Electric forced-air HVAC systems are typically installed in mobile homes and residences where cheaper natural gas or propane are not available. While this type of system is often more expensive to run, there are many different factors affecting its running costs. And, unlike their gas-powered cousins, electric systems can accommodate air conditioning installations using their existing blower motors and ductwork. This makes them a clear winner for homes located in areas with excessively hot summer temperatures.
If you are considering installing an electric forced-air HVAC system in your new home, but are concerned about running costs, then read below for information on each factor affecting the costs:
Factor #1: The HVAC System's Hardware
When it comes to cost, an HVAC system's hardware is one of the leading factors in the cost of running it. Different manufacturers, models, and system sizes all utilize different amounts of energy. And some systems that are rated Energy Star compliant use less energy than systems that aren't.
Factor #2: The Ductwork
The HVAC system's ductwork located under your house or in the attic space is responsible for moving around all of the heated or cooled air. Since the air can be cooled or warmed by the outdoor temperature, it must be well insulated and all of its connections must be sealed tight with duct tape.
Factor #3: The Home's Insulation
The insulation in your home determines how much heat transfer happens between indoors and the outside. The more winter heat and summer cooling you lose to the outdoors, then the more your HVAC system will need to run to keep your family comfortable.
Factor #4: The Electric Rate Where You Live
Every electric company in the country sets its own rates for electricity. The rates typically fluctuate depending on the time of year and sometimes even the time of day. If you live in an area of the country where electrical rates have "peak" and "off-peak" rates, running your HVAC system during the off-peak hours will result in lower electrical bills than running it during peak hours.
Factor #5: The Average Yearly Outdoor Temperatures
The outdoor temperatures always affect the temperatures inside of your house. For this reason, areas with hotter summers and colder winters will be more expensive to cool and heat than areas with milder average yearly outdoor temperatures.
Factor #6: The Thermostat Setting You Choose
The final and probably most important factor when it comes to the cost of operating a residential electric forced-air HVAC system is the settings you choose for the thermostat. While you can't do anything about the outdoor temperatures or your local utility rates, every time you lower or raise the thermostat you affect the resulting cost of your electric bill for that month.
Contact an air conditioning maintenance service like Dependable Heating & Cooling for more information.