Are Heating And Cooling Needs Determined By Degree Days? Find Out How To Assess Efficiency in Cincinnati

by Greg Leisgang on September 12, 2011

Posted in: Energy Savings

Heating and cooling degree days help you estimate how much energy your home has used in a specific span of time. Keeping track of your meter readings can help you gauge how much energy you’re using, but that doesn’t account for the variable of changing weather in Cincinnati. With heating and cooling degree days, you can arrive at a more accurate estimate of your home’s efficiency.

Let’s take a look at calculating cooling degree days to help you understand the process.

A base temperature is chosen, which can be different from day to day. We’ll use 70 degrees Fahrenheit as an a base temperature for our example.

By adding the highest and lowest temperature of the day and dividing that sum by 2, you arrive at the day’s average temperature. Let’s say the day’s average is 80 degrees. The base temperature is lower than the average, so we’ll subtract it. 80 minus 70 gives us 10. We have 10 cooling degree days for that particular day.

When calculating heating degree days, you simply reverse the math to subtract the average temperature from the base.

Greater Cincinnati area homeowners can benefit from this by monitoring their energy use. Look on your electric bill, at the dates when your meter was read, and calculate how many cooling days were in that period of time. For help with base temperatures, go to the Degree Days website.

As you make home improvements to increase your energy efficiency, watch how your home’s energy consumption fluctuates. You should be able to see the impact of changes you make, which could encourage you to make more, such as:

  • Plugging air leaks in your ducts, attic and the walls of your building
  • Switching to high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment
  • Raising your thermostat a few degrees, or setting it back in winter
  • Adding insulation in your attic

Heating and cooling degree days are useful, but a professional energy evaluation is the best way to learn what your biggest sources of energy loss are and what changes could enhance your home’s performance the most. Call Tri-County Heating and Cooling today, and we’ll be happy to help!

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