The weather in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan plays a big role in the amount of energy your home consumes for heating and cooling. Electric meters don’t include weather information. That’s why, while learning to read your electric meters can help you gauge energy use, it can’t help you estimate your home’s efficiency. If you’d like to fill in the gaps yourself, try learning about heating and cooling degree days.
Heating and cooling degree days basically measure the average temperature in a given day against a base temperature (usually 65 degrees). The difference between the given day’s base and average temperatures equals the degree days for that particular day. This means that if the base temperature was 65 degrees, and the average was 75, the day in question would have 10 cooling degree days.
How can degree days help you estimate your home’s efficiency, and even enhance its performance? You’re going to compare the degree days to your energy use. First, find the dates of your last meter reading on your utility bill. Second, learn the number of degree days for those dates. For assistance with this, try Degree Days.net.
If you can create a degree day to energy use ratio, you can keep track of it as the weather patterns shift. What you’re going to be watching for is the electricity portion of the ratio to fall. To encourage this, there are a number of home improvements or small comfort adjustments you can make:
- Adjust your thermostat a few degrees so that your HVAC equipment cycles less often
- Keep a clean and well maintained air conditioner or furnace to ensure optimum performance
- Seal your ducts to prevent energy loss
- Seal leaks in your walls
- Insulate your crawlspace
- Increase the amount of insulation in your attic
Monitoring your energy use to degree day ratio as you implement these changes will help you understand which changes are having the biggest effect on your energy consumption.
If you’d like to learn more about saving energy through home projects and upgrades, contact Home Comfort Experts of Ft. Wayne. We’re proud to keep northern Indiana and southwest Michigan homeowners comfortable!
Home Comfort services the Ft. Wayne and surrounding areas of Indiana.