Heating your house during frigid winter days can be a costly endeavor. You must develop ways to regulate your heating needs to avoid paying huge bills that can interfere with your budget. A fundamental factor that surges energy bills in households is malfunctioning heaters that consume more energy than required.
Today, an overwhelming majority of homeowners are interested in energy efficiency, and that’s why they are doing energy audits and blower door testing to help identify the rate of energy consumption. This helps in determining where they can save money through improvements for a more energy-efficient home.
One of the significant energy-consuming devices in a house is its furnace. Suppose you are interested in saving a substantial amount of money and minimizing your energy use. In that case, it is imperative to understand that you have a furnace that successfully transforms its fuel source into heating power with a small amount of waste.
Today, there are major advancements in heating systems and more available HVAC information than before. Therefore, you can easily tell how efficient your furnace is working and whether you need to get a new one. Suppose you want to make sure your furnace is always energy efficient in San Diego. In that case, it is important to schedule regular maintenance for it from professionals like those at Friar's Heating and Air. Below are some of the ways to determine if your heater is energy efficient.
1. AFUE Rating
The acronym AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It is one of the best ways to determine the energy efficiency of your heater. It tells how well your furnace converts fuel source, natural gas, electricity, and propane, into energy.
The higher the AFUE percentage rate, the more efficient the heater is. For instance, if the AFUE is 90%, it shows that 90% of the fuel can be converted by your furnace into heat and waste only 10%. If you want to understand your rating, take your AFUE rating and deduct from it 100. What is left is the amount of money lost per one dollar spent. If you cannot comprehend the AFUE rating, ask a professional heat and air service provider in San Diego to help you figure it out.
Therefore, this is a practical translation of your system’s efficiency as minimal fuel is wasted. A highly efficient AFUE should have an AFUE of at least 90 percent. Some furnaces can even exceed 90% AFUE.
However, your heater’s efficiency rating may not mean much if the unit is faulty, has a clogged air filter, dirty ductwork, or is not getting regular professional maintenance every year. Whenever you skip servicing your furnace, you risk losing an average of 5% of its efficiency, which can ultimately surge the overall heating costs.
2. Age of the Furnace
Although AFUE rating is an excellent determinant of your heater’s energy efficiency, it is not the final determinant. This is because you cannot maintain your heater’s performance throughout its entire life span. A top-rated heater can last up to twenty years. However, the quality keeps diminishing each year by five percent. Maintenance can improve the overall performance of a heater, but it cannot extend the heater’s longevity. Therefore, it is imperative to replace your heater after a certain period to enhance its efficiency. Luckily, numerous cost-effective heaters use minimal energy. If your current heater is consuming too much energy, consider replacing it with a more efficient one.
Replacing your heater is crucial as it helps to save on heating costs. A new heater is more energy-efficient, thus allowing you to save on monthly and yearly energy costs. Also, you minimize regular breakdowns by replacing an outdated heater. This is because old heaters are more vulnerable to wear and tear, thus breaking down all the time. Although you can repair the furnace, replacing the entire system is highly recommendable to avoid the recurrence of breakdowns.
3. Change in Energy Bills
Although numerous factors may lead to changes in bills besides your furnace, drastic change in your energy bills can indicate an issue with your heaters. Begin by counterchecking your previous bills. If you realize a sudden and unexplained surge in energy bills, you could ascribe that to the degradation of your furnace.
4. Take an Airtight Test
Whether your home is properly maintained or not, even the high-rated AFUE will find problems due to poor insulation or cracks in windows and doors. There is a widespread problem, especially in older homes. Getting possible drafts on areas surrounding the windows, doors, and fireplaces is what is referred to as an airtight test. This can assist in identifying if the issue has less to do with your heater and more to do with how your home is constructed.
One of the simplest ways to examine your home’s airtightness is through the use of license sticks. The process entails lighting an incense stick and holding them closer to locations that could potentially be causing a draft, such as electrical outlets, door frames, windows, chimneys, or even floor hatches.
Air leaks will make the tips of the sticks glow, and the smoke will disperse. From there, you will understand what kind of drafts can be solved, sealing gaps and joints, blocking vents, replacing windows, or fixing better insulation which could greatly add value to your heating system.
Solution to Enhance your Heater’s Energy Efficiency
If you identify that your heater is not energy efficient, several things can be done to remedy the issue.
Frequent Replacing HVAC Filters
One of the most critical rules of HVAC maintenance is the regular replacement of HVAC filters. This is because clogged filters can hinder free air circulation, causing the filter to overwork in order to warm the home.
Proper Home Insulation
Home insulation helps to conserve the heat inside the home regardless of the outside temperatures. This makes it simpler to warm the surroundings at the ideal temperature.
Plan Annual Inspections
It is important to have an annual inspection to ensure that the heating system is perfectly maintained and that its efficiency is not compromised. You can contact Friar's Heating and Air to carry out these inspections. Also, they will help you fix any underlying problem in the heating system.
Having a programmable thermostat is critical as it automatically helps the heater adjust depending on the home’s heating needs. One significant advantage of a programmable thermostat is that it only functions when required, and when it runs, the system will only take up enough fuel to cater to your needs.
You have no reason to use a heater that is not energy efficient based on being unable to determine its energy efficiency. This is because there are practical ways by which you can tell if your heater is still energy efficient. You need to check its age, do an AFUE rating, monitor the energy bills, and take an airtight test. However, if your heating system does not have any challenges and is energy-efficient, you don’t need to replace it.
All you can do is contact a professional HVAC contractor to inspect and repair anything that can help it surge its efficiency. Do you want your heating system inspected, repaired, or even replaced? Contact Friar's Heating and Air, and we will offer top-rated heating and cooling services in San Diego, CA. We also do other services such as ductless mini-split installation and replacement and heating repair and installation. Call us now, and we will be delighted to serve.