October 19, 2023
HVAC heat pump service

An energy-efficient heater will say so on the box or instruction manual. However, you need to know if it’s energy-efficient without those options. Luckily, there are ways to see if your heater qualifies for energy efficiency just by looking at the unit. Other times, you may have to look in other places for the answer.

The Energy Efficient Label

Search the unit for the ENERGY STAR label. That is a government-approved certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the device meets the energy efficiency standards. The EPA put this device through strict testing so that it meets their guidelines. The unit automatically operates at maximum performance with less energy. If the label is not there, you can find out by typing the make and model in a search engine for answers.

Find the Energy Efficient Rating

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating (AFUE) is a yearly percentage based on two things: the amount of fuel or electricity needed to make heat and the amount of heat converted from it. A high percentage means it uses lots of fuel to make heat. That lowers energy bills because it doesn’t waste tons of it. Highly efficient heating units are 90% or above. It tells you that out of 100% fuel, 90% converts to heat, and 10% is unused. A percentage between 80% and 89% can pass for energy efficiency.

When you see a low number, the heater is not energy efficient, as lots of fuel is unused. Newer models don’t have an AFUE lower than 78%, so if you see a lower percentage, the unit is not efficient. The location may be near the ENERGY STAR label or in its cabinet. It is near the unit’s model number or serial number. You can also type in the make and model online to get the AFUE rating.

How Old Is Your Heater?

Age matters in heating units. Newer models are getting energy-efficient updates by default, and older models don’t have that. It’s important to remember when you bought your heater. The most accurate answer would be to know the exact date of purchase. A month and year or the year is acceptable. If you don’t know the age, check the receipt or warranty. A heater lasts between 10 and 15 years on average. If you can’t remember the date or if the date is older than 15 years, it’s time for a new one. Reach out to WK Mechanical, Inc. to install a high-efficiency heating unit in Middletown, NY, including Orange and Hudson counties.

Thermostat Compatibility

A heater not compatible with a thermostat has already lost the efficiency war. Home heaters should connect to a thermostat. The exception would be portable heaters. Now, the type of thermostat matters. Energy-efficient heaters must be compatible with programmable or smart thermostats. Those thermostats are controllable through a touchpad or a smartphone app. You can turn it on and off at certain times of the day and night. You can also adjust the temperature and set an automatic schedule. The thermostats may have features like energy efficiency reports, occupancy sensors, and zoning capabilities.

A heater that is not compatible with those thermostats will not be efficient. It will waste energy and heat because it will heat an unoccupied home or room.

Inspect Your Energy Bill

Compare energy or light bills month-to-month and year-to-year for inconsistencies and sudden changes. A high energy bill may mean something is wrong with the heating unit. It could run slower due to poor maintenance or wear-and-tear deterioration. Both work the heater harder to warm the home, raising the bill amount. Conversely, poor home insulation has similar results. Air gaps in the home bring unwanted air inside, working the heater overtime to keep the room warm. That raises the bill. Other circumstances, like frigid temperatures and rising taxes, are out of your control.

Contact Us for Heater Installation and Much More

If you discover your heater is not energy efficient, no worries. WK Mechanical, Inc. has plenty of energy-efficient heaters ready for installation. We are the heating and cooling company pros in HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance. Our services extend to boilers, heat pumps, water quality, generators, and indoor air quality. We offer financing, rebates, coupons, and in-home consultations, too.

Contact WK Mechanical, Inc. for more information about energy-efficient heating sources.

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