What accounts for around half of your home’s energy costs? It’s your home’s heating and cooling system, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
We know that saving energy dollars is important to you. As your trusted hometown energy provider, we’re sharing information on energy-efficient systems that can keep you cozy year-round, while helping you keep those monthly bills as low as possible.
Today’s high-efficiency heat pumps use about 50% less energy than electric furnaces. That’s because these systems move heat instead of creating it. During summer, the unit moves heat from inside your home to the outside. In winter, the system captures heat from the outside air, moving it to the inside of your home. The process produces up to three times more heat than the energy it uses.
A heat pump comes equipped with an auxiliary heat strip that operates as the thermostat demands, depending on the outside temperature. The heat strip acts as a system boost to quickly provide heat, if needed. This can ramp up the heat, but it also ramps up the electric bill. That’s why you should avoid raising the thermostat several degrees at one time or switching the setting to emergency heat mode — both these actions can cause only the heat strip to operate. Use your thermostat’s auto setting, then select your desired temperature and leave it. That way, strip heat only runs when necessary and shuts down once the thermostat reaches the temperature you’ve set.
You’ll appreciate the steady temperature a heat pump provides throughout your home — and at a much lower cost than using an electric furnace. The key is to have a skilled professional size and install the system and the ductwork. Sealing the ductwork ensures air doesn’t seep out of the cracks where the ducts join.
As the old saying about summer goes, “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.” New model heat pumps take moisture out of indoor air, meaning they use less energy for cooling during summer months. Less moisture in the air results in less mold and mildew.
Two more options for bumping up comfort and lowering your heating and cooling costs include dual fuel and mini-split units.
A dual-fuel unit merges the benefits of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace into one system. When outdoor temperatures fall below freezing, the unit maintains your comfort by switching over to the gas furnace. The system allows you to manually switch to gas when it’s the most cost-effective source.
Mini-split heat pumps are a great choice, too. According to EnergyStar.gov, these systems heat 60% more efficiently than electric resistance options, such as baseboards, radiators, wall and space heaters, and forced-air furnace systems. They use 30% less energy for cooling than standard room air conditioners, and precise temperature control allows you to heat or cool only the spaces you choose. These ductless units are easy to install.
Ready to invest in a heat pump system that’s right for you? Let your cooperative assist you, with information and rebates on high-efficiency, dual-fuel or mini-split heat pumps, as well as help for manufactured homeowners who wish to upgrade from an electric furnace to a high-efficiency heat pump. Call to speak with one of our trusted energy advisors.
It’s another way your hometown electric cooperative is always here for you.