Is your Buffalo, New York Home’s Heater Energy Efficient?
There is no denying that it is cold here in Buffalo, New York, but that should not mean that your heating costs should strongly impact your pocketbook. This winter, you have likely had the heat cranked up so you can stay nice and warm. You probably are not thinking about how much that heat is impacting your wallet, but maybe you should be. There is value in energy efficient heaters. The more efficient your furnace is, the less money you’ll spend heating your home.
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 lower your Western New York energy bills in the winter, such as: turning your thermostat down and wearing warmer clothing, installing weather stripping to prevent drafts in your home, and keeping your curtains open to let sunlight heat your house. While all those things are effective, having a heater that is energy efficient is the most practical and most important thing you do to keep your heating costs down.
We have included some things you can look at to determine the efficiency of your heating system.
Review your Energy Bill
Review your energy bill. Too often we find that our customers at Reimer Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing simply just pay their bill without reviewing it and that could cost you. Your heating bill is going to fluctuate a bit from month to month, unlike some other bills you have that have a set payment amount. If you see severe raises 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 increased bill: lack of reoccurring maintenance by a HVAC company in the Buffalo, New York area, a change in weather patterns, or the need for home improvements such as insulation or new windows. Observing these changes can help you make better choices about heating your home efficiently.
Know 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 New York home. 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 actual, season-long, average efficiency of that piece of equipment, including the operating transients.
Breaking down the AFUE rating into cost; 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 likely 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.
Understand 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 decline by about five percent each year without proper upkeep. And even if you’ve had consistent visits from your local HVAC repair company in Western New York, the components in your heating system will eventually start to degrade due to time and use.
As stated previously, 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 the frigid winter temperatures in the Buffalo, New York area, and with the cold weather knocking on your door, are you doing everything you can to keep your home warm, while saving money, this winter? Is your heater energy efficient? At Reimer Home Services 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 can make sure we install a system that keeps you warm and cozy without you needing to spend extra money on your monthly energy bill.
If you already have an energy efficient heater, maintaining it is just as important. Trust the “Wizard of Comfort” professionals at Reimer Home Services to examine your system and make sure it’s functioning properly and efficiently in your Western New York home. Contact us today for all your heating and cooling needs.
Everything our team does comes backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. It’s our pledge to you. If you’re not completely satisfied with our service, just give us a call. We’ll talk it through with you and figure out how to make it right.