder and stay on longer when it’s cold outside.
  • The cooling process: Heating air is more energy intensive, as it burns resources to create heat. Cooling the home removes heat, transferring it outdoors. Heating systems are more complex as they must convert a resource into heat energy to be released indoors. This process is one of the main reasons why heating costs are higher, even if the temperature gap is similar during warmer and cooler months.
  • Region: For those in remote areas that use oil to heat their home, the delivery cost to these regions can influence a rise in prices.
  • System age and type: Are you using a natural gas furnace, electrical furnace, ductless mini-split, or another type of heating system? The answer makes a difference when it comes to energy costs. The system’s age also plays a part, as older heating systems typically use more energy when warming the air. Older models simply aren’t as efficient at heating the home as their newer counterparts.

Price Fluctuations for Heating Fuels

Alongside the above reasons for higher heating costs, price fluctuations for heating fuels can also be a significant driver of higher energy bills over the winter. Some of the primary causes of price fluctuations for heating fuels include:

  • Crude oil cost changes: Crude oil prices have a significant impact on heating oil costs. Global supply and demand influence the rates. The amount of oil produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) determines the supply people can access. Demand depends on weather, political events, and the economy. These changes aren’t always predictable and can cause major shifts in pricing.
  • Seasonal demand: Heating oil is only needed for specific seasons and is thus subject to seasonal pricing. 
  • Local market competition: Areas with limited competitors may see huge differences in service offerings and are likely to pay more. Sections overrun with suppliers will have more competitive rates.

6 Ways to Reduce Heating Costs This Winter

While it can cost more to heat your home than cool it, you can take action to reduce your heating costs over the winter. Some of the top ways you can improve your heating system’s efficiency and lower energy costs include:

  1. Invest in energy-efficient HVAC systems: If you have an old furnace that needs to be replaced, installing a new energy-efficient heating system can significantly reduce heating costs. These newer models require less energy to operate and deliver the same toasty results.
  2. Turn down the thermostat and nestle into something cozy: Another way to keep costs low is to throw on a comfy sweater when lounging around the house. Instead of turning the temperature up when you want to watch TV, snuggle up with a cuddly blanket.
  3. Improve Your Insulation: Keeping the cold at bay and the heat trapped indoors requires proper insulation. Don’t skimp on the materials, as you can save big in the long run.
  4. Open the curtains: Let the sunshine in and allow the natural heat source to warm your home.
  5. Keep your fireplace’s damper closed: If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when it’s not being used. Keeping it closed will stop the warm air from traveling outdoors through the chimney, where it won’t be able to heat your open.
  6. Invest in regular heating maintenance: Another way to reduce your energy bills in the winter is to receive a heating tune-up. Since broken parts and wear can reduce your heating system’s efficiency, regular heating maintenance is necessary to keep your system’s energy usage low over the winter.

Choose Big Air for HVAC Maintenance in Concord

If you’re looking for HVAC tune-ups near you in Concord or the surrounding areas, turn to Big Air. Our certified HVAC technicians can inspect your system and provide any maintenance services your system needs to run at its best. Alongside offering one-off heating tune-ups, we offer Big Air Beyond, which is an annual maintenance contract. With this contract, we’ll provide an annual furnace inspection and an annual AC inspection to ensure everything is working smoothly. You’ll also receive 15% savings on all services (up to $750), 50% off call-out fees, and extended warranties.

Learn more about our heating system tune-up and repair services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please fill out our online form or call us at 925-687-7942. You can also review our coupons and financing options to ensure our services fit your budget.

For quick and easy answers, we want to speak with you! Trust our hassle-free maintenance and service to ensure your always in good hands.
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