Is your energy bill rising, leaving you scratching your head trying to find a possible cause? The culprit may be your furnace. Here are a few simple questions you can ask yourself that will help you determine whether or not you have an efficient furnace.
To measure the efficiency of your furnace, review the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This rating is found on the cabinet of the furnace or in the user manual. The number will be a percentage between 0 and 100, and it essentially measures the difference in the amount of heat delivered to your house compared to the amount of fuel that your furnace requires to function.
An AFUE rating of 90%, for example, would mean that over the course of the year your furnace converts 90% of the energy used into heat while losing 10% of the energy. Anything under 80% is a fairly low-efficiency rating while 90% and up is considered to be a “high-efficiency” system. A difference of 10% may not seem like much. However, that loss can make a big difference on your energy bill.
The AFUE rating is a good place to start, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. AFUE ratings assume that the unit is operating at full efficiency and unfortunately for many homeowners, that’s not the case. Wear and tear can quickly cause a drop in the efficiency of your furnace. On average a furnace can lose up to 5% of its efficiency per year without proper maintenance, meaning your highly efficient furnace could be functioning as a middle of the road unit this time next year.
An average furnace in a temperate climate can last anywhere from 18-20 years depending on how well-maintained it is, but using a furnace until the end of its lifespan isn’t always the most efficient way to go about things. At a certain point, the cost of maintaining an old furnace with reduced efficiency will begin to outpace the cost of upgrading to a newer model.
Even a well-maintained furnace will become inefficient over time, and that’s why it’s important to keep your furnace up to date. Year after year improvements result in heating systems producing higher AFUE ratings and lower energy bills.
Check out our post Warning Signs That it’s Time to Replace Your Heating System for a few tips on spotting a furnace that needs replacement.
When the time finally does come to replace that aging furnace of yours, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll almost certainly be saving enough on your energy bill to offset the cost of a new more efficient furnace.
Ball Building Services serves the Tampa Bay area as well as Central Florida to provide quality, affordable HVAC repair, and replacement services to both commercial and residential clients. We also offer financing options. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on repairing or replacing your furnace.