February 2nd is the day when the groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his winter hibernation to tell us whether colder weather will persist and extend the heating season, or if spring is on its way. Groundhog Day has been celebrated since 1886, but can you really use it to predict your winter heating needs?
The Correlation Between Groundhog Day and Home Heating
According to the Groundhog Day tradition, if furry Phil emerges from his winter burrow when the sun is shining and sees his shadow, he’ll head back inside for another six weeks of cold weather. If the skies are overcast, the chubby marmot won’t cast a shadow, so he’ll stay outside and we’ll get an early spring.
Whether or not you agree that a timid groundhog makes a believable meteorologist, a longer or shorter winter can affect your home comfort, HVAC equipment and heating costs in some predictable ways:
- Higher or lower energy bills. An extended heating season means you’ll spend more on gas or electricity to keep your home comfortably warm. If spring arrives early, the milder temperatures can help you save energy and money on your utility bills until the cooling season arrives.
- Preventive maintenance timing. If you neglected to schedule heating system maintenance last fall, doing so now is advisable to keep your equipment working reliably if Phil predicts a prolonged winter. You can have your air conditioner tuned up at the same time, so it’s ready to handle humid, warmer weather in case it arrives early this year.
- Indoor air quality concerns. Keeping your home closed up over the winter can trap pollutants and allergens inside that erode your air quality. Whether we’ll have a longer winter or early spring, you can use Groundhog Day as a reminder to look for ways to improve your air quality, like installing a whole-house filtration unit, or scheduling air duct cleaning.
To schedule preventive maintenance for your HVAC system, or to explore your options for improving the air quality in your Monmouth County home during the winter heating season, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).