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How Can I Tell How Efficient My Furnace Is?

Homeowners are more interested in energy efficiency today than ever before. Energy audits and blower door testing are now regular procedures to help homeowners find out where they can save money through improvements for a more energy-efficient home.

One of the major energy-consuming appliances in a house is its furnace. If you are concerned about saving money and lowering your energy use, it is important to know that you have a furnace that efficiently converts its fuel source into heating power with a minimal amount of waste. One of the best ways to ensure that your furnace in Raleigh, NC stays as energy efficient as possible is to schedule routine maintenance for it from professionals like those at Raleigh Heating & Air. Maintenance and energy efficiency are our specialties, so count on us to help you save money while keeping your home cozy throughout the winter.

The AFUE Rating on Your Furnace

There is a simple way to find out the energy efficiency of your home’s furnace: look at its AFUE rating. This number, which is found on the cabinet or in the user manual, is the “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” measurement, and it tells you how well the furnace works at converting its fuel source (natural gas, electricity, propane) into heating power.

AFUE is a percentage that represents how much of the furnace’s energy source it converts into BTUs of heat. If a gas furnace on average turns 100 units of natural gas into 85 BTUs (as measured over a full year), then its AFUE rating is 85%. Currently, all furnaces produced in the U.S. must have an AFUE of 78% or greater; as of January 1, 2015, this minimum will rise to 81%. For a furnace to earn the ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Department of Energy, it must have an AFUE of at least 90%. Some high-efficiency furnaces can score even higher than this.

You need to understand that a furnace’s efficiency rating will not mean much if the unit is malfunctioning, has a clogged air filter, dirty ductwork, or is not receiving professional furnace maintenance every year. Each year that a furnace misses its maintenance appointment from heating technicians, it will lose on average 5% of its efficiency, and that can mean steep increases in heating costs.

To make sure that your home’s furnace lives up to its AFUE rating, call on the heating and energy efficiency specialists at Raleigh Heating & Air. We offer maintenance, as well as duct cleaning, that will help keep your furnace in Raleigh, NC working in top shape and saving you money every year. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

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