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Three Ways to Figure Out if Your Heater is Energy Efficient

If you live in central Ohio, you know heating your home can be expensive. If you’re not paying attention, you can end up paying a big utility bill.

Most of us can manage our heating bill through one simple technique: lower the thermostat. Sometimes, that’s not enough, and if your heating system isn’t energy-efficient, it’s almost like you’re burning through cash just to keep your family warm and comfortable.

It’s well known that the more efficient your heater is, the lower its operating cost. But it’s not easy to know when your system is running as efficiently as it can and should.

Let’s examine three ways to determine if your heating equipment is efficiently heating your home.

1. Check Your Furnace’s AFUE Rating

AFUE is a measurement of a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is expressed as a percentage. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the heater.

A 98% AFUE rating, for example, indicates that 98 percent of the fuel being burned is actually being used to heat your home. On the flip side, only two percent of that fuel’s energy is wasted. Current furnaces start at 80% AFUE, but older furnaces may have an AFUE as low at 56%. That’s almost HALF of the gas burning in the furnace being wasted, literally going down the drain (or up the exhaust pipe).

You can find your heating equipment’s AFUE rating on a sticker inside the furnace cabinet, in the user manual, or you can search on the manufacturer’s website (or contact the manufacturer).

Modern, high-efficiency furnaces are rated at AFUE 90% or higher. The minimum rating allowed for new equipment now is 78%. Honestly, if your system is older than about ten years, chances are the AFUE is 80% or much lower.

2. What is the Age of Your Furnace?

Determining your heater’s AFUE rating is a great beginning to evaluate your system’s efficiency, but that’s only part of the story.

The average life expectancy of a home’s heating and air conditioning system maxes out at about 14 years. So, even if your heating system starts life with a high AFUE rating, they tend to decline at about five percent per year, more if it isn’t properly maintained.

Even if you’ve had Dor-Mar visit twice a year to perform routine maintenance on your home’s HVAC system, furnace parts just wear out over time and regular use. In addition, there are HVAC technology advances every year, particularly in the past decade. So even a furnace system that’s only ten years old could see a significant boost in efficiency with an upgrade to a new system.

You can find tools online to figure out how much you can save with a heater upgrade; or, you can contact our customer service team to have Greg Brewer out for a visit to help you decide with a no-obligation estimage. Even if you don’t want a new system this year, at least you’ll be able to plan for the purchase in coming years, and see how much you’ll save with a new HVAC system.

3, Compare Utility Bills Year Over Year

Energy bills can fluctuate over time, with seasonal changes, temperature fluctuations, family living situations, fuel rates, and so on.

One of the smartest ways to determine if your heating system has lost efficiency is to compare your energy bills over the past five years.

When comparing your utility bills over that time span, be sure to compare apples to apples. Try to factor in measurable changes, like natural gas rates. There are also other home energy factors that can cause your system to run more than necessary, factors like lack of insulation, leaky windows and doors, and leaky ductwork.

If your bill is significantly higher than it was last year, or the year before, it’s apparent your heating equipment isn’t running as efficiently as it should.

Important: Maintain Your Heater’s Efficiency

Whether you decide to upgrade to a new heating system this year, or you’re trying to stretch your dollar and keep it running for a few more years, your best bet is to properly maintain your HVAC system to keep it running as efficiently as possible.

Call Today for Your Free In-Home Replacement Furnace Estimate

If you ARE in the market to upgrade your home’s Heating and Cooling system, contact our customer service team to schedule a visit from Greg to get your free, no-obligation price estimate. He’ll be able to gauge the AFUE rating for your system, tell you how much you’re going to save in energy costs with a new system, and get you an accurate number for purchasing a new system.

If you decide you need a replacement heating system this year but don’t have the cash available, Greg can also guide you through the financing options available through Dor-Mar’s financing partners.

All of our estimates are prepared by Greg Brewer, grandson of our founder. Greg has been working in the industry for years, and quite literally has HVAC in his blood!

Contact Dor-Mar Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule a free in-home consultation. We take pride in creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our customers.

Get a Free On-site Estimate for a Replacement Heating and Cooling System

If you live in our service area (from the west side of Columbus, all of metro Columbus, to east of Zanesville) we’ll be happy to provide an on-site estimate for a new furnace replacement. Use the convenient appointment request form or call our expert customer service team to arrange for a personalized price estimate.

Our estimator will measure your home and perform an assessment, then recommend the size and type of furnace you should install, and available furnace options for your home. He’ll also review any available rebates or special promotions to save you more.

Dor-Mar to the Rescue!

Schedule an appointment for HVAC system troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one of our seven neighborhood offices listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.

NEWARK  740.345.6639 • COLUMBUS 614.238.6689 • DUBLIN 614.545.8939 • REYNOLDSBURG 614.365.1579 • WESTERVILLE 614.381.1540 • GROVE CITY 614.595.3098 • ZANESVILLE 740.454.2420

Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!

*Please note: neither the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), nor the manufacturer of our UV-C Devices have officially announced whether UV-C kills the current strain of Corona Virus (COVID-19). We urge you to err on the side of caution until we have a definitive answer, and take other measures to prevent the acquisition or spread of this virus.

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