Your home’s heating system is crucial in enhancing indoor comfort during the cold season. Your heater keeps your house warm and, in turn, protects you and your family from any cold-related illnesses. At the same time, it also keeps winter-related plumbing problems, like frozen pipes, at bay. The right heating system is energy-efficient, durable, and has a quiet operation. For example, an energy-efficient system offers many advantages, including lower energy costs, more effective heat distribution, and reduced maintenance expenses. Listed below are three ways to determine if you have an energy efficient heater. This article also includes tips on how to improve your heating system’s efficiency.
How to Tell If Your Heater Is Energy-Efficient
When buying a heater, you will need to determine your home’s square footage. This will help you choose the heater with the correct heating capacity for your home. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states that older heating systems reach only around 56% to 70% energy efficiency. On the other hand, modern heaters can have an efficiency level of up to 98.5%.
Note that the heating system’s efficiency can go down to up to 5% per year, depending on the maintenance level. The following are three factors that can be used to determine if you have an energy-efficient heating system or not:
Heating System’s Age
A typical residential heating system has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Proper maintenance can help keep your heater efficient for a long time. However, its efficiency level will start to deteriorate at one point because of wear and tear. Your heating system’s age can also hint at its efficiency as older systems tend to be less efficient, and vice versa. A certified HVAC technician can help you if you can’t figure out whether you have an energy-efficient heater or not despite knowing its age.
A home’s energy bills typically fluctuate from one season to the next, depending on your heating needs. Still, the increase in the year’s energy costs shouldn’t differ much from last year’s expenses unless there is a spike in the price of energy per unit over the year. With other factors remaining the same, compare energy bills from the same time last year to find out if there are any unexplained surges.
If there is an increase in your energy bills, it could signify reduced energy efficiency in your heater. More specifically, a low-efficiency heating system needs to work harder and longer to provide adequate heat to a given space. This results in more energy consumption and higher energy costs.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio, or AFUE, is the heater’s efficiency rating. You can get a heating system’s AFUE rating by dividing the heat output quantity by the heat input quantity, which is the amount of fuel used. For example, an AFUE rating of 95% means the system can convert 95% of the fuel to heat while the remaining 5% dissipates through the vent.
Most manufacturers typically have the AFUE rating on the heating systems’ labels. Therefore, you can tell how efficient your heater is by checking the label. If you can’t find the label, determine the heater’s model or serial number and use this information to look up the AFUE rating from the website of the manufacturer. Looking at the AFUE rating can tell you whether you have an energy-efficient heater or not.
How To Improve Your Heating System’s Efficiency
A heating system with a low-efficiency level can negatively impact your comfort on cold days, increase your energy costs, and result in more frequent heater breakdowns. A less efficient heating system can also spike up your carbon footprint, depending on the fuel you use. With this in mind, you can improve your heater’s efficiency using these tips:
- Clean and Change HVAC Filters Regularly: A furnace is likely to work harder to pull air through a dirty HVAC filter. Therefore, depending on the type of system you have, remember to clean your filters regularly or change them when necessary.
- Insulate Your House: Insulating your house allows you to retain heat. Therefore, there is less burden on your heater.
- Schedule Inspections Once A Year: Regular heater tune-ups can enhance a heating system’s efficiency. Call a qualified professional to conduct the inspections and repairs to increase the heater’s efficiency. Do this annually.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the system per the home’s heating needs. It only operates when needed, and even then, the system only utilizes the required amount of fuel per your home’s requirements.
Why You Should Replace an Outdated Heater
There will come a time when regular HVAC maintenance doesn’t help much to increase heater efficiency. When it happens, a heating system replacement will be more economical. You also get to enjoy these advantages:
- Indoor Comfort: A new heater is highly efficient and can likely provide adequate heating to your home. The cold season means you need sufficient heating to have enhanced comfort, something an old heater might not give you.
- Avoid Regular Breakdowns: Old heating systems are more likely to break down more often because of wear and tear. Replacing your heater means you avoid these frequent breakdowns and save on repair costs.
- Save on Heating Costs: High efficiency means you’ll have reduced energy costs. This is primarily guaranteed when you have a new heater.
You can determine your heating system’s efficiency with its AFUE rating, age, and examining your energy bills. If you have an energy-efficient system, have an HVAC expert inspect and maintain it to ensure that its efficiency level remains high. However, in cases where you have an old and outdated heater, it is best to replace it instead.
Call Tevis Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
Tevis Energy provides high-quality HVAC services in central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. We employ only the best professionally certified technicians for all your excellent heating and cooling service needs, including boiler tune-ups, AC repairs, furnace installations, and more. All our friendly techs are experienced and knowledgeable to ensure accurate HVAC services at all times.
Our company has highly affordable heating and cooling service rates in the area. Our maintenance services can enhance your comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality while reducing your energy expenses. When you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the best solutions within your needs and budget. All our work comes with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Schedule a service appointment by calling Tevis Energy today. We offer free, in-home estimates.