Sudden Shift: Fall Heating and Cooling

Sudden Shift: Fall Heating and Cooling

Our fall seasons are staying warmer for longer. While this might seem pleasant for our favorite outdoor fall activities, this has impacts on the planet and our wallet. 

Since 1970, the number of heating degree days has dropped significantly in South Bend. A heating degree day is a measure of heating demand, based on the temperature outdoors. As the climate warms, your heating bill may decrease. 

In contrast, the number of cooling degree days is expected to increase, which means we will be putting our air conditioning units to good use through the fall season. 

Legacy Heating and Air in Elkhart has been in the HVAC business since 1945. 

“One thing we definitely notice is the demand for higher efficiency furnace and air conditioners,” explains Dave Thomas, a project manager at Legacy. “Temperatures are tending to get warmer sooner and stay warmer a little big longer.” 

The trend to pick higher efficiency air conditioning units are better for the planet and for your wallet. 

In the past, it has been suggested to raise your thermostat by two degrees while using air conditioning. Thomas says this suggestion to save money won’t really cut it, anymore. 

“It’s controversial. I mean, some people swear that it works, some people don’t,” he said. 

Switching to a higher efficiency unit may be more of an upfront cost, however, this adaptation will prepare your home for our warming temperatures each season. 

Thomas explained that while there may be some sticker shock with the price of these higher efficient units initially, there are some ways to help. 

“They are becoming more of a demand by people,” Thomas shared. “They’re looking at their carbon footprint.” 

As more people purchase the higher efficiency units, the prices may begin to drop. 

“The government is also helping to offset that by offering a tax credit to customers,” Thomas said. “You can get a $600 tax cred back on your taxes.” 

Once you get this unit, it will last you a long while. 

“As long as you maintain your system, you can expect to get 16 to 20 years out of it,” Thomas mentioned. 

While there’s no reason to run out today to switch to this high efficiency unit, the next time that your unit is ready to be replaced, the switch to this unit will leave you better prepared to handle our changing climate. 

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