Nothing beats the comfort of hosting a party in a home with a perfectly conditioned temperature. However, warming up your home and making it comfortable during winter can be costly. If you fail to control your heating needs, you may end up spending a lot of money on energy bills. Due to the unpredictable weather in Houston, homeowners install both heaters and air conditioners in their homes. However, they often don’t check whether their heating unit is energy efficient. As a result, many of them end up spending vast sums of money on the energy bill.
Today, you can quickly determine how energy efficient your heating unit is, thanks to the modern advancements in HVAC systems and readily available data. Here are a few ways to tell if you have an energy-efficient heating unit or not.
The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is one of the best ways to determine if your heating unit is energy efficient. It measures how your heating system turns fuel into energy and records these measurements as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more energy-efficient your heating unit is. If the AFUE is 97%, your heater can convert 97% of fuel into energy. The remaining 3% gets lost. Older heating systems can have an AFUE rating as low as 56%, meaning 44% of the energy you purchase goes to waste. You can find this rating in the user’s manual or a sticker located in the furnace cabinet. You should purchase a heating system with at least an 80% AFUE rating. If you cannot determine the AFUE rating, call Texas Pride for assistance. Our technicians can assist you.
Age of the Heating System
Even well-maintained heaters lose efficiency over time. Ideally, the average service life of a heating unit falls between 15 and 20 years. Basically, your heater’s energy efficiency level tends to decline by as much as 5% per year. This means even if you have a heater with the highest AFUE rating available on the market, the heater’s efficiency will ultimately drop to a level where a replacement will be the perfect solution.
Regular maintenance by our HVAC experts will enhance the longevity of your unit. Fixing minor issues at the time of the inspection will prevent them from turning into major ones. Although scheduled maintenance is a great idea, your furnace will eventually need a replacement. If you have an old unit that’s consuming a lot of energy, it’s time for an upgrade.
Changes in Energy Bills
Your monthly energy bill is subject to fluctuation from month to month depending on seasonal differences, changes in your living situation or an increase in energy costs, but it can be an invaluable snapshot of your heating unit’s efficiency. An excellent way to track how your heater functions as it ages is to compare energy bills from previous years. If you notice rapid and unexplained changes in your bills from the same time some years ago, you can attribute this change to the degradation of your heating system.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
HSPF refers to the total heating needed during the heating season divided by total electrical energy used over the same duration. However, this rating is only used with heat pumps. Like the AFUE rating, the higher the HSPF, the more energy-efficient your heat pump is at keeping your home warm. Correspondingly, the higher the HSPF, the less the heat pump costs to keep your home comfortable.
Coefficient of Performance (COP)
COP measures how efficiently your heater performs its job. It is obtained by dividing the heat provided by the amount of energy utilized to produce the heat. As with other measures outlined above, a heating unit with a higher COP is better than a device with a lower one.
Your furnace automatically starts warming your home whenever the temperature falls below the thermostat setting. Typically, the furnace continuously runs until the set temperature is attained. In contrast, a short cycling furnace repeatedly turns on and off, running for some time without reaching the preferred temperature. As a result, the furnace will work overtime to no avail. Regular cycling is wasteful, forcing your heater to burn fuel without properly heating your home. If your furnace is short-cycling, replacing it with a high-efficiency model is the best solution.
Your Trusted Local HVAC Professionals
To ensure you have an energy-efficient heater, rely on our energy efficiency experts at Texas Pride. We’re located on East 6 ½ Street, and we offer top-notch residential and commercial HVAC services throughout the Greater Houston area. Our NATE-certified technicians perform conscientious installations, repairs and maintenance for both heating and cooling equipment, and they’ve been doing it since 1984.
If there’s anything you want to know about energy efficiency, or if you require professional assistance with your home comfort system, call us at Texas Pride today.