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Published on
September 21st, 2023

Does Heating Cost More Than Cooling? What To Expect From Your Bills as Summer Ends and the Weather Cools

Reviewing energy bills throughout the year is often demoralizing for tenants and landlords. The costs may vary monthly, but you cannot deny that winter and summer create the most expense. Still, which season is responsible for the greater expense? Does heating cost more than cooling?

Generally, heating a property in New York City is more expensive than cooling it. While both activities are costly, heating a property often involves more work. Discover why heat is more expensive and how you might reduce costs this season.

Why Does Heating Cost More Than Cooling in New York City?

Temperature Disparity

Temperature disparity refers to the temperature difference between two points. Winter often represents a more significant disparity between outdoor and indoor temperatures in NYC than during summer.

The average winter temperature in NYC is 32 F. Property owners must keep buildings between 62 and 68 F during the heating season, which means a temperature disparity of roughly 30 F on average in winter.

The average summer daily high temperature in NYC is 76 F. Landlords are not required to provide air conditioning. However, the city does recommend property owners do what they can to ensure properties remain around 78 F. The disparity between average temps and cooling recommendations is only 2 F.

Because the temperature disparity is so much lower in the summer, cooling systems do not need to work as hard to maintain a livable or comfortable temperature as heating systems. That said, NYC does experience temperature fluctuations during the summer that may significantly increase cooling expenses.

Still, winter is often frigid in the city, resulting in boilers and heating systems working overtime to maintain mandated temperature settings. The level of increased expense depends on the type of system your property uses and its fuel source.

Fuel Source

Beyond temperature disparity, how does heating cost more than cooling? Central air conditioning in residential properties typically uses electricity, which, while costly, is not the most expensive fuel source. Heating systems use various fuel sources, such as natural gas, propane, oil, and electricity. The fuel type can contribute to the cost discrepancy between heating and cooling.

Natural gas is among the most affordable fuel types, but recently, New York became the first state to institute a natural gas ban. The law aims to curb the use of fossil fuels in the state, curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The ban focuses on new construction but is only one step toward a zero-emissions future.

Many prewar properties use oil-based furnaces, which are costly and complicated. With current legislative changes, building owners should begin looking into electric systems that comply with the future of urban planning in NYC.

Talk to a professional if you’re considering upgrading to an electric system. You can contact Bolt Electric to discuss your existing system and the feasibility of an electric upgrade.

How Do You Reduce Heating Costs in NYC?

Insulation and Sealant

Why does heating cost more than cooling is a question with a relatively straightforward answer. The more important question is how to reduce those costs as a property owner.

You have a legal obligation to maintain and provide heat. Thankfully, your property, when well-sealed and insulated, can help maintain temperatures without overworking the existing heating system.

On average, insulation can last upwards of 80 years. Many properties in NYC are over 100 years old. It might be time to assess the quality of insulation to determine if your building is suffering from cold spots and air leaks.

Leaks can also come from worn weather seals around doorways and windows. Also, ductwork seals can wear away or loosen over time. A properly sealed property is less susceptible to temperature fluctuations.

Ceiling Fans

While heating does cost more than cooling in NYC, a property owner can install ceiling fans to help tenants and staff manage interior temperatures. Most people assume ceiling fans are for cooling, but they can also help with heating.

Running a ceiling fan in reverse helps distribute hot air evenly through the room. Heat entering through a vent or radiator rises to the ceiling. The fan draws the heat toward it and forces it back down.

System Maintenance

Whether your property uses a boiler or electric furnace, the heating system needs regular maintenance. Ignoring maintenance schedules is a surefire way to increase heating costs during the colder seasons.

From filter replacements to belt inspections and straightforward cleaning, boilers, and furnaces require upkeep. A dirty air filter forces the heating system to work harder, resulting in inefficient operations and greater expenses.

Not all excessive heating expenses stem from the boiler room. Sometimes, inefficiencies exist in building elements, such as windows, doors, or floors.

Energy Audit

An energy audit is an assessment of a property’s energy efficiency. The audit aims to identify ways to reduce energy consumption and waste through behavioral changes or property upgrades. Bolt Electric can perform an energy audit of your property to locate air leaks and inefficient electrical systems or components and offer suggestions for system improvements.

Why Does Heating Cost More Than Cooling in Your Building?

Let Bolt Electric Perform an Energy Audit

Does heating cost more than cooling in NYC? Yes. You cannot get around the expense of heating in the city, especially with existing regulations. That said, you can find ways to improve or upgrade your building to ensure heating doesn’t cost more than it needs to. Contact Bolt Electric at 212-734-5000 to schedule an Energy Audit and discuss electric heating solutions.

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