If you’re trying to track the amount of energy you’re using to heat and cool your home, degree days are a concept you’ll want to familiarize yourself with. When properly used, they allow you to anticipate your monthly utility costs, and provide you with an effective means of comparing current energy consumption rates with similar periods in years past. Degree days essentially take the weather out of the equation to compare energy consumption, and you’ll gain a better understanding of your systems’ efficiency and spot opportunities to cut back and save yourself some money.
Here’s how degree days work: using a baseline temperature of 65 degrees, figure out the average temperature of a given day and note the difference between that figure and 65 degrees. For example, a hot August day might have a high of 90 degrees and a low of 72 degrees, with the day’s average temperature totaling 81 degrees (the median of the day’s high and low temperatures). In this example, your home’s equipment consumes 16 degree days to cool your home, which is the difference between the average temperature of 81 degrees and the baseline temperature of 65 degrees.
Both heating and cooling degree days use the same baseline of 65 degrees, so you can use this technique to predict your monthly energy consumption in both winter and summer. Adding up all the degree days you use in a given month will help you compare energy consumption to the levels of past months, which in turn will allow you to figure out how much your utility bill will be ahead of time. Alternatively, degree-day calculations show the true energy efficiency of heating and cooling equipment, regardless of variations in the weather.
If you’re finding that your heating and cooling costs are too high, we at Paschal, Heat, Air, & Geothermal have a wide range of products and accessories that can help you reduce your consumption and save money on your monthly utility bills. Whether you want to take advantage of our comprehensive energy-savings program, install HVAC equipment with superior energy-efficiency ratings or make the switch to greener, cleaner and cheaper geothermal heating and cooling, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you save some money.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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