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.