A furnace is one of the most important pieces of technology in your home, especially given cold temperatures in the winter. At this time of year, it’s vital that your furnace is functioning at full capacity and isn’t leaking, cracking or requiring any major repairs to stay useful through the cold season.

At All Hours Plumbing, our professional furnace installation will make sure you’re up to date and set to go for the winter. We also offer professional furnace repair and replacement, and we’ve seen everything there is to see as far as issues with your home’s heating system.

When we’re not around, though, there are a few simple ways you can keep track of certain parts of your furnace’s efficiency and operational status. How, you ask? Let’s take a look.

Heating Efficiency

One of the primary ways to determine how much heating will cost through your furnace is using your furnace’s efficiency. A high furnace efficiency means a larger amount of heat is being provided for a given amount of energy used, where a low efficiency rating means it takes more energy to generate less overall heat.

Efficiency is generally viewed alongside energy costs – for instance, most electric furnaces are very high in efficiency, but because electricity itself costs so much money, the overall cost is still typically pretty high.

How to Measure Efficiency

Furnace efficiency is measured using a score called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, or AFUE. If a furnace is rated with a 75 percent AFUE score, that means 25 percent of the energy used in the furnace is lost, and the other 75 actually turns into heat for your home. The higher the number, the better the rating.

Identifying Older or Out-of-Date Units

Many older furnaces won’t have AFUE ratings, either because the information was removed or because it was never required when the furnace was made.

For these furnaces, the pilot light will be a key indicator. Furnaces with continuous pilot lights are likely older, as are furnaces which are gravity-based. These are usually only between 55 and 70 percent efficient.

Replace the Furnace?

If your AFUE score falls in a certain range, it might be time to consider replacing your furnace. Here are the recommended ranges for a few common types of furnaces:

  • Weatherized gas furnaces: 81 percent
  • Weatherizes oil furnaces: 78 percent
  • Mobile home oil furnaces: 75 percent
  • Electric furnaces: 78 percent
  • Gas-fired hot water boilers: 82 percent
  • Oil-fired hot water boilers: 84 percent
  • Oil-fired steam boilers: 82 percent

Want to lean more? All Hours Plumbing is a premier plumber in Utah, and we’re experts in furnace installation, repair and replacement.