Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On cold temperatures and gusty winds!

Can cold temperatures outside when combined with gusty winds rack up winter heating costs? That was the question that crossed my mind as I checked my power use for what turned out to be a very cold Christmas Day in December. ‘Why’, I wondered, ‘would windy conditions cause such a large heating surge especially when all the other factors were equal’? What came to mind was a very similar day earlier on the month, December 10, yet that day used 48.9 kWh while the 25th managed to chew through 71.1 kWh. which also represented a 32% increase in heating costs!! Following are the side by side by side stats for both days;

Click on to enlarge
You'll notice that the mean or average temperature for the 10th was 28.3F, while that of the 25th was 29.1F. So, Christmas Day was actually a tad warmer. Likewise the sky conditions, dew points and relative humidity figures were also very similar. Also, when I looked at furnace settings, appliances and electronics used; both days were about average. So, it was apparent to me that the only real difference in the two days was the wind! In fact, December the 10th was much less windy than the 25th! So, I felt this so-called 'wind effect' deserves a bit more research. I'll plan on doing a followup post later this winter season.