Heating Load: How to Lower it

Heating Load: How to Lower itAs spring draws near, homeowners in our region often breathe a sigh of relief as they see the last of the big wintertime utility bills. And even though gas and oil prices have been somewhat lower than in previous years, most of us are still always on the lookout for ways to keep our winter heating costs down. One great way to do that is to lower the home’s heating load.

What’s a Heating Load?

Your home has a heating and a cooling load. Put simply, that’s the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool your home to a desired temperature.

Lowering the heating load isn’t just a matter of turning down the thermostat. You can do that, but you may be uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several other things you can do to make your home more comfortable while lowering energy consumption.

Obviously, lowering the heating (or cooling) load helps you save money on utilities. Some additional reasons to pay attention to heating/cooling loads:

  • Lower heating/cooling loads allow you to install a smaller capacity HVAC system. HVAC systems are sometimes installed with greater capacity than they need to cool or heat a home. When that happens, the system runs inefficiently, costs more to operate and puts unnecessary wear on parts, so that it wears out faster than it should.
  • Diminish your carbon footprint by lowering the amount of greenhouse gases you’re pumping into the atmosphere.

Lower the Heating (or Cooling) Load

The best way to lower your heating/cooling load is to find where conditioned air is leaking out and unconditioned air is infiltrating. Do your own energy audit by walking around with a lit incense stick on a windy day, holding the stick next to door and window frames, near baseboards, around electric plugs and switch plates, and wherever pipes, wires and cables enter the home. If the smoke wavers, you have a leak.

Use caulk, insulation and weatherstripping to stop the leaks.

To learn more about lowering your heating load, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We’ve served Greater Cleveland for more than 80 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about he and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.

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