Weahter is there. When spending leisure time chatting with other humans, trending topics appear. Whether it is the latest judicial war, a problem in the Senate between democrats and republicans, or something else. There are also topics that will never cease to exist, they have become “tradition” in our conversations, one of such topics is climate change.
In this topic, you might believe in climate change, find it a hoax or position yourself in a comfortable neutral stating that further research is necessary to reach a definite conclusion. However, irrefutable evidence that -something, is happening is there: Extreme hot temperatures, extreme cold temperatures, hurricanes and tornadoes where there were none before, rain that flash floods where there were no flash floods before….
As in everything else where science is involved, there are many arguments stating that it is because climate is changing due to human interaction and modification of the environment where the race has settled down and developed. Others state the opposite and even postulate that it is a common event, the slight difference is the vast popularity of social media apps that provide the regular Joe and Jane with a window to become “on the spot” reporters.
Regardless of what your belief is, these climate changes are happening and they can be seen reflected in your everyday economy. Family economy is something that in this diatribe on climate control, change and correction is missing, properly explained, income makers in small family households might see that they can both save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
As I have mentioned before, it might be that you are against the theory of carbon footprints, climate change and human barbaric acts against nature, or in a neutral position. Nonetheless, the idea of cutting down on climate-control related expenses such as gas, electricity and others sound marvelous, right?
Can it really be cost effective?
The department of Energy estimates that in a small household of 1 to 3 members, in a small 1 or 2 bedroom residence, spends an low average of $42.00 a month in weather control bills for just 10 hours of usage. This number could increase or even reduce if:
- The Climate control appliance’s age. The newer models are more efficient, cost effective and, of course, need less resources.
- The residence has double windows. Double windows make a soft insulation and this prevents weather climate to change due to the interaction of outside weather with the inside.
- The fuel for the appliance
- Maintenance and repair -if needed, though it might be that repair is not required, maintenance is always suggested by manufacturers and retailers
- The number of household residents changes or if their overall health condition also changes
This means, for instance, that depending on what is the fuel that powers your weather control, the age of the appliance, if the residence has double windows or not, and the temperature outside. You could be spending anywhere between 3 to 12 hours keeping your residence at a comfortable temperature during the hot days of summer.
The health and age of the residents also play an important part on the time that the weather conditioning appliances are used in a household. If the residents need to keep a specific temperature (as it usually happens after surgery or during the recovery period of a serious health ailment), this could either increase or lower the use of a specific appliance while increasing or reducing the use of another.
It is indeed difficult to foresee how much money you will be spending on weather conditioning as the variables can rapidly change and increase or decrease the amount. Despite this, you can be certain that there is a way for you to reduce the money you will end up spending.
Every year, an estimate of 6% of the total of electrical power from the US Nation is diverted to the homes so that they can power up their climate control appliances: Heaters, AC, Coolers, etc. 6%!! Those are billions of dollars -around 29 billions, that can be re-routed elsewhere. Education, health, EPA to name just a few.
This is not a wise measure that could be applied only in small households. Every household is susceptible to such savings, of course, the bigger the household, the higher the expenditure on weather climate the bigger the saving. In the estimate scenario that the US Department of Energy publishes where a small household could spend around $42.00 a month for weather control , a large home will be spending a whopping $200.00 for the exact same type and working hours on weather control.
Now, it is interesting to learn that these estimates ONLY apply for the use of AC appliances. The numbers are not considering:
- Weather control appliances
- Mini Split
The list goes on. Each year, new appliances are launched into the market with the aim to ensure people to be more and more comfortable in a more reduced space: The personal space. However these do not provide the comfort that they are marketed to do. Furthermore, they are often discarded and new general household appliances take their place. This increases the expenses that weather conditioning inside the home represent.
So far we have looked at numbers and actions taken when the weather is averagely hot.
But what happens when the weather ranges int he cold side of the thermometer?
