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3 Ways to tell if your furnace is Energy Efficient

Since Natural Gas and Electricity are both pegged to see increased rates next year it makes sense to know where you stand with the Efficiency of your Heating system. There are many ways to keep your Home Energy Bills down this winter.

Smart thermostats, insulation, weather stripping and opening drapes to let in sunlight are all steps that will help with reducing utility consumption. But the major factor that will determine your overall comfort and associated costs comes down to the Efficiency of your Home Comfort System.

The more efficient your furnace is, the less money you’ll spend heating your home. Here are 3 things you can look at to determine the efficiency of your heating system.

1. Your energy bill

Unlike your car payment, your heating bills are going to fluctuate a bit from month to month. But if you see sharp spikes 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.

Think about any related factors that could be leading to a higher bill:

- Lack of proper maintenance by an HVAC repair company

- Shifting weather patterns – maybe last year saw an unseasonably warm winter

- The need for home improvements such as insulation. Monitoring these changes can help you make better choices about heating your home.

2. Your furnace’s AFUE (%) rating

This is a measurement of how well your furnace uses fuel to heat your home. The higher the rating, the more efficient your heating unit.

Let’s say you have a furnace with a 75% AFUE rating, which means you’re losing a quarter of every dollar of your heating bill, or $25 for every $100 you spend.

You go next door to your neighbour’s house and learn they’ve just installed a furnace that is 97 % efficient. That means instead of losing $25 dollars for every $100 in heating costs, they’re only losing three bucks.

There are 3 classes of Gas Furnaces and Boilers

Old, low-efficiency Natural Draft heating systems:

  • Creates a flow of combustion gases through either a metal or masonry chimney.

  • Continuous pilot light

  • Heavy heat exchanger

  • 56% to 70% AFUE.

Mid-efficiency heating systems:

  • Exhaust fan controls the flow of combustion air and combustion gases more precisely

  • Electronic ignition (no pilot light)

  • Compact size and lighter weight to reduce cycling losses

  • Smaller diameter flue pipe

  • 80% to 83% AFUE.

High-efficiency heating systems:

  • Condensing flue gases in a second heat exchanger for extra efficiency

  • Sealed combustion

  • Uses PVC piping to exhaust combustion gases

  • 90% to 98.5% AFUE.

You can find your heater’s AFUE rating in your user manual or by checking the Manufacturer’s Data

sticker inside the furnace cabinet. If neither of those options work simply search the furnace’s make and model online or call us at 204-888-2020 and we will be more than happy to assist you.

3. Your furnace’s age

Your furnace might have the highest AFUE rating on the market. But how old is it? The average gas furnace has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Furnace efficiency can also decline by about five percent or more each year without proper maintenance. Even if you’ve had regular visits from your local HVAC repair company, the components in your heating system will eventually start to degrade due to age and use.

Has the time come to replace your heating system?

Tradesman Heating and Air Conditioning makes it easy for you to decide. Our comfort experts can make sure we give you affordable options on new a new High Efficient system that will keep you warm and comfortable without forcing you to spend too much on your monthly bill.

And if you’re happy with your furnace but worried about its efficiency, we can help with that as well. Our HVAC service and repair team can examine your system and make sure it’s functioning properly. Contact us today to get started.

Author: Mark Boissoneault 204-888-2020

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