The weather is getting chilly, and your home is getting warm. Your heating system is keeping your home comfortable and cozy, so you see no reason to change anything. That is, until someone asks you about the efficiency of your system. You have no idea how to answer that question. It may be efficient, or it may use up extra energy that it doesn't need to.
The less energy efficient your heater is, the more you'll pay. On top of that, low energy-efficient furnaces and boilers aren't doing anything to help the environment. If you're not sure whether your heater is working efficiently or not, take a look at some of the top signs that you need an upgrade.
High Energy Bills
How high are your cold-weather energy bills? There are several factors that go into your energy bills. Noticing an increase on its own may not be enough to tell you that your heater isn't energy efficient. The average annual cost of a home energy bill runs most homeowners over $2,200, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Half of that amount typically goes to home heating and cooling costs.
If your bills are suddenly spiking, then you may have a problem going on. Before assuming that an increase in your gas or electric bill is a direct result of your furnace not functioning, check to make sure that it isn't a local or national increase — utility companies sometimes have to raise their costs. If this isn't the case, your furnace's energy efficiency may be suffering.
The AFUE Number
What's an AFUE? AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. All new furnaces and boilers must include an AFUE number. This can help you to understand and compare different energy efficiencies. The higher the AFUE, the more energy in the fuel that the furnace or boiler turns into heat.
Low-efficiency heating systems have an AFUE between 56 and 70 percent. Compare this to newer high-efficiency systems, with an AFUE between 90 and 98.5 percent. If your furnace has a low number, upgrading to one that's more energy efficient can save you on heating costs now and in the long run.
If your furnace or boiler is more than a decade old, you won't see the efficiency that you would in a newer model. When combined with other factors, such as the repeated need for maintenance or inadequate heating, your heating system's age may signal that it's time for a replacement.
Your living room is warm and toasty, but the bedrooms are freezing. When your home isn't heating evenly, your furnace may not be working efficiently. Keep in mind, most homes will have some variation due to the positioning of the rooms. A second-floor room that gets full sun all day long may feel warmer than a basement that gets no sun at all.
You turn up the thermostat, the heater kicks on and it stays on. That is, it stays on for an unreasonably long time. If your home isn't heating at all, the furnace or boiler has a problem. If it's still heating your home, you might not think twice about it.
When the heat that's coming out of the HVAC system isn't doing much to warm your house or it has to constantly run just to make the rooms somewhat warm, then you don't have an energy-efficient heater.
A constantly running heater is using more energy than one that works properly. This will raise your home heating bills and likely signals that you're ready for a replacement. An HVAC professional can evaluate your heater for issues and offer you a repair or replace option.Do you need an energy-efficient heater? AC Heating and Cooling Service Inc. can help.