Electrical consumption for heating and cooling systems varies from region to region and even from home to home. In sunny Florida, air conditioning is one of the biggest expenditures, accounting for around 27 percent of the average annual electricity bill, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Most Florida households have heating systems too, around 80 percent of which are electric heat pumps or furnaces. Although multiple factors come into play when calculating how much electricity any single HVAC system uses, the following information will provide you with an overview on how to measure your home’s electrical consumption.
How Many Watts Do Air Conditioners Use?
Wattage is just one of the factors that you need to know to determine how much energy your air conditioner uses. A watt is a unit of power. To determine the amount of watts that your cooling systems uses, you need to multiply the product’s wattage by the length of time that it is actually operating. That’s why the charges on your electrical bill are expressed in kilowatt hours. One kilowatt-hour (kWh) is equivalent to 1,000 watt hours. A 900-watt air conditioner that’s left on for 12 hours each day will use significantly more kWh of energy than one that runs for just a few hours each day.
Heating System Electrical Components
Even a gas furnace that burns fuel to create heat still needs electricity to operate. In central fuel-burning heating systems, an electrical motor provides power for the blower that directs heated air into the ductwork distribution system. Other electrical parts like ignition switches consume a negligible amount of electricity. Energy efficient heating and cooling products like geothermal and air-source heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, but require electricity to operate as well.
Professional Operating Cost Calculations
Reputable HVAC providers use industry-standard heating and cooling load calculations to determine the amount of power that a system needs to meet your comfort needs. To estimate on your expected annual operating costs, savvy technicians will use design programs that calculate parameters like:
- Your local electric rates
- The HVAC system’s energy efficiency rating
- Average indoor and outdoor temperatures
- System size as expressed in BTUs
- Total wattage of all electrical components
Optimizing Your HVAC System
A well-sealed home allows heaters and air conditioners to run less often without sacrificing your comfort. You can make a significant dent in your HVAC electrical consumption with home improvements that reduce air infiltration and increase insulation. Ensuring that your HVAC system operate at peak condition matters as well. Enrolling in a preventative maintenance program offers you a convenient and affordable way to make sure that your systems get the expert care they need. A study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that a well-maintained HVAC consumes up to 20 percent less energy than a neglected one.
Whether you want to optimize your existing system or you’re on the hunt for a new energy-efficient product, the experts at Accurate Comfort Services can help you save money on your monthly electric bills. Give us a call or contact us online for more helpful tips and information.