Should You Keep Your Heat Running?
February 24, 2017
In Colorado we typically need to heat our homes from October to April (or even May!). Then, our Summers can be hot hot HOT with the air conditioner on most days. But luckily we also have times where the weather is mild and running the heat or AC may be optional.
The question is: should you?
Reasons to leave your system running:
- You don’t have to wait for the temperature to reach where you want it. Your home will be a consistent temp throughout the day with more opportunity to even out throughout the house.
- You may be tempted to turn off the heat to save energy on a mild winter day, or if you’ll be away for a while. This can lead to frozen pipes if the temperature drops unexpectedly. Leaving it running keeps your home safe from too-low temperatures. Turn down your thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees to save on energy without the risk of freezing.
- Forced air systems have the option of running the fan continuously, even when heating or cooling isn’t required. This circulates the air continuously, passing it through the filters and improving indoor air quality.
- Another reason to have your fan run continuously is to provide better temperature distribution throughout your home. Constant air movement mixes air throughout your home. This prevents stagnant air pockets from forming and giving you unpleasant hot or cold spots.
Reasons to shut it down:
- While your system draws more electricity during ramp up, it also consumes more power if left on 24/7. Leaving your system running continuously results in more energy consumption overall.
- Most residential air conditioning systems use a refrigerant. Peak efficiency for these units is close to full load. So when the air conditioner is working hard to lower your home’s temperature, its efficiency is high. If you leave on the air conditioner to maintain your home’s temperature, the unit’s efficiency falls. Ultimately this adds to your summer energy bills.
- The more you run your system the quicker parts wear and tear. This translates into higher maintenance costs and a shorter lifespan.
- When your fan runs continuously, it passes more air through the filters. Because your filter is taking care of more air, it clogs faster and needs replacing sooner. Don’t forget to change your filter at least every other month!
Whether or not you decide to run your HVAC equipment continuously, you need it working well. Give us a call to make sure your unit is at peak performance!