How Your Heating Unit Impacts Your Electricity Bill

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Whether you heat your home with an electric heat pump, or have gas or even oil heat, when temperatures drop, the type of heating unit you use will impact your electricity bill.

Of course, a heat source entirely powered by electricity (such as some heat pumps or space heaters) will require more electricity to operate, and will have the greatest impact on your electricity bill. Heat pumps pull warmth from the surrounding air, and electric heaters actively heat inflowing air.

The majority of American homes these days use natural gas — 57% according to Energy.gov. In a year, heating can account for over $700 in gas bills. But did you know that even if you rely on natural gas as your home’s main heat source, in cold weather, your electricity bill can still jump drastically? That’s because your natural gas furnace almost certainly relies on an electricity-powered blower to help move hot air through your home’s ductwork. When temperatures drop, that electricity-powered blower will operate longer and harder to help maintain the same temperatures in your home.

Even if you supplement your home’s main heating system with a wood or pellet-burning stove, keep in mind those heat sources may also indirectly impact your electricity bill. While higher-efficiency stoves are now readily available, they still require venting and blower fans to exhaust fumes and smoke from your home.

Whatever fuel source you use to heat your home, you can reduce utility costs — including your electricity bill — by following a few efficiency-boosting steps, including:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to control your main heat source so that you don’t pay to heat your home while you’re away.
  • Make sure your home is properly sealed and insulated.
  • Keep your heat system well-maintained.
  • Supplement the efficiency of your home heating system by admitting plenty of sunlight to your home and using ceiling fans to push warm air that rises to the ceiling back down into the room.

Visit txu.com for more energy-saving tips to help reduce your electricity bill.

30 comments
Eric Blaise
Eric Blaise

In terms of heating with natural gas, a way to beat the high electricity bill is to use a larger fan. The advantage of using a larger fan is that, it will move just about the same amount of air as a smaller, and faster spinning fan, but at a lower rate of speed. This in turn lowers power consumption saving you hundreds of dollars in utility bills.


Eric | http://www.crozierdiamondtools.com/product-category/wacker-neuson-products 

MikeReynolds13
MikeReynolds13

I didn't realize that a damaged heater could impact my energy costs so much. Nearly 60% of Americans use natural gas for heating. However, the heater still relies on electric systems to move the hot air through the house. When temperatures drop, it has to work harder in order to maintain the same temperatures in the home. http://www.wfhann.com/service.aspx?id=XRVanuEmxkapHJfC557rog 

James Livingstone
James Livingstone

Any damaged electrical and gas could cause problems with energy bills that why companies have regular PAT tests, sadly this would be to expensive for people in there home but they can carry out visual inspections where required. http://tradecertificates.co.uk

EliasRufus
EliasRufus

Mike, I too was unaware that gas heating alone can raise the bills to around 700 a year. This makes me want to switch to electric heating for all of my major appliances. I have been looking into electric water heaters. They are cheaper to run, and seem to hold up in longevity as well. That was really my main concern.

http://www.mcdermottplumbing.com/water-heater-installations.html

EmilySmith3
EmilySmith3

This was an interesting article about how a heating unit impacts an electric bill. I had no idea that keeping your heating system well maintained could lower the cost of utilities. Maye I should get my furnace checked out! I don't think it has been looked at in the 5 years I have lived here.
Emily Smith | http://www.abaileyplumbing.com/heating-air-conditioning.shtml

tedsmith575
tedsmith575

It is true that when temperatures drop and you turn up the heat on your thermostat or use your hot water tank more, it will definitely affect your electricity bill. I should know because I hate the cold. In the winter time, I have my house always heated at least to eighty degrees. When my bill comes at the end of the month it is always higher in the winter. I might be able to save some money by not using the thermostat or water heater too much, but I just like to be warm.
http://www.fastserviceplumbingandgasfitting.ca/services.html 

Joeywall87
Joeywall87

I just found out that, there is heating that uses oil. My question is, Which is better? There is obviously electric heating and gas heating. I want to know which one would save me the most money http://www.trirom.ca/en/

FelicitySandy
FelicitySandy

In your third paragraph, it was pretty eye opening to know that you're spending around 700 dollars to heat your home! If most home us natural gas, what would be the second biggest way that people heat their home with? We're looking to get our heating bill reduced, so we'll definitely remember to keep these tips in mind. Especially with maintenance too! 

