With energy costs continuing to rise, it’s no secret that homeowners are looking closer than ever for energy savings opportunities around the house. Maximizing the energy efficiency of your furnace or boiler can help you save hundreds of dollars per year, and you can accomplish this through careful system maintenance, retrofitting an old unit so it operates more efficiently or upgrading to a furnace or boiler with a higher efficiency rating.
Some maintenance tasks that you or a qualified HVAC contractor can perform to improve the efficiency of your furnace or boiler system include:
- Cleaning out your heat registers and ensuring all registers are completely open.
- Wrapping your furnace or boiler to prevent heat loss.
- Cleaning or changing your furnace filter.
You can also retrofit your current system to improve its overall efficiency. In addition to altering the furnace or boiler itself, other retrofitting possibilities include sealing and insulating your ductwork, upgrading to a programmable thermostat, or creating zoning systems to allow you to heat or cool specific rooms or areas of your home.
However, it is important that you carefully calculate the cost of retrofitting your system and compare it against the price of installing a new furnace. If you’re going to purchase a new furnace or boiler to enjoy better energy savings, it is important that you know the basics about AFUE or “annual fuel utilization efficiency” ratings.
Older furnaces and boilers are far less efficient than today’s models; in most cases, you can expect an old furnace or boiler to have an AFUE rating of about 68 to 72 percent, meaning that it converts 68 to 72 percent of fuel into heat.
Models with mid-range efficiencies are less expensive and typically have AFUE ratings of 80 to 83 percent. High-efficiency units offer AFUE ratings as high as 97 percent, so it’s important to consider the up-front costs against the money you’ll have to spend running your new furnace or boiler over the course of its lifetime.
The professionals at P.K. Wadsworth are happy to help you weigh your options. Give us a call if we can help.
PK Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between. To get started, check out our website.