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How to Save on Heating Bills While Working from Home
The COVID-19 pandemic forced offices all around the world to close up for the foreseeable future, and employees suddenly adjusted to working from home, which has clear advantages and drawbacks. Over the last several months, many people have seen their work-related expenses decrease.
For example, people have not had to spend money on their commute, whether in the form of public transportation or gas. Some have also saved money on their wardrobe, as they have not needed to purchase new business formal clothes for remote work. However, some costs, such as your home’s electric bill and heating costs, may have increased over the last several months. Fortunately, there are ways to decrease your home’s heating bills while working from home. Read below to learn more!
How Working from Home Impacts Your Heating Bills
Working from home has been shown to increase your home’s energy consumption, which leads to higher utility costs. When you are working outside of your home, whether in an office, coffee shop, or another establishment, your home does need to consume much electricity. Certain appliances such as the refrigerator will remain running in “standby” mode but lights, your HVAC system, television, and other appliances are not needed. It is inefficient and wasteful to heat or cool an empty home, so many opt to turn their HVAC system down or off entirely while they are gone during the day.
Now your home’s electric bills are higher because appliances such as your computer and lights are used more throughout the day. When working from home, your HVAC system needs to be running as normal to create a comfortable work environment. Working in a room that suffers from temperature imbalances or inconsistencies leads to decreased focus and productivity because your body becomes fixated on warming or cooling itself up, which distracts from the work task at hand.
Non-HVAC Related Ways to Lower Heating Bills
While your home’s HVAC system plays a significant role in your heating bill, it is not the only factor. There are many other ways to lower your heating bills and energy consumption while working from home. One of the easiest ways is to bundle up! Throw on a sweatshirt, fleece, or jacket or get under a blanket while working so you can turn the heat down. Portable space heaters are another way to heat your remote work area. They can be especially advantageous in warming small areas and, while they still require electricity, they do not consume as much as your whole-home heating system.
Your work space can also utilize lighting to help lower heating bills. Allow as much natural light into your work-from-home space as possible. Sunlight offers clear mental and physical health benefits, such as boosted immune system strength, decreased anxiety and stress, and increased concentration. The natural light exposure helps boost your mood and counteracts Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a seasonal depression that is often associated with the dark and cold of winter.
Certain artificial light sources such as LED light bulbs provide similar positive and warming effects of natural light. LED light bulbs create a healthier environment by reducing or eliminating UV ray emissions, which helps eliminate headaches and helps counteract the adverse effects of staring at a computer screen throughout the workday. They are also very durable and highly energy-efficient, as their long life span and decreased energy consumption lead to lower energy costs.
Ductless Mini Splits
If you will be working from home this winter, you should consider upgrading your air conditioner by installing a ductless mini split system. These popular HVAC systems can help create the perfect indoor environment while you work and help homeowners save money! Ductless mini split systems feature an outdoor compressor connected by copper wires and pipes to one or more indoor air conditioners. They can heat and cool your home regardless of the outdoor temperature, making them a viable option all year round.
To cool your home, the system blows warm air over cold evaporator coils within the indoor unit. The exposure to the refrigerant absorbs the heat, which is sent to the drainpipe outside, and the resulting cold air is dispersed throughout the indoor area. Reversing the refrigerant flow brings warm air into your home rather than sending it outside, which heats the indoor area. Ductless mini splits are available in single and multi-zone systems. A single-zone system features one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit, while multi-zone systems consist of an outdoor unit connected to multiple indoor units.
To meet the space and design needs of different rooms, indoor units are available in different styles, such as wall mounted, slim duct, and ceiling cassette unit. Air conditioners in a multi-zone system can be adjusted independently of each other, meaning you can adjust temperature and other settings on one without impacting the others. This creates different indoor climates throughout your home to meet different temperature wants and needs. A single-zone system is ideal for those looking to heat only one area in their home, such as a home office, while a multi-zone system could heat the home work space and other areas throughout the house. Regardless of your heating and cooling needs, ComfortUp has the perfect mini split system for you!Shop Our Ductless Heating & Cooling Systems
HVAC System Cost
Ductless mini split units may have higher initial price points than HVAC alternatives such as window air conditioners and central units, but this higher initial price is offset by their simplified installation process and high operating efficiency. Mini split systems do not require the extensive ductwork of central HVAC systems, which can be very costly, intrusive, and time consuming to install.
Mini split installation should be completed by a professional HVAC technician and can cost as low as $200 in some instances. Professional installation ensures that your system functions efficiently and properly while guaranteeing a valid product warranty. This lack of ductwork also simplifies their maintenance process. Cleaning ductwork is a time-consuming process required annually or semiannually, depending on the system’s usage. Fortunately, mini split maintenance is much easier! Deep cleanings are still required annually or semiannually to keep your system operating efficiently but they are not nearly as complicated, which saves time and money.
