Is your Western New York Heater Energy Efficient?
Winter is Heating up
The cold weather is upon us in Western New York and its here to stay for a couple of months. There is nothing quite like snuggling up inside your comfy home. You probably have the heat turned up and are nice and warm. You likely are not thinking about how much that heat is impacting your pocketbook, but maybe you should be. The more efficient your furnace is, the less money you’ll spend heating your Western New York and Erie County home. Is your heater energy efficient?
An efficient heater is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option (Energy.gov). There are several things you can do to decrease your energy bills in Hamburg, New York and Erie County during the winter months, such as: installing weather stripping to prevent drafts in your home, turning your thermostat down and wearing warmer clothing, and keeping your curtains ajar to let sunlight warm your house. While all those things are effective, having a heater that is energy efficient is the most practical and most important thing you can do to keep your heating costs down.
Below are some tips and items you can look at to determine the efficiency of your heating system.
Energy Bill Review
Review your energy bill. Too often we find that our customers simply just pay their bill without reviewing it and that could cost you. Your heating bill is going to change a bit from month to month, unlike bills you have that have a set payment amount. If you see severe increases in your heating cost from one year to the next, it could be a sign that your heater might not be as efficient as you’d like.
When you look at your bill, think about any external factors that could be leading to the raised bill: lack of reoccurring maintenance by a HVAC company such as Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC, a change in weather patterns, or the need for home improvements such as new windows or insulation. Noticing these changes can help you make better decisions about heating your New York home efficiently.
Understand Your Furnace’s AFUE Rating
Do you know your furnace’s AFUE rating? AFUE stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency”. This is a measurement of how well your furnace uses fuel to heat your household. The higher the rating, the more efficient your heating unit. The AFUE differs from the true ‘thermal efficiency’ in that it is not a steady-state, peak measure of conversion efficiency, but instead attempts to represent the true, season-long, average efficiency of that piece of equipment, including the operating transients.
Simply put; if you have a furnace with an 80 percent AFUE rating, you’re losing 20 cents of every dollar of your heating bill, or $20 for every $100 you spend.
The above is just an example. Your furnace probably has an AFUE rating of 78 percent or higher, unless you have an old furnace. In 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy established new manufacturing standards for furnaces, requiring them to be at least 78 percent efficient. That number rose to 80 percent in 2013, and most modern high-quality units hit 98 percent efficiency (Energy.gov).
You can find most heater’s AFUE ratings in your heater’s user manual or by checking the sticker inside the furnace cabinet. You can also contact the manufacturer or search the furnace’s make and model online.
Know the Age of Your Furnace
The age of your furnace is an easy way to understand its energy efficiency. The average heater has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Furnace efficiency can fall by about five percent each year without proper maintenance. And even if you’ve had consistent visits from your local HVAC repair company in Hamburg, New York and Erie County, the components in your heating system will eventually start to degrade due to time and use.
As stated before, if your heater is older than 1992, your AFUE is likely lower than 78 percent and that directly impacts if it’s energy efficient or not.
We know a thing or two about chilly temperatures in New York and with the cold weather blowing outside, are you doing everything you can to keep your home warm, while saving money, this winter? Is your heater energy efficient?
At Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC we will handle all your heating needs. We can help you determine if your furnace is energy efficient or if it is time for a new one. Our heating experts will make sure we install a system that keeps you warm and cozy without you needing to spend extra money on your monthly energy bill. We are located in Hamburg, New York so we understand the need to stay snug throughout the winter months.
If you already have an energy efficient heater, maintaining it is just as important. Our professionals at Duffett Plumbing Heating & AC can examine your system and make sure it’s functioning properly and efficiently. Contact us today for all your heating and cooling needs.
Great customer service is the cornerstone of how we run our business. Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC is your locally trusted home services team. We’re proud to provide the very best in heating and air conditioning in Hamburg, New York and Erie County. We’re also your full-service plumbing team. We’re available 24/7.