How to Tell if Your Heater Is Energy Efficient

As power bills keep rising, more and more Americans are looking into ways to lower them. One thing that can help: controlling your heat energy efficiency.

Your heater is already one of the most energy-consuming devices in your house. And the less energy-efficient it is, the more it will cost to run. At some point, it can feel like you’re burning money just to stay warm.

How do you make sure you have an energy-efficient heater? We’re glad you asked—here are four simple ways to find out!

Check the Heater’s AFUE Rating

The AFUE rating is the most reliable way of checking the energy efficiency of a heater. It tells you how well your heater converts fuel into energy.

The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the heater is. For example, let’s say your heater’s AFUE rating is 95%. That means that the furnace will use up 95% of the fuel it gets to heat your home, wasting only 5%.

You can find the heater’s AFUE rating in its user manual. On some heaters, you may also see it on a sticker located inside the cabinet. These days, an energy-efficient furnace should have an AFUE rating of 90% or more.


Compare Your Energy Bills

It’s normal for your energy bills to fluctuate from time to time. That can happen due to anything from a change in seasons to geopolitical events.

That said, a drastic change in your energy bills can also indicate furnace issues. To check whether this is the case with you, and compare your previous energy bills with new ones to identify any unexplained surges.

Consider the Heater’s Age

No furnace can maintain its efficiency throughout its entire lifespan. Even if your heater starts with a great AFUE rating, it will decline over time.

Look at it this way: An average heater will last 15-20 years. If it’s not maintained properly, its energy efficiency will decline by 5% each year. Even if you do take care of it, you can’t extend its longevity.

At some point, your furnace will become so inefficient that your best bet will be to replace it. New heaters will also break down far less often due to a lack of wear and tear, helping you save on repair costs.

Do an Air Tightness Test

Even a well-maintained furnace will find it hard to heat a poorly insulated home. The worse your insulation is, the more the heater has to work.

Want to make sure your home is airtight? Light an incense stick and hold it near areas that you believe could be causing a draft. These include door frames, windows, electrical outlets, floor hatchets, and more.

If there are air leaks near these locations, the tip of the stick will glow, and the smoke will disperse. In this scenario, you’ll prove that your heater works fine and that the energy issues are a byproduct of poor insulation.

Maintaining an Energy Efficient Heater

As you can see, energy-efficient heating isn’t too hard to achieve. As long as you take care of your furnace, there’s little to worry about. If you don’t have an energy-efficient heater, though, you should deal with it right away.

Has your furnace stopped working or isn’t heating the home as well as it should? Contact us here—we’ll identify the issue and solve it as soon as possible!