How the Ever-Changing North Carolina Weather Affects Your Energy Bill

If you live in Gaston County or Mecklenburg County, you know how much the weather can change in a matter of days, or even hours, especially during the spring and fall. One day it can be a balmy 70 degrees with plenty of sun, then the clouds and dampness roll in, dropping the temperature 30 degrees or more. Not only does this have a huge effect on your comfort, but it can wreak havoc with your energy costs, as well. While you can’t change the weather, there are things you can do to control how it affects your utility bills.

The Effects of Weather on Your Energy Bills

No matter how well your HVAC system works, it is still constantly fighting against the weather outside. The factors that affect your utility costs the most include:

  • Extreme temperatures – When temperatures drop lower than normal, your furnace or heat pump will have to work harder to compensate, increasing energy usage. On extremely hot days, your home will heat up quicker, putting extra load on your air conditioner.
  • Severe temperature swings – When temperatures swing dramatically in a short period, your HVAC system may use more energy than normal to maintain your preferred temperature, increasing your utility costs.
  • Humidity – In the winter, high humidity can make you feel warmer, allowing you to decrease the thermostat. In the summer, a humid day will make your air conditioning seem less effective, forcing you to turn it up higher. In the spring or fall, dampness in the air may encourage you to turn on the heat when it would otherwise be unnecessary.
  • Sun and clouds – The amount of sun can have a dramatic effect on your energy usage. On a cloudy day, you may turn up the heat, while on a clear day, the sun hitting the roof and streaming through the windows may force you to turn up the air conditioning.
  • Supply and demand – Finally, extreme weather may affect the rate you pay for energy itself. During the summer, when electricity demand is high due to air conditioning use, the cost per kilowatt may go higher. Similarly, the price of natural gas may increase in the winter.

The more dramatic the changes in the weather are, the more your utility bills will vary from month to month.

Changes That Can Make Utility Bills More Predictable

Although the weather is out of your control, you can take steps that reduce its impact on your utility costs. These include:

  • Servicing your HVAC system – Routine maintenance can help your HVAC system run more efficiently, react better to changing temperatures, and reduce your energy costs. It can also prevent breakdowns and increase the service life of your system.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat can allow you to adjust the temperature when you are away from home without compromising your comfort, resulting in lower utility costs.
  • Controlling humidity – With a whole-home humidifier, and a dehumidifier in humid areas, you can keep humidity at the ideal levels and minimize its impact on your utility costs.
  • Sealing and insulating – Adding the proper amount of insulation and sealing any air leaks can help your home maintain its temperature more effectively.

HVAC Services in Charlotte, NC

When you need help controlling your energy costs in the Charlotte area, you can count on our team at Unique Air Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer HVAC maintenance and repairs, humidifier services, programmable thermostats, and more!

Call (704) 922-0711 or contact us online for HVAC services in North Carolina!

 

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