It’s winter, and energy bills are increasing. Does your heater need to use as much energy as it does? Should you be looking for a more efficient heater that provides the same level of comfort for less energy and less money? Here are a few factors to tell if you have an efficient heater.
- Energy bills. If your bills are rising, even though the heater runs the same amount as always, it’s losing efficiency. There could be other factors at work as well, such as poor insulation, air or ductwork leaks, or a rise in utility rates, but high bills are a good place to start when looking at heater efficiency.
- AFUE. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating measures how much heat your system produces for the amount of energy it burns in a given year. The minimum AFUE rating for gas furnaces is 80, meaning 80% of the fuel is used for heat and 20% is given off as exhaust. However, they make models that are more than 98% efficient. If yours is rated in the low 80s or below, an upgrade can reduce your bills significantly.
- Age. AFUE measures the efficiency of your system when it was new, but the older it gets, the less efficient it becomes. You can improve efficiency with your annual maintenance visit, but over time, the unit will require more energy to heat your home than it did when you bought it. If your system is more than 15 years old, it’s probably losing efficiency, and you should consider a new one with a higher AFUE rating.
- Energy Star. The simplest way to see if you have an efficient heater is to look for the blue Energy Star logo. This indicates that it’s been measured against similar models and provides the same amount of comfort with the same basic features for less money and energy. Always look for the Energy Star logo when shopping for a new heater.
For help getting the most efficient heater, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We help Indianapolis-area homes lower their energy bills while maximizing comfort.