Efficiency is, arguably, the most appealing advantage of installing a ductless mini split system in your home. Roughly 30% of air produced by central HVAC systems is wasted due to ductwork leaks, which leads to higher energy costs. Fortunately, ductless mini split systems eliminate this waste! Their high operating efficiency leads to significantly lower energy bills in both the short and long term, which helps to offset any potential higher unit costs.
There are several ways to pay for your mini split system, and some can help save you money in the short term. Some prefer to pay for the entire system upfront, using cash or a debit card, but you can also use a credit card, which can be paid off incrementally. You can even finance your mini split system, which also allows you to spread payments out over time. Be sure to consider your financial situation and flexibility, credit score, interest rates, and other factors when deciding how to pay. If you’re unsure of your best payment option, ComfortUp can help find the best payment plan for you!
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Improved indoor air quality is another benefit of a mini split in your home. As mini splits heat and cool an indoor area, they are simultaneously creating a healthier and safer indoor environment by removing any harmful airborne materials. Each indoor unit has a filter inside that removes dust, dirt, debris, dander, bacteria, and more while also removing airborne moisture to deter mold and mildew growth.
This healthy indoor environment helps keep you more focused and productive throughout the workday. Poor indoor air quality can cause stress, anxiety, headaches, respiratory irritation, and other problems that inhibit your productivity. With a mini split in your home office, you’ll feel great and energized while working! In addition to keeping you safe and comfortable, these air filtration capabilities can help you save money. With a mini split in your home, you do not have to purchase a separate air filter, dehumidifier, or purifier.
Mini split filters require periodic maintenance, which involves removing and wiping them clean with a dry cloth or fabric. They will also need to be replaced annually or semiannually, depending on the filter and your system’s usage. A dirty or clogged filter causes your system to function inefficiently. Fortunately, regular filter maintenance and replacement helps keep your system operating at or near peak efficiency, which directly contributes to lower energy bills.
Mini splits provide homeowners advanced control over their indoor climate. Smartphone applications, sensors, and Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to adjust airflow, humidity levels, and other settings in addition to temperature. You can also program your system to operate in cycles, which can help lower your heating bill this winter. These “temperature cycles” increase and decrease noise, power, airflow, or other settings in timed intervals. The settings and intervals can be customized by the homeowner, but there also may be pre-programmed default intervals already available on your mini split system.
These temperature cycles can be very advantageous for those working from home this winter. Increasing and decreasing your system’s operating settings as needed actually raises its efficiency. The mini split only operates at a high setting when it needs to, which eliminates or significantly decreases the amount of wasted heat produced, resulting in lower heating costs. For example, you could program the mini split in your home office to operate at a higher level during the day when you are working, and then it could decrease power or turn off entirely in the evening or at night when the room is not being used.
You can also program your system to decrease the noise level. Mini splits are already loved for their nearly silent operation, but this creates an even quieter environment, which can be helpful if you need to talk on the phone or during video calls. All of these settings can also be adjusted manually, which is beneficial for those who do not work the same hours every day.
Carbontec Radiant Heating
Installing radiant heating in your home is another way to reduce heating bills. Our Carbontec radiant heating systems are thin cloths installed under walls, floors, or ceilings. They use infrared heating to warm objects in the room. This heat is then transferred to the room’s occupants, whose temperatures and thermal comfort levels are adjusted accordingly. Carbontec provides many clear benefits for homeowners. For example, it helps create a healthier indoor environment by removing moisture, dust, and other harmful bacteria from the area. It is .21 millimeters thin and installed under the floors, walls, or ceiling, so it does not take up any space in the room!
Radiant heating systems can serve as the room’s primary or supplementary heat source, meaning they can warm the area by themselves or heat a room with an already installed HVAC system. Installing radiant heating in a room with an air conditioner can help reduce stress on your HVAC system, which lowers your energy bills. Carbontec is also highly efficient, as it does not consume much electricity during operation and only requires 20-25% space coverage in the room. Coupled with an installation cost of $10-$20 per square foot, Carbontec is financially beneficial for homeowners and leads to lower energy bills.
All in all, ductless mini splits and radiant heating can help reduce your heating bills while working from home this winter, due to heightened efficiency and advanced climate control while also creating a healthier and more productive indoor work environment. In addition to Carbontec, ComfortUp proudly sells mini split systems and accessories from the industry’s most trusted brands, such as GREE, Panasonic, LG, Boreal, Mitsubishi, and more.
For any heating and cooling questions or comments, give us a call at 1-855-337-0001 or contact us online today! We have a team of knowledgeable product specialists ready to answer any questions and help you find the best system that meets your specific needs!
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