Heating Systems: What Should You Know?

Every homeowner is familiar with the increased expense in their utilities during colder months, but they don't always understand the role that their heating system plays. Are there more efficient units available? Are there ways to cut down on your heating cost? Keep reading to learn what you should know about heating systems.

Heating Efficiency

The faceplate of your heating device should show you the AFUE for your unit, but what does that mean? The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is how efficient your heating system is on an annual basis. Basically, this is a measure of how much fuel is required in order to generate a given amount of heat, and how much fuel is lost that doesn't convert to heat. The efficiency can vary, but there are minimal efficiencies which are required. For a boiler, the minimum efficiency is set at 80%, whereas a gas-fueled furnace has a minimal efficiency of 75%. For a non-condensing, fossil-fueled furnace, the minimum efficiency rating is 78%. You may be wowed by the efficiency of an electric furnace. Electric furnaces have efficiency ratings from 95-100%. However, you should remember that an electric furnace also increases your overall electricity usage, which can potentially make them less economical in the long run. Keep in mind that the AFUE rating does not account for heating loss that occurs via heat ducts or through piping. That loss can be as high as 35% of the total heat output.

The Heat Pump

Every homeowner should become familiar with the heat pump. A heat pump can tremendously increase the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your HVAC system. A heat pump gathers heat from outside your home. It then pumps that air into your home, which warms the interior. In hotter months, the heat pump reverses the process, so that heat is removed from your home and pumped outdoors. A heat pump can reduce the electrical needs of your heating unit by as much as 30-40%. That means a heat pump can make an electrical furnace even more effective and reduce its contribution to your electric bill. A heat pump can also eliminate your reliance on fossil fuels for your heating needs.

Maintenance and Upkeep

A heat pump has a longer life expectancy than a furnace, and it also boasts superior performance. However, that doesn't mean that your heat pump will last forever. Aging of parts and wear and tear on your system can have a direct impact on its function and efficiency. This means that taking care of your heating unit is essential to not only keeping it operational, but that the upkeep and regular maintenance of your HVAC system can keep your utility bill lower and prevent more costly repairs in the future. Regularly scheduled maintenance and heating system repair in Marietta can be hugely beneficial in keeping your unit running the way it should.