If you’re looking at your energy bills and seeing that you’re burning money, then it might be time to consider high-efficiency heating. With proper maintenance, a heating system can last 25 years. However, efficiency usually starts to drop as a furnace approaches 15 years of age. If your furnace is older — and less efficient — then upgrading could result in significant savings on fuel bills.
When buying a new furnace, look for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The figure tells how much of the furnace’s energy consumption goes toward effectively heating the house. All newer systems have a minimum AFUE of 78 percent. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the system.
Three simple steps will help you determine whether an upgrade is cost-effective:
- Find the difference between the AFUE of the present unit and the one you wish to buy. If your present unit has an AFUE of 60 — like some older furnaces — and you’re considering a furnace with an AFUE of 80, then the difference is 20 percent.
- Add the fuel bills for an entire winter. Then multiply that sum by the percentage difference from step one. This is your potential annual energy savings.
- Divide the the cost of buying and installing a new unit by your potential annual energy savings. That will tell you how many years you’ll need to recoup your initial investment.
When it comes to upgrading your heating system, the NATE-certified technicians at Beyer Boys can provide expert advice. We’ve been serving San Antonio for more than 20 years. Contact us for information on heating, cooling and plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).