Heating your home doesn’t come at a cheap price. If you fail to be careful, you might have to pay a hefty amount as an energy bill. Making sure that your furnace or heater is energy efficient is one of the best ways to lower energy bills. If the heater is not energy efficient, you are basically burning cash to stay warm.
But it is not easy to know when your heating system is working the best. To make sure that your furnace or heater is energy-efficient, you can follow these tips.
1. Check the Heater’s Age
A great way to evaluate your heater is to check its age. A home heater’s life expectancy is 15-20 years when properly cared for. But an old heating system can achieve only about 56-70% energy efficiency. But a new heating system is capable of going beyond that. In fact, it can also reach 98.5% energy efficiency.
The energy efficiency of any heating system drops due to wear and tear. A furnace or heater’s energy efficiency drops by 5% every day, based on how well it is maintained. So, the older the system gets, the less efficient it is going to become.
Thus, if the system is older than 15 years, there is a chance that it won’t be as efficient as before and you might have to replace the heating system.
So, make sure that you check the heater’s age. If saving money on the utility bill is important to you, think of getting a new heating system.
2. Know the AFUE Rating
The AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency is the ideal way to decide the efficiency of the heater. The AFUE is a percentage measuring the efficiency of the heater in converting fuel to energy. So, the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the system is.
For example, if the AFUE rating is 98%, it means 98% of the fuel is being used to heat your home and just 2% energy is being lost. Nevertheless, an older heating system might have an AFUE rating as low as 56%. Thus, it means 44% of the energy that is being generated from the fuel is being wasted.
To check the AFUE rating of your heater, you can take a look at the user manual present on the sticker present inside the heater cabinet. In case you fail to locate the rating through these options, you can get in touch with the manufacturer or search the model number on the internet.
If the heater has to be highly efficient, the AFUE rating needs to be 90% or higher. But if a heater has an 80% rating, then it is sufficiently efficient. It is pretty common in temperate climates. You need to make sure that your new heater’s AFUE rating is at least 78%.
3. Check the Energy Bills
Energy bills might fluctuate from one month to the other but that is common. The reasons behind this are living conditions, changing seasons, or an increase in energy cost.
But if you compare the amount of energy being used every month, you can compare if the heater is becoming less efficient. In case the energy bill is a little higher than the previous years, it is a sign that the heater is losing efficiency.
Keep a check on the energy bills. However, you shouldn’t forget that other factors might influence the energy bills. For instance, lack of maintenance and changing climate patterns play a significant role in influencing energy bills. So, track these shifts as it will help you make some smarter choices when it comes to heating your abode.
Tips to Improve Your Furnace’s Efficiency
If you think there has been a drop in the heating system’s efficiency, you can follow a few tips to increase its efficiency.
Change the Air Filter: HVAC systems depend on an air filter for keeping dirt, dust, and debris out of the system. As the air filters are capturing the dirt, they tend to get clogged, particularly during heavy usage. So, you should change the air filter at least every three months. This way you can ensure that the dirty air filters are not slowing down the heating system.
Scheduled Maintenance: To ensure that your heating system is efficient, schedule regular maintenance. Other than replacing the air filters, you should check if the ceiling, floor vents, or walls are unobstructed and open. It is crucial to ascertain that no items are blocking the air vent.
Adjust the Thermostat: The thermostat can make the heating system efficient. Just turning the thermostat back to 10 degrees when you are away from home or during the night, you can save 10% on the utility bill. It might be challenging to remember to adjust the thermostat but when you do, you can save a lot on your energy bills.
Replacing an Outdated Heater
In case the heating system is over 10 years old and it is making you pay massive utility bills. And, none of the above tips might help and so, you might have to replace it. A new heating system that meets national standards for energy efficiency will help in saving energy for years to come.
Other than saving on the energy cost, a new heating system will warm the home better. Hence, you will feel more comfortable. Due to wear and tear, an old heating system can break down more quickly. Sure, you can repair it but it is wiser to replace the system and save on the repair cost.
The three ways we have listed will help you determine if the heater or furnace you are using is still energy-efficient. You will just have to check its age, energy bills, and AFUE rating. In case you find that the heating system is energy efficient, you don’t have to worry about replacing it. But if it is old enough, it is better to replace it.