Storm Center > How does heating and cooling your home impact energy usage?

How does heating and cooling your home impact energy usage?

02/18/2021

Did you know that heating your home uses more energy than cooling it? While extreme cold weather is rare in our region, a deep cold snap will impact your energy usage and may impact your bill. 

But why? When you’re cooling your house, or even just a room in your home, the excess heat is being moved from the inside to the outside. Next time you run your A/C, try putting your hand near the outside unit and you'll feel the heat that used to be in your house coming out.

When there is a chill in the air, the first thing you may do is crank up the thermostat to heat the house faster. However, your thermostat can’t adjust how quickly it heats up a space, regardless of how large or small an area is. It takes a lot of electricity to make heat, which will drive up your energy consumption. The higher the temperature difference, the harder your heating system needs to work.

When temperatures plummet, we encourage you to keep your home at 68 degrees because your heating system needs to work much harder to raise the temperate inside to keep your home cozy. Even if your home is heated by gas, electricity is still needed to make the system work.

While it takes more energy to heat than cool your home, there are some steps you can take to reduce energy and save on your electric bill: 

  • Install a programable thermostat.
  • Lower your thermostat setting.
  • Make sure vent returns aren’t covered with furniture or curtains.
  • Check all the vents in your home and make sure they are fully opened. Close the ones in rooms not being used.
  • Close your fireplace damper when it is not in use.
  • Use a fan to circulate warm air through the room rather than relying completely on your heating unit.
  • Add insulation and seal air leaks to keep the warm air in and cold air out.
  • If it’s sunny out, open your curtains to allow the heat from the sun warm the house up.

New Orleans Editorial Team