Updated: Dec 14, 2022
Heating your home can get pretty expensive, especially in extreme weather conditions. If you aren’t paying attention to your expenses or properly taking care of your HVAC systems, you could be paying way more than you need to. Even if you are keeping up on maintenance, it still may not be enough to lower your monthly bills due to the age of your system. If your furnace is not energy efficient, your bills will increase. The more efficient your furnace, the lower your energy bills. Here are some ways that you can decipher whether or not your furnace is running at a reasonable efficiency level.
Know Your AFUE Rating:
An AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating is the best way to measure your systems efficiency. The higher this rating is, the more efficient your system is. For example, if your AFUE rating reads 98%, it means that 98% of the fuel is being used towards heat and 2% is getting lost. This is a good rating. Some ratings can be as low as 56%, typically on older systems. If your system is reading at a lower rating, you could be losing almost half of the energy your furnace is producing.
A high AFUE rating is going to be 90% or higher. If your system is running at 80%, this is sufficient and pretty common. Anything lower than 78% is considered a poor rating and new equipment should be considered in order to save money.
The average life expectancy of a heating and cooling system is about 15-20 years. With so many advancements in efficiency, even a 10 year old system could be due for an upgrade. Your system’s AFUE rating declines about 5% each year if it is not properly maintained. If you stay on top of maintaining your system, you have better chances of keeping your system to the 15 year mark, but it will inevitably decline with steady usage over time. If your system is older and you are noticing higher energy bills, you could simply need an upgrade.
Look Back On Your Energy Bills:
Lastly, you will want to compare your bills. If you are unsure about whether or not your system is running efficiently, see if there is a spike in costs. Of course, changes in weather and extreme weather conditions do not warrant concern. If you look at two months that went through similar weather conditions and there is a big difference between costs, this is a sign that your heater is not running efficiently.
Hopefully these tips helped you discover whether or not your heater is efficient. Need a repair or replacement? Call us today at 515-965-7272 or visit our website at 72degrees.com for more information.