How Furnace Efficiency Is Determined in Englewood, FL
Everyone knows that the more efficient a furnace is in Englewood, FL, the less you’ll pay to heat your home. However, what’s less well-known is how manufacturers and industry experts determine furnace efficiency. Use this guide to learn about furnace efficiency and what may give you better operational efficiency through its service life.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is the measure used for evaluating furnace efficiency. This measures how any given furnace converts fuel to heat. Some furnace technologies maximize this process, which creates high-efficiency systems.
However, the efficiency rating isn’t the only consideration for operational heating efficiency. Rather, many additional factors in how you use your furnace and with your home will affect how well your system works. This consideration of efficiency focuses on how much you pay to heat your home than the efficiency on paper.
Difference Between Mid- and High-Efficiency Furnaces
Modern furnaces carry designations as either mid-efficiency or high-efficiency systems. The mandated minimum AFUE rating in the United States is now 80%. Mid-range efficiency systems typically run between 80% and 89% AFUE.
High-efficiency systems have a minimum 90% AFUE. However, the highest efficiency furnaces have up to 98.7% AFUE. With this kind of efficiency, you’re losing little heat through exhaust, directing most of it into your home.
How Heating Technology Affects Efficiency
Standard, mid-efficiency systems have a single heat exchanger that transfers heat from the exhaust to the circulating air. They also have a single-stage burner and single-speed circulating fan.
This means that the furnace runs on high all the time, generating the maximum heat every cycle. Each of these cycles lasts 10 to 15 minutes and with two or three cycles per hour in most cases.
High-efficiency systems have modulating burners, variable-speed fans, and dual heat exchangers. The two heat exchangers allow the circulating air to absorb more heat from the exhaust.
The modulating burner and variable-speed fan make the system run at a much lower capacity, but nearly non-stop. Although fully modulating furnaces run practically constantly, these systems run at lower speeds most of the time. This along with the energy saved by minimizing the power wasted during start-up helps to substantially reduce energy consumption.
Using Your Thermostat to Improve Efficiency
Operational heating efficiency goes beyond the rated efficiency, looking at how to reduce overall energy consumption. With mid-efficiency furnaces, you might waste a lot of energy to heat your house when you’re not home.
The solution is to use the programs that are part of most digital thermometers. The Department of Energy suggests this can reduce your annual heating costs by as much as 10%. The goal is to lower your home’s temperature by seven to ten degrees for about eight hours each day.
The best time to adjust your temperature is when your home is empty while everyone is at school or work. You can set your thermostat to automatically adjust these temperatures so that you don’t have to remember to do so. Using a smart thermostat gives you the ability to adjust your programs from your smart device on the fly.
Improving Efficiency With Maintenance
Your furnace is a mechanical system that requires routine maintenance to keep it operating at its peak performance. Over time, your furnace will collect airborne contaminants and loosen mounting hardware and electrical connections. Each of these will slowly erode your system’s efficiency, lengthening heating cycles and driving up utility costs.
During a maintenance visit, a technician will perform an inspection of the system while also tightening connections. They’ll test system components to look for any that aren’t operating at an optimal level. Small problems in individual components can add strain to the rest of the system and further reduce efficiency.
Make sure that you’re getting the best efficiency furnace for your home. Call to schedule a furnace installation with one of our NATE-certified technicians at Conditioned Air in Englewood, FL.
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