You probably don’t need us to tell you that heating your home can be an expensive business. Without the right HVAC system on your side, you could easily end up with a very hefty energy bill.
During the cold winter months, keeping an eye on how you use your heater can make a big difference in the bills you receive. However, you might still find yourself paying unexpectedly eye-watering sums.
This is probably because your heater isn’t as energy efficient as it could be.
Here are 3 straightforward ways to determine the efficiency of your heating system:
- Find out what your AFUE rating is.
AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. This rating will tell you how efficiently your heater turns fuel into energy. The rating is expressed as a percentage, and the higher the AFUE is, the better your system is!
Think about it: if your AFUE is 60%, that means 40% of the fuel that your heater is using is being wasted. That’s a significant loss! In contrast, a 96% rating tells us that the vast majority of the fuel consumed by your heater is being put to good use.
A high efficiency furnace is one with an AFUE rating of 90% or higher. Although old furnaces may have lower ratings, all new equipment should be rated at least 78%. In temperate climates, an 80% rating is generally deemed sufficient.
Wondering where you can find your AFUE rating? Check your heater’s user manual or look for a sticker in your furnace cabinet. If neither of these methods are successful, simply contact the manufacturer of your furnace or look online for your model.
- Check your heater’s age.
As mentioned before, newer heaters are manufactured to meet higher standards of efficiency. If you have a heater that is nearing the end of its lifespan, it usually makes more sense to invest in a replacement that will save you money long-term than to repair it.
Remember, a furnace usually lasts between 15-20 years. Even heaters that were built to be efficient will decline over time. In fact, heaters are estimated to lose around 5% of efficiency every year that they aren’t maintained.
To keep your furnace efficient, make sure it’s being properly and regularly serviced! The Beehive Heating and Air team is happy to guide you in these efforts.
- Audit your energy bills.
Of course, energy bills fluctuate. Outside influences such as the changing of the seasons or in your personal habits may be the cause of these inconsistencies, but increases in general energy costs are also often to blame.
It’s a good idea to stay vigilant when it comes to how much energy you’re using every month. After all, if you understand the patterns of your energy usage, you’ll be able to identify when your heater begins to lose its efficiency.
Tracking these variations will empower you to make smarter, more strategic decisions about your heating system. If you’d like to benefit from the input of the HVAC experts, be sure to contact Beehive Heating and Air.
We’ll help you make the most of your heater while reducing your overall energy costs.