During cold days, your home’s heating system plays an important role in improving your indoor comfort levels. By keeping your house warm, your heater not only protects you and your loved ones from cold-related illnesses but also prevents winter-related plumbing issues such as frozen pipes. The right heating system should be energy efficient, quiet during operation, and durable. For instance, an energy efficient heater provides benefits such as cutting your energy costs, distributing heat more effectively, and reducing your maintenance expenses. Below are three ways to tell if your heater is efficient, as well as tips on how to improve the efficiency of your heating system.
How to Tell If Your Heater Is Energy-Efficient
When purchasing a heating system, you first need to determine the square footage of your home. This way, you will be able to choose a heater that will provide the right heating capacity for your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), older heating systems typically achieve about 56% to 70% energy efficiency, whereas modern systems can achieve up to 98.5% efficiency, It is worth noting that depending on the maintenance level, the efficiency of a heating system can reduce by up to 5% per year.
Here are three factors that you can use to determine whether your heating system is energy efficient or not.
Heating System Age
The lifespan for typical residential heaters ranges anywhere from 15 to 20 years. While proper maintenance can help keep a heating system efficient for many years, the efficiency will definitely start reducing at some point due to wear and tear. It is worth noting that the age of your heater can give you a clue on its efficiency, such that, an older system will be less efficient, and vice versa.
If you still can’t figure out if your heater is energy-efficient despite knowing its age, a certified HVAC contractor can help you with that.
Your energy bills can fluctuate from one season to another depending on the heating requirements. Even so, the cumulative energy costs for the year should not differ much from your previous year’s expenses, unless the cost of energy per unit increased over the year. All other factors remaining constant, compare your energy bills from the same time last year and determine if there’s any unexplained surge in your heating costs.
If your energy bills have gone up, it could be an indication of reduced efficiency in your heating system. More specifically, to heat a given space adequately, a low-efficiency heater would need to work harder and longer. In turn, it would consume more energy, causing your energy costs to increase.
Abbreviated as AFUE, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio refers to the rating assigned to a heater to indicate its efficiency. Specifically, you can determine the AFUE rating by dividing the quantity of heat output by the quantity of heat input, in this case, the amount of fuel consumed. For instance, a 95% AFUE rating means that the heater can convert 95% of the fuel to heat and dissipate the remaining 5% through the vent.
Usually, most manufacturers indicate the AFUE rating on the labels of heating systems. This means that you can tell the efficiency of your heater by just checking the label if any. In case you can’t find the label, check for the model or the serial number of the heater and use the information to search for the AFUE rating from the manufacturer’s website. By looking at the AFUE rating, you can tell whether your heater is energy efficient or not.
How To Improve Your Heating System’s Efficiency
A low-efficiency heating system can jeopardize your comfort on colder days, increase your energy bills, and break down more frequently. Depending on the type of fuel you’re using, a less efficient heater can also increase the carbon footprint in the atmosphere. With this in mind, use these tips to improve your heating system’s efficiency.
- Clean and Change HVAC Filters Regularly: Your furnace is likely to work extra hard to pull air through a clogged HVAC filter, and hence, always clean your filters regularly and change them when needed.
- Insulate Your House: By insulating your house, you’ll retain much of the heat in the house and lower the burden on your heating system.
- Schedule Annual Inspections: Regular heater maintenance can help increase efficiency in a heating system. That said, ensure a qualified HVAC contractor conducts regular inspections to fix issues in the heater and increase efficiency.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat self-adjusts depending on the heating requirements. It only runs when needed and even then, the furnace only consumes the amount of fuel corresponding to the heating needs.
Why You Should Replace an Outdated Heater
It reaches a time when regular maintenance doesn’t help much in terms of improving heater efficiency. When such a time comes, consider a heater replacement to enjoy the following benefits:
- Indoor Comfort: A new heater has high efficiency and is more likely to heat your home adequately. During colder days, you need adequate heating for enhanced comfort, something that an outdated heater may fail to provide.
- Avoid Regular Breakdowns: Old heaters tend to break down more frequently due to wear and tear. By replacing your heater, you’ll avoid more frequent breakdowns and save on your repair costs.
- Save on Heating Costs: High efficiency typically translates to lower energy bills, something that is largely guaranteed in new heaters.
You can tell whether or not your heating system is energy efficient by checking its age, AFUE rating, and examining your energy bills. If your system is energy inefficient, you should get a professional HVAC contractor to inspect it and perform any maintenance work necessary to make it energy efficient. In some cases, old and outdated heaters may require a replacement.
Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
McAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, energy audits, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.
Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with a highly energy-efficient HVAC replacement system that fits your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.