While there are many steps you can take to improve the ease with which your HVAC system heats and cools your Atlanta home, the efficiency of the appliances you have installed will play a major part in your energy costs. Learning more about the factors that affect your heating system can help you determine when it’s time to replace the system to achieve greater comfort at lower cost, as well as the characteristics that affect the ability of any heating system to provide the home comfort you expect.
Furnaces are rated in efficiency with a value called “AFUE,” which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This rating measures the efficiency with which your furnace converts fuel, such as natural gas or electricity, into heat. The higher the AFUE rating on a furnace, the more efficient it is at producing heat and the less energy it will waste during operation. Today, high-efficiency combustion heating systems are considered to be those with an AFUE of 90% to 98.5%, while some types of all-electric furnaces and boilers can reach an AFUE of 100%. The minimum AFUE for all new furnaces is currently 78%, but older furnaces may have AFUE ratings as low as 55%-65%; thus, if your furnace is more than ten years old, it could be a wise investment to replace it with a newer model that will create heat more efficiently. While furnaces with a higher AFUE also cost more initially to purchase, investing in a furnace with the highest efficiency you can afford today will allow you to enjoy the greatest long-term savings over the course of the system’s lifetime.
Understanding Heating Control
Once your furnace creates heat, that heat must be channeled through your ducts and into your home. When you are able to exert better control over this process, the entire system becomes more efficient. Your thermostat is the ultimate control center for your heating system—a thermostat that is accurate and easy to use allows you to more effectively control your home’s indoor environment. Additionally, the type of blower your furnace employs will play a part in its overall efficiency. While older furnaces were equipped with a single-speed blower that moved air up into the ductwork at one set speed, modern furnaces are available with variable-speed blowers that adjust the blower speed to save even more energy. By allowing the blower to work on a high setting briefly to begin warming your home, then slowing the blower down to a lower speed to save energy while still moving heated air, these variable-speed systems warm your home more comfortable, more evenly, and even more quietly than other models. If you are looking to upgrade your heating system today or in the future, it is also important to evaluate the level of control you want over your home’s temperature and environment; upgrading your thermostat and opting for a furnace with a variable-speed blower are small, added costs that can have a significant impact on your long-term energy expenditures.
Would you like to know more about the efficiency of your current Atlanta heating system and how you can reduce your home heating costs? Please stop by our website to check out the latest heating, cooling, and plumbing information on our blog, or click through our online inventory of products and services to discover how we can help you save money and achieve greater comfort at home.