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CooperAllen
CooperAllen

I am always looking to find some money, and my electricity bill is a great place to go. My heating system is all manual, but it sounds like it is better to have a thermostat set up with a timer. It makes sense, then there is no chance that it will come on when you aren't home. 


http://www.normsmobile.ca/heat_pumps.html 

jasonshwartz1224
jasonshwartz1224

I can definitely understand how heating can impact an electric bill. It really seems like there are furnaces out there now that are more friendly when it comes to electricity use though. If there are, what kinds would you suggest? Thank you for taking the time to share. http://www.lakesideheating.com/furnaces/ 

robbhardy3
robbhardy3

I can check a few things off on the list provided as things that I do or have at my house. However, there is one area that I need to do a lot of work in. That is the properly keep your home sealed tip. I really need to get new windows and probably doors in my home to be able to check this one off.

http://www.nuwaysolar.net/heat-pumps.html 

kelseyhiggins
kelseyhiggins

I didn't realize that your heating bills could still jump so drastically even if you use natural gas for heat! This was the first winter in our new home, and we were not expecting our heating bills to be so high because our home is run off of natural gas instead of electric. Next winter, we will definitely have to try your tips to try to keep our heating bills down. http://www.wfhann.com/service.aspx?id=zMbyTC0okUqXeqsECYKQzw 

CaseyJones1
CaseyJones1

Thanks for the information on water heaters!  We have an older water heater that isn't super efficient.  Maybe we will look for a gas powered one next.  That would probably save us a lot on utilities.  My wife loves those long, hot showers.

http://www.statewidemechanicalinc.net 

KentClark1
KentClark1

I've really always been of the opinion of turning off a product if you aren't using it. It is a waste of energy and money. It is also important to keep your system clean. You can save a lot of money that way. I'm really happy that you mentioned that in this post. http://www.reliablebuildinginc.com/services/hvac-1/ 

jasonshwartz1224
jasonshwartz1224

I have been asking this question to myself for quite a while now. It really doesn't surprise me that the heating unit does impact the electricity bill. That was more something that I was hoping for. I don't feel like the overall impact is something that is that significant though. http://www.pellcityheatingandcooling.com/home 

James Lisbon
James Lisbon

It is interesting to consider how heating systems can affect a home's energy use.  The bullet point that talked about keeping your heating system maintained seemed relevant because you could possibly save on energy.  Being aware of how your heating system is used and how it runs also might provide some insight on how to save on energy. http://www.mountainmechanicalak.com/services 

avalaurie86
avalaurie86

It's interesting that a little more than having the homes are still using gas heating. I guess it was a huge go-to in the home building industry for years. I'm pretty sure that my home is also gas powered heating, so thanks for the money saving tips. http://bigjuneshop.com

HollieTruesdale
HollieTruesdale

By extension, your water heater can also impact your utility bill, or so I read recently. My bills have been getting higher lately and we haven't even had that cold of a winter. I'd like to start looking around my house to see what the culprit is, but I rent a basement apartment that shares utilities. It's hard to find out if it's me or my upstairs neighbor that is making the bill go up. I would like to test the water heater and see if there's a problem with that first, since we've been using more hot water than hot air lately. http://www.mikebertolinoplumbing.com 

JordanJohnson2
JordanJohnson2

What other tricks are there for lowering the heating portion of your electricity bill? My parents always kept the thermostat a bit low with the expectation that we would always wear sweaters while at home. I don't want to have to do this with my kids, but I do want to keep the bill low. Can you help me out? http://www.allianceheatingandcoolingllc.com/

JamesSimon1
JamesSimon1

Honestly, home heating is a very important thing. Up in Ashton, Idaho, we heat our cabin with a wood-burning fireplace. We go through a lot of wood that way usually. I find that it sometimes might be more efficient to rely on electric heating or oil heating. I just don't know where we'd go to get oil.

http://www.cardinalusa.com/services/ 

JamesClarkson
JamesClarkson

@JamesSimon1 Keeping your home is essential to surviving a cold winter. Many individuals overlook the importance of keeping your central air unit operating efficiently. Faulty heat pumps often lead to a poor exchange of warm air, which lowers efficiency and increases your utility bill. Keeping your unit operating optimally will ensure you stay nice and toasty during the winter months.

http://www.hayesheating.com/products/heat-pumps/ 

Sophie Green
Sophie Green

Wow, I didn't know that having an older water heater could be so costly. It sounds like it might be a good idea to upgrade our heater. From what you've said, getting a water heater that uses a different source of energy could really lower the bill. Hopefully, we'll be able to find time to go look at new water heaters.

Sophie Green |  http://www.auroraapplianceparts.com/Products/

JamesClarkson
JamesClarkson

@Sophie Green Upgrading your heater can be a great way to improve the unit's efficiency, which results in a lowered utility bill. Having a energy efficient unit can also provide a great tax credit that saves a lot of money. Having a water heater that operates well can be a great investment in regards to lowering energy bills.

http://www.westcountryhvac.com/heating.html 

JamesClarkson
JamesClarkson

It is very important to understand what is affected the cost of heating your home. I think that you must first have proper home insulation and sealing. You also need to keep your heat system well maintained to ensure the unit operates efficiently. 

http://www.cashoilco.com/?page_id=10 

JamesClarkson
JamesClarkson

@jaytoolman92 Most furnaces have presets regarding the blower depending upon the temperature set. When a blower is not efficiently emitting heat, you will have higher utility bills. Regular maintenance will ensure that your unit is operating efficiently, which will result in lowered heating costs.

http://www.thermo-tech.ca 

Richard McCraw
Richard McCraw

Obviously, heating units impacts our electricity bill. If we used wood burning heaters to provide heat our home then we can reduce our electricity bill. Thanks for the sharing tips to reduce utility cost. 

http://www.eccostove.com