Again, the US Department of Energy has stated that from the fuels that power the indoor heaters of the millions of homes int he USA, any average home will be spending anywhere between $500.00 to $1,500.00 a month in heating expenses for their home.
Regarding other forms of fuel for heating purposes such as oil and propane, these too will rise a whopping 45% to 60% from what they cost on the previous season. With electricity rising just as much as natural gas: Around 60%, the season bills might linger for more than the already known 2 months afterwards…
These numbers only consider the heating expenses, it might be handy to consider related expenses such as mold and mildew appearance, problems derived from heating inside while the walls are cold outside. One such problems are burst pipelines, water condensation in the electrical system causing short-circuits and sometimes fires. Health problems derived from extensive and high heating such as asthma development, rheumatic problems to mention just a handful.
Is there really nothing to do but pay up?
Yes and no. Weather control and adjustment appliances will continue to be used as they are needed for their intended purposes. The trick lies on the expenses that they represent for the family finances.
Total amount the family finance is derived to the payment of climate conditioning in the house = number of hours of the appliance used + type of fuel needed + repairs /maintenance
So why not?
The first step to cut down on the time and expenses that these appliances incur on your family economy lies on the insulation that your home has in the external walls. During the hot days of spring and summer they are constantly bathed in sun rays and as such they heat up and irradiate that heat inside your home causing you to rise the use of the ac, split and any other cooling appliances you might have.
In opposition, during the cold days of fall and winter, they will be cooled down to snow-like temperatures and the heat inside your house will irradiate outside, just like it happened during spring-summer, but vice versa. There is an additional problem, since the process is reversed, the hot side of the wall against the cold side of it will cause the hot side to develop moisture.
This moisture will translate in mold and mildew.
Nonetheless the inside walls of your house should also be insulated. This is because most of the time, there are rooms in a house that do not need to be heated or cooled down. For instance, a bedroom usually only needs heating or cooling down during the night time. During daytime most of us stay away from our bedrooms unless we are sick.
This means that the room where you stay the most time during the day is the room that will need the climate conditioning while the rest of the rooms in the house most likely will not. With the proper insulation, the climate conditioning will not sift out and away from the room.
But as we always say, there is an added bonus to the insulation of the rooms inside a house. There is a reduction of noise. That could be a marriage saver when one of the members of the family has owl tendencies and likes to watch television in the wee hours of morning.
Using insulation will not cut your costs down to $0 as you will still need to use climate control appliances, but with the proper insulation by simply using your everyday and routine appliances such as the television, the computer you can reasonably heat up a room.
Of course, you do not need to insulate for spring/summer and then insulate for fall/winter. Just one insulation will work for all seasons. Nonetheless, it is advisable that since you will be checking the status of your insulation or installing it for the first time, that you take on this opportunity to cover all your basis. If you happen to live in a location where there is snowfall during fall-winter-early spring, consider insulating your water-gas-electrical installations. Each house has specific needs and not all of them require the same type of insulation.
If you are not certain what kind of insulation is the best for you, contact us. We will be delighted to help and guide you.
Installing insulation is not extraordinarily difficult, there are many videos in you tube that will guide you step by step. In our site, you can also find different posts that will give you a detailed guide as well, you can find them here. As always, you can reach out to us at (424) 343-6530 and we will do our best to help.
Among our many products, for the home resident who would like to take a swing at doing the insulation installation by themselves, mineral wool can be a perfect choice for the inside rooms: walls, and ceilings/floors. The mineral wool presentation is in batts so it is easy for the inexperienced to measure, cut and install.
For the exterior walls you might prefer to try fiberglass which also comes in batts or perhaps rigid board insulation. However rigid board insulation requires a little bit more work and dedication. Fiberglass insulation is commonly found in attics and roofs.
If you choose to do it yourself, it might help you to read some of our posts over here, or you could read the Department of Energy position on this here. If you do not want to click, remember to use security gear, full shoes, full length pants, tshirts or shirts that are adequately fit and can’t get stuck or hung on things, googles, gloves, hard hats (specially if you are working on roofs) and face masks.