Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

How You Can Tell If Your Home Heater Is Working Efficiently

Woman warming hands near electric heater at home, top view

Winter’s on the horizon, and soon it will be time to turn your heater on. If you’re not careful, though, it can cost a bundle in energy bills. How can you ensure your system is operating efficiently and not wasting energy? Here are a few things to look for.

  • AFUE rating. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating was the baseline for your system’s efficiency when you bought it. It measures what percentage of fuel your unit gives off as heat as opposed to how much is vented as exhaust. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the system. For maximum efficiency, look for the blue Energy Star logo, indicating that the unit saves money and energy over similar models without sacrificing performance.
  • Energy bills. The biggest tell that your system’s efficiency is declining is if your energy bills are rising. You use it the same amount as always, but it costs more. This may be partly because of rising energy costs, but it’s also likely due to your system needing more energy to warm your home.
  • Maintenance. Without annual HVAC maintenance, your heater loses 5% of its energy efficiency annually (on average). Your HVAC technician can check your system and see how efficiently it’s running, looking for things such as failing parts or clogged filters and fixing them to get things back to peak condition.
  • Age. Even with proper maintenance, your heater loses efficiency with age. You can typically expect your unit to last between 15 and 20 years. If it’s more than 12 years old, it’s probably not as efficient as it was when you bought it, so you should be on the lookout for a new unit in the next few years.
  • Energy audit. No matter how efficiently your system functions, if the air leaks out of your home, you’re still losing energy. A home-energy audit can tell you where the leaks are so you can fix them and minimize energy waste.

To ensure that your heater is working as efficiently as possible this winter, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We serve all of Yuma’s home-comfort needs.