Nothing is worse than turning the thermostat down and seeing your heating bills go up. Sudden increases in your utility bills might not be due to energy prices. Instead, the increase might be caused by a decrease in your furnace efficiency.
Every furnace has an efficiency rating called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. This number indicates how much heat your furnace produces compared to how much energy is required to produce that heat.
What is an AFUE Rating?
An AFUE rating compares the amount of heat your furnace produces to the energy it utilizes to produce that heat. For instance, an AFUE of 90 means 90% of the energy your furnace produces turns into heat.
This rating offers a general idea of how energy-efficient your furnace should be, but it is important to keep in mind that other variables factor into a furnace’s efficiency as well.
What Are the Signs of a Poorly Functioning Furnace?
A furnace with low energy-efficiency will typically produce the following.
1. Long heating times
If your house takes a long time to heat up after the furnace kicks on, there’s a good chance that energy is being lost in the heating process.
2. Expensive utility bills
Wasted energy means that your furnace has to work harder. The more energy your furnace produces, the higher your monthly bill. If you notice your utility bill steadily climbing, it could be that your furnace’s efficiency is lowering.
3. Cool air
Your furnace has one primary purpose – to heat your home! It stands to reason that if your furnace is producing cool air or simply isn’t heating rooms the way it should, not enough energy is being converted to heat.
How Can You Increase Your Furnace’s Energy Efficiency?
You may know your furnace has low energy-efficiency, but how can you combat it? Extend your furnace’s lifespan and preserve energy by doing the following four things.
1. Change your air filter regularly.
Your furnace filter trips dirt, dust, and other pollutants before cycling air through your ductwork. This increases furnace functionality and keeps your air clean. It’s important that you change your air filter as often as needed.
2. Pay attention to strange noises.
If you notice any out-of-the-ordinary sounds, don’t shrug it off. Investigate, and call a professional if necessary. It is far better to catch problems early than to allow them to develop into something bigger.
3. Invest in a programmable thermostat.
Smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature of your home from your devices. Additionally, they develop their own patterns based on your habits and preferences. A great way to save money and energy is to set your thermostat to a lower temperature when you’re out of the house.
4. Schedule routine HVAC maintenance and tune-ups.
Regular maintenance by a professional plays an important role in your furnace’s efficiency. Make sure you schedule your annual tune-up.
You don’t have to sacrifice home comfort to save money on your heating bills. If you have any further questions, or if you would like to have your furnace inspected contact Indoor Air Quality today. We serve homeowners in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area. Our highest priority is the comfort of your home.