Your HVAC is one of those modern comforts we all love and want in order for us to live as comfortably as possible. It runs all year, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But with all the comforts it brings us, those comforts definitely come with a cost. HVAC units, themselves, are a pricey piece of machinery. Depending primarily on the brand and size of the unit. Beyond the initial cost of your HVAC unit, comes the cost of using it. Every month we all get the dreaded electric bill. It’s probably the most dreaded bill for homeowners to find waiting in their mailbox each month, but it’s one we should be glad to pay, being that it means we have lights on in our home and heat and air. Some months the bill is higher than others and you may wonder why, or what part of your electric use is causing it go up. More often than not, most people’s surge in electricity usage and bill is due to the HVAC, but most homeowners will tell you they don’t really know what it’s costing them. So, how much does your HVAC affect your electric bill? Keep reading to learn more.
Your electric bill
Your electric bill is comprised of all the electricity you use in your home each month. There are many things in the home that require electricity to operate, from your lights, household appliances, washer and dryer, television, electric garage door, and of course, your HVAC, or, heat and air. Each appliance or element uses a certain amount of electricity, which means, depending on the item, how much electricity it uses, and how often it’s used, those factors are what will determine how it will affect your electric bill. One of the biggest electricity guzzlers in your home is your HVAC unit, making up approximately 27% of your annual bill, according to Accurate Comfort Services.
How much does your HVAC cost per hour?
When looking at the breakdown of how much your HVAC costs to run per hour, it may not seem like a whole lot of money. But when you total up the hours it runs each month, you will see that it definitely adds up pretty quick, especially for those who have larger homes to heat and cool. For them, the bill only gets bigger. So what does it cost to run an HVAC unit? The answer is that central air, on average, costs about $.40-$.50 per hour that it runs. Now, think about how many hours a day it runs during the hot months of summer, trying to keep your home nice and cool for you. Depending on the thermostat setting, it could mean that it may be running more than it isn’t. Especially if you like your home extra cool. Sears says, if your AC runs ten hours a day, you may be paying on average, $5.50 per day for your HVAC unit to run.
How your usage is measured
You can get an idea of how much your HVAC unit is costing you by knowing how the energy usage is calculated. The energy is measured in wattage. A unit of power is a watt. For you to calculate how many watts of energy your HVAC system is using, you will need to first know, the wattage of your unit. Multiply the wattage of your unit by the total number of hours it runs. On your electric bill you will see that the charges are printed in kilowatts, or (kWh), and one (kWh) hour is equal to 1,000 watt hours. Therefore, if you had a 900-watt HVAC unit and ran it for 10-12 hours each day, you can see that this would quickly add up and significantly impact your electric bill as opposed to a home where the AC unit was run less hours each day.
How you can help reduce the cost of your HVAC
Most us don’t want to, or can’t live without a heating and cooling system, but we don’t want the high energy bills associated with them either. There are ways to help keep your energy bill down when it comes to your HVAC unit, and here are a few reasons and things you can do to keep the cost of your HVAC unit down, according to SMWAC.
- Keeping up with regular maintenance on your unit can help detect potential problems, or existing problems and have them repaired before they cause bigger problems or even cause your HVAC unit fail altogether.
- Get rid of your old unit and install a newer, more energy efficient HVAC unit.
- Keep air filters clean and replace them on a regular basis.
- Be sure to have your system checked for duct leaks and get any leaks repaired.
- Don’t let the refrigerant get low. Check, or have checked by a professional on a regular basis, since low refrigerant can mean a leak.
- Replace an old unit. Repairing an old unit might seem cheaper, but in the long run, a new unit can save you up to 50% on your electric bill.
The more you know about how your HVAC affects your electric bill, the more you can do to help cut your costs.