How Do I Determine the Efficiency of my Furnace?
Today, homeowners are more concerned with energy efficiency than ever before. This is a positive development. For example, the furnace is one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home. Yet, it can account for over half of your energy bill during peak usage.
That is why it’s critical to understand whether your heating system efficiently converts fuel into heating power with minimal waste. Routine maintenance and furnace repair in Austin, TX, are the best ways to ensure efficiency.
What is AFUE (Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency)?
If you have any doubts about the efficiency of your unit, look at the model and serial number sticker. The efficiency is typically labeled as AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) on the sticker. This percentage represents the heat produced for every dollar spent on fuel. As a result, the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient it is and the lower your fuel costs.
For example, a furnace with a 95% AFUE converts 95% of gas into usable heat while wasting only about 5% of fuel due to leaks or inefficient burners. A unit with an AFUE of 90 or higher is considered high-efficiency. Of course, no system will be 100% efficient, but manufacturers can get pretty close. Furthermore, the most efficient models can save you hundreds of dollars annually.
Furnace Efficiency: Before Vs. After
Today’s furnaces are far more efficient than furnaces even 15 years ago. Most furnaces from the 1970s had an AFUE of around 65%. AFUE ratings rose to around 80% in the 1980s and 1990s. And today, the most efficient models have an industry-leading AFUE of up to 98.7%.
As of January 1, 2015, all furnaces manufactured in the United States must have an AFUE of at least 81%, and to earn an ENERGY STAR label, it must have an AFUE of at least 90%
This is to say that AFUE is meaningless if the unit is clogged, dirty, or malfunctioning. Your home’s heating and cooling system is complex system. A variety of things could go wrong and reduce efficiency. This is why routine maintenance by Blue Sky Heating and Air LLC’s professional HVAC technicians is critical.
You should have your furnace serviced once or twice a year. Remember that every year the system fails to receive a maintenance check and tune-up, it can lose up to 5% of its efficiency.
If you need an annual furnace repair in Austin, TX, contact Blue Sky Heating and Air LLC. We conduct HVAC maintenance and assist homeowners in determining how efficient their system is and where they can save money. In addition, we want to help you ensure that your unit meets the AFUE rating on the sticker.
If you have any questions about upgrading to a more efficient unit or want to schedule an appointment, you can text or call us at 512-222-6666.