This isn’t the first time we’ve written a blog about heater efficiency. If you see us rattle on about efficiency every few posts, it means that this is an important topic we’d like you to know about! The truth is, we’re heavily concerned with homeowners in our area using their furnaces to the point where they’re wasting money every year on unnecessary fuel costs.
If you’re concerned that your furnace just isn’t doing its job, or if your heating bills are beginning to cause you stress, it isn’t your fault. There could be something seriously wrong with your heater, or the fact that it’s just not running as efficiently as it should be. That’s where we come in, your friendly neighborhood Wake Forest HVAC contractor!
So bear with us while we help you determine just how efficient your heater is.
The AFUE Rating on Your Furnace
The AFUE rating of your furnace will give you an initial ballpark guess of how efficient your system is. Furnaces are getting more and more efficient each year with each new model produced, so the AFUE rating is a good tool to gauge whether a new system upgrade could end up saving you a lot of money in fuel costs.
For anyone not familiar, the AFUE represents the percentage of your furnace’s energy it turns into heat, specifically BTUs (British thermal units, a measurement of heat). If your furnace can take 100 cubic feet of natural gas and turn it into 85 BTUs of heat, that means your furnace has an efficiency ratio, or AFUE rating, of 85%. Simple enough, right?
However, the AFUE rating of your furnace model isn’t everything. The efficiency of every type of furnace deteriorates over time due to age, use, and other compounding factors. There are a few clues that can signal your furnace’s deteriorating efficiency.
If you’re noticing that year after year your heating bill is beginning to really drain your budget, it could be a signal that your furnace is consuming way too much gas or energy to function properly. Furnaces are supposed to be incredibly efficient, so a high heating bill means your system is struggling when it shouldn’t be. Compare your heating bills to those that you’ve paid in years previous, or with your neighbor in the same area, to see just how much more expensive your heating system is running.
Do you remember the last time you scheduled maintenance on your furnace? If not then you might be running it way below the efficiency level it should be. Each year that a furnace misses a maintenance appointment with professional technicians, it will lose on average 5% of its efficiency. That could mean after four years of no maintenance, your heating bills run 20% more expensive than they should be.
Not only that, but maintenance helps keep repairs at bay. Problems sometimes get worse over time and can become expensive to fix if no technician addresses them in a time-sensitive manner. Address your heater problems head-on with routine maintenance today!
Looking to have your furnace upgraded or maintained for peak efficiency? Contact the pros at Raleigh Heating & Air today!