Are Winters Getting Weirdly Warm? Calibrate Your Heating Soon
No matter where you are on the climate change debate, temperatures at least seem to be a lot more consistent these days. Unseasonably warm winters, snowstorms with spring-like weather the next day, and big freezes before your heating system can be thoroughly cleaned can cause a logistical nightmare as you gauge comfort levels and costs. Here are a few things to consider as the allegedly cool months come closer, both for your heating system and your electric bill.
Why Would Odd Winters Matter?
In many parts of the United States, the "wrong" weather for a season usually means something comfortably confusing. The only real bad weather would be furthering the extremes of the season. What's the big deal about a winter that's not cold enough sometimes?
Think about your normal heater use and comfort levels. If you're in a household with different comfort levels or managing a commercial building with independent business suites, the reactions to these temperature changes can result in multiple changes to the temperature.
Whether its one temperature control or multiple, the issue is how long the heater runs and how often the system is adjusted. A heater should shut off at an appropriate temperature, but people start to do strange things when they get just a little uncomfortable for long periods of time.
Turning the heater on, then opening a window to balance out the temperature is one weird example. For family members who don't have to worry about the bill--or you, if you haven't noticed a bill increase--a wild battle of turning the air conditioning during one hour, then the heat an hour later can drive power bills through the roof.
Instead, you need a way to bring a stable, comfortable temperature level to the inside while the outside continues its weird changes.
Proper Insulation And Calibration
Before performing any heating or air conditioning system changes, contact a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional. They will need to make sure that the odd temperature changes are made more drastic because of temperature leaks.
Such leaks come from cracks in the wall, separations in window frames, holes caused by pests, or anything that exposes the interior of the building to the outside elements. These leaks can cause rapid comfort changes, while a properly sealed building will experience a much slower change that a heating system can adjust with just a few minutes in action.
Once sealed, you can look into calibration and more advanced systems. Not all temperature controls are the same, and if your heating system is more than a few decades old, it may not have the level of temperature control or fine tuning needed.
A good feature would be allowing heating thresholds instead of specific temperatures. For all-in-one heating and air conditioning systems, you may want to allow a comfortable temperature between 75°F and 78°F instead of encouraging a struggle to stick to a single degree.
Contact an HVAC professional for an inspection and consultation as you prepare for weather that isn't as consistent as it used to be.