How to Determine Whether You Have an Energy-Efficient Heater

efficiency rating depicting energy efficient home heating systemWhen it’s chilly outside, your home’s heating system is vital for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures. By keeping your house warm, your heater not only helps prevent colds and other illnesses, but it can also protect your plumbing from freezing. To ensure that your heating system is effective, it should be energy-efficient, operate quietly, and be durable. For example, an energy-efficient heater can save money on your energy bills, distribute heat more evenly, and reduce the need for maintenance. Here are three ways to determine if you have an energy efficient heater, as well as some tips for improving the efficiency of your heating system.

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How to Determine Whether You Have an Energy-Efficient Heater

To select a heating system that will work effectively in your home, it’s essential to determine the square footage of your home. This information will help you choose a heater that has the right heating capacity for your space. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that older heating systems typically have an energy efficiency rating of 56-70%, while newer systems can be as efficient as 98.5%. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the efficiency of a heating system can decrease by up to 5% per year if it is not properly maintained.

To determine whether your heating system is energy efficient, here are three factors to consider:

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1. Age of Your Heating System

The typical lifespan for a residential heating system is 15-20 years. While proper maintenance can help extend a heater’s efficiency, wear and tear will eventually reduce its performance. The age of your heater can be a good indicator of its efficiency; an older system will typically be less efficient than a newer one. It’s also worth noting that the efficiency of a heating system can decrease over time if it is not properly maintained.

If you’re unsure whether your heater is energy-efficient, even after considering its age, a certified HVAC contractor can help you assess its efficiency.

2. Your Energy Bills

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Your energy bills may vary from season to season depending on your heating needs. However, the total energy costs for the year should not be significantly different from what you paid the previous year, unless the cost per unit of energy has increased. If all other factors remain constant, you can compare your current energy bills to what you paid at the same time last year to see if there has been an unexplained increase in your heating costs.

If your energy bills have increased, it could be a sign that your heating system has become less efficient. A low-efficiency heater would need to work harder and longer to adequately heat a space, consuming more energy and causing your energy costs to go up.

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3. AFUE Rating

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio is a rating used to indicate the efficiency of a heater. The AFUE rating is determined by dividing the amount of heat output by the amount of heat input, which in this case is the amount of fuel consumed. For example, a heater with a 95% AFUE rating means that it can convert 95% of the fuel into heat and dissipate the remaining 5% through the vent.

Most manufacturers provide the AFUE rating for their heating systems on the product label. If you can’t find the label, you can check the model or serial number of your heater and use that information to search for the AFUE rating on the manufacturer’s website. The AFUE rating can help you determine the efficiency of your heater.


4 Ways of Improving Your Heating System’s Efficiency

A low-efficiency heating system can make your home uncomfortable on cold days, increase your energy bills, and break down more frequently. A less efficient heater can also contribute to a larger carbon footprint. To improve the efficiency of your heating system, consider the following tips.

  1. Clean & change your HVAC filters regularly: A clogged HVAC filter can cause your furnace to work harder to pull air through it. Clean your filters regularly and replace them as needed to keep your heating system running efficiently.
  2. Insulate your home: Insulating your house can help retain heat and reduce the workload on your heating system.
  3. Schedule annual inspections: Regular maintenance, such as furnace tune-ups, can help improve the efficiency of your heating system. Have a qualified HVAC contractor conduct regular inspections to identify and fix any issues with your heater and keep it running efficiently.
  4. Use a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the heating settings based on your needs. It only runs when necessary, and even then, it only uses the amount of fuel required to meet your heating needs. This can help improve the efficiency of your heating system.
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Why It’s Crucial to Replace an Inefficient Heater

At some point, regular maintenance may no longer be enough to improve the efficiency of your heater. When this happens, you may want to consider replacing your heater to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Indoor Comfort: A new heater is more likely to be highly efficient and provide adequate heating for your home, especially on cold days. An outdated heater may not provide the same level of comfort and warmth.
  • Avoid Regular Breakdowns: As heaters age, they may break down more frequently due to wear and tear. Replacing your heater can help you avoid more frequent breakdowns and save money on repair costs.
  • Save on Heating Costs: High efficiency typically leads to lower energy bills, and this is often a benefit of using a new heater.



There are several ways to determine if your heating system is energy efficient. You can check the age of your system, it’s AFUE rating, and examine your energy bills. If your system is not energy efficient, a professional HVAC contractor can inspect it and perform any necessary maintenance work to improve its efficiency. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace an old and outdated heater to achieve better efficiency.

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Get in Touch with Miller Oil Company For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

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Miller Oil Company provides top-quality heating and cooling services in the greater Hartford County, Connecticut area. Our team of certified technicians is knowledgeable and experienced, and they can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. We only hire the best technicians to ensure that your HVAC system is serviced correctly.

Miller Oil Company offers the most competitive prices for heating and cooling services in the area. Our maintenance services can reduce your home heating and cooling costs, increase your energy efficiency, and improve your comfort. If you need an HVAC repair or replacement system, get in touch with us. We guarantee all of our work and are committed to ensuring your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, call Miller Oil Company today. We also offer free in-home estimates